15 Tips To Turn First Impressions Into Relationships!

Recent research from Judith Glaser at Columbia University outlined the impact of technology speeding up our reaction times. First impressions are now formed in as little as .07 seconds and not your grandmother’s 15 seconds. Wow! .07 seconds!

Here are 15 tips to improve your first impressions with others:

1. Wear your “name tag” on your right side so when you shake hands, others can see your name. It is much harder for them to see your name if it is on your left side, since most of us shake with our right hands.

2. Happy birthday is too bland. Be sure in your communications to mention the date. We all have birthdays so it’s no biggie. You make another person feel special if you say their birthdate since usually that is only mentioned by family members.

3. Remember names by saying them 3 times in the first 10 seconds of meeting someone. You just taught yourself how to remember their names, and they like hearing their name! This is a big win all around. “How was your trip here, Jim?” “And what do you do, Jim?” And, “Jim, can I get you a coffee?”

4. Give eye contact, smile, and be shy. Greet people for the first time like it is your great grandparent you never met, not your favorite celebrity. Reverence over exuberance gives a much better first impression.

5. Keep your speech pattern slow, your voice tone soft, and keep your body and hand movements limited. Building trust and relationships begins slowly and so should your communication style. Rush in too excited and you could offend over 50% of your audience.

6. Your response to them on “How was your trip?” or “What have you been up to?” should be about a 10-15 second response. By 15 seconds your listener has already started their own self-talk and turned their thoughts inward. They wonder what they want to say, and they are deciding if you don’t ask them something pretty soon about them, they probably aren’t going to like you.

7. Ask them a welcoming question and listen. Don’t ask too many questions; questioning is a skill and means you’re actually not listening. Listening is not questioning. Rather nod and agree, or rephrase their feelings or words – as long as they talk. The longer you listen, the more they will value you. The words “silent” and “listen” use the exact same letters.

8. When it is time to ask a question, ask them a question to which you do not have the answer.

9. Be curious in your questioning not challenging. “Help me understand…” versus “Why did you…”

10. Never approach just two people talking. Join a three person talk, or start a conversation with one other person. Two people talking may be more sensitive or private than you know.

11. If you forget the name of someone, and they are waiting for you to introduce them to another person, invite them to “please introduce yourselves to one another.”

12. Firm handshakes have been taken too far – so find the middle ground. People may have hidden arthritis and ailments and hard handshakes might hurt. They also may be an artist, baker, or surgeon and make their livelihood with their hands. Be sensitive.

13. Use the microphone. People ask “Can you hear me?” or say “I don’t need this!” Yes, you do – we may be able to hear you, but with a microphone, listening is much easier and clearer for your guests. Don’t make your audience strain!

14. In a large meeting, to get people’s attention please don’t yell at your audience! You are being rude! Quietly Say -“if you can hear me, please clap once.” Then “clap twice” and then “clap three times.” Even with just a few people clapping – the whole room becomes yours.

15. Be in the moment as you greet someone. Please don’t say hi and then begin looking around the room for another more interesting or important person, you think you want to go see. Technology has pushed us so far we actually believe that being in the next moment is more important and appropriate than being in this moment.

Well, that’s it for 15 tips – I’m already lost my better first impression. Get to the point, man! I guess I should have had just one tip.

Be Brief. Be Bright. Be Gone,

Jim

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