There is something symbolic about starting my first post with how to make a great first impression…
How many times were you anxious about meeting new people for the first time? What will they think about me? What will I tell them? What if I embarrass myself? So many uncertainty…
I read somewhere that people make assumptions about other people within the first 30 seconds. Whether it’s true or not – many people can intuitively feel if someone is being fake immediately. However, we all want to start with the right foot when meeting new people. Here are couple of things I think about before I meet new people;
I know many people who get so stressed before meeting new people that when the meeting actually happens they are unable to produce a word. We all were there at some point. That’s why I always try to think only about positive things. If you meet somebody who is more experienced, or occupies a higher position than you do, think how lucky you are to meet this person and learn from them. You can even think about questions you want to ask them. See your meeting with new people as an opportunity rather than a challenge and the reason to stress.
Think about the ornaments
Think about your clothes, jewellery, watches, shoes. People take these things into account when making initial judgements. Make sure that your accessories are appropriate for the purpose and type of the meeting. Try to wear something that you feel comfortable in. It will help you to behave naturally.
Think about your body language
Sometimes body language can tell you more about the person that their words. It is also crutial part of fist impressions. Often, simply being aware of your body language can result in immediate improvements. Think about where you point your feet, shoulders, and the way you shake hands. Even though it’s impossible to abide by all the different cultural differences, it’s still wise to consider some of them.
Be interested and interesting
If you are truly interested in people you talk to and in who they are really are, they will get this in a first impression. We’ve all met those people who asked us different questions but didn’t seem to care much about our answers, and either jumped into their next question or simply were distracted by something else. Don’t be that person! When you are meeting people for the first time approach them with a genuine interest in who they are. People will sense if you are faking your interest.
Balance, balance, balance
Try to find balance between asking questions and revealing things about yourself. Sometimes people ask as many questions as possibly trying to seem interested in the person they talk too. However, you may come across as a busybody or nosy. If you constantly talking about yourself, you are going to reveal too many unnecessary things. Try to find balance between these two. After talking about your job, instead of asking, “And what do you do?” try “And how about you?” It’s more open-ended and gives them a chance to go in the direction they are most excited about.
And one last thought; Just be yourself…and make a GREAT first impression!