Thursday, January 31, 2013

Six Simple Ways to Make a Good Impression

“When I see the best of myself in others, it makes a good first impression.” 
- Bauvard

Leah's putting on her psychotherapy hat today!  I guess because I've been home alone for much of the seven weeks since my surgery, making contact with people has suddenly become all the more important.

These are pretty simple tips, but some of the most competent and loveliest people I know do not use them.  (Neither do I, all the time.)  The fact is, they can transform the way people see you; and when people see you in a positive light, you're much more likely to get what you need and want out of your life, namely happiness.

1. Keep your head up.  Literally.  Don't walk around with your head down.  You'll look anti-social or like you've got a back problem.

2. Make eye contact.  Not just when you are having a one-on-one conversation with someone, but when you greet people and just say hello.

3. Smile.  Warmly.  Use your eyes when you do it.  You don't need to stop and chat with everyone you greet, but because of that smile, it won't matter. It'll stick with them.

4. Don't underestimate the power of touch.  For men, this is trickier, but even the handshaking in a more formal meeting situation can make or break an impression.  Shaking someone's hand like a limp fish is very off-putting.  A firm, confident handshake speaks volumes.  When I shake hands, I usually use both my hands.  It's just warmer.  It's not formal, certainly, but it shows me for who I am, and that's what I want.  I'm also a hugger (but not at job interviews, of course).  People crave touch.  They don't forget the squeeze of the shoulder or the brush of the arm. (For sure they won't forget the pat on the butt, but I'm not talking about that!)

5.  Do some mirroring.  When you tilt your head the way they tilt theirs, or cross your legs if they cross theirs, you are establishing rapport.  You shouldn't try to be a mime in a circus here, just pick one or two things and mirror them back, showing that person, consciously or not, that you have a connection with them.

Quick and dirty, right?  I have my first appointment with a physiotherapist today so we'll see if I can put these into practice without falling off my balance ball!


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