How to Make a Great First Impression

As we go on with our day to day life, we meet many new people. Businessmen and women often believe that showcasing their skills, experience, and capabilities is more important than presenting themselves as trustworthy and likeable. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Psychologist, says establishing your credentials is not always the first thing you should do when meeting a new client. She says the first question a potential client subconsciously ask themselves is: “Can I trust him/her?” Here, trust is defined as being likeable and warm. Cuddy believes only after you have proven yourself trustworthy should you being showcasing your skills and talents. Many people do not have trouble with showing off their expertise, but not everyone is able to immediately make a great first impression. In this blog post, we will discuss Cuddy’s tips on how to make a great first impression.

Don’t Talk, Listen: We have the tendency to talk a lot more than we listen. However, listening to the other person and offering nonverbal cues, such as nodding or smiling, helps the other person feel like they are important. In addition, do not offer advise until you are specifically asked for it.

Praise Others : Everyone enjoys hearing that they did well on a certain projects or assignments. If you do not know much information about someone, find out ahead of time about what they have been working on and recognize their hard work. Not only do people enjoy being recognized for their achievement, it is more likely to motivate them to work even harder in the future.

Don’t Practice Selective Hearing: There are many times when people feel superior to others in a conversation. Think back to the last time you had a conversation with your boss. There was most likely a moment when he/she was not really listening to what you had to say. This does not feel good. In order to make a great first impression, stop practicing selective hearing and give everyone a fair chance to make themselves heard. Someone’s social status or position in the business should not impact your behavior towards them.

Pay Attention: There are many times during conversations where we become distracted by our phones or even our thoughts. Not giving someone your full attention can definitely result in a bad first impression. If you give someone your full attention, it is more likely to will enjoy being around you.

Don’t Receive, Give: This may sound confusing to some, but it is something we do on a daily basis. In conversations and throughout the day, we are often concerned with how we can receive a benefit from something. However, you should only be focusing on giving and establishing a real relationship with someone you have just met.

Don’t Act Self-Important: If you walk into the room expecting attention or behave pretentiously, nobody will want to be around you. Stop trying to impress people and try to connect with them instead.

Other People are More Important: Instead of acting like you are the most important person in the room, treat other people like they are more important than you. By doing this, you will be able to learn more from them. If you just treat yourself as a the star of the room, others will hesitate to open up to you.

Choose Your Words Carefully: The words you choose can portray a lot about your attitudes and feelings towards others. Instead of saying you have to go to a meeting, say you get to go to a meeting with wonderful people. Always associate yourself with happiness and enthusiasm. Not only can the words you choose make a better first impression, they can help people around you feel better as well.

Don’t Discuss the Failures of Others: In an office setting, there are times when everyone enjoys hearing a little bit of gossip. However, never be the one that dishes out the dirt. If someone makes a mistake, don’t laugh at them. Simply learn to be kind. If you are one of the first ones to laugh at another person, the people around you will start to wonder if you do the same to them when they are not around.

Admit Your Failings: While it is not always wise to poke fun at others mistakes, do not be afraid to admit your own failures. Be humble and prepared to share your mistakes with others. Learn to laugh at yourself and this will cause those around you to laugh with you, instead of laughing at you. The more fun and open you seem, the more likely that people will want to be around you.

Source referenced: Inc.

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