There are actually seven phases to every initial encounter, and there’s opportunity for connection in each. First impressions are all about connecting with the other individual. We either do it or we don’t. We don’t get a second chance. Take a look at the recipe below for acing every first meeting you have:
1. SCAN the room.
Whether you’re at a professional event or a party, your eyes sweep the room as soon as you arrive. Rather than stand alone, you’re programmed to seek out somebody to talk with. That’s natural. But how do you decide who it will be? Do you look for a smile, certain clothing, a particular age, charisma, confidence, energy? What do you look for? Maybe you’re attracted to welcoming vibes. Or perhaps you intuitively sense a connection with a person before you even say a word to her. Think about this. Why the woman across the room and not the one standing right next to you?
2. SELECT someone.
Once you choose the person, get in touch with how you feel. What’s your biggest fear now? Rejection? Doubt? Lack of self confidence? A flat conversation? Striking out? And what do you anticipate? Have you ever considered that what you anticipate largely determines the tone of the meeting?
3. APPROACH the person.
This is the phase where you build momentum. Plan your approach. What does it look and sound like? What do you most want to communicate as you walk toward her? How do you greet this person? Most critically, how do you want to make her feel? She’s going to remember how she feels with you more than any fancy, clever words you say.
4. ASK AND TELL.
Start a conversation. Avoid the thirty second elevator speech; nobody remembers them anyway. Now is the time to build the know, like, and trust factor. Consider asking a provocative question that requires more than a one word response. And ask a question that you can answer too. Pay attention to your body language and facial expressions. Focus on the other person rather than yourself. Make it all about her. This is the longest phase, though it could be only a minute. Your biggest opportunity to connect, it’s make or break here.
5. INSPIRE her to THINK.
You’ve got a chance now to get her to think about you. How to do that? Say something about yourself that motivates her to want to meet again. To learn more about you. Whatever you say needs to deepen the connection that has begun. You’re layering the link you created.
6. LEAVE your MARK.
One of the best ways to do this is to give her a gift from the heart. Pay her a genuine compliment. Boost her confidence. Praise a skill. Pose a provocative idea. Any or all of these suggestions can work wonders. The key is to say something that allows you to linger in her mind.
Start moving away from the person gracefully. What does that look like for you? What can you say? And what do you think? One thought you may choose is to silently bless her. Wish her well. Wish her good health, happiness, and success. Just be thankful for who she is and what she offers in the world. The purpose is to release positive vibrations that can benefit both her and you. Quite simply, it’s a lovely way to leave someone.
Each phase moves rapidly, flowing into the next. There’s an art to creating some fluidity as you move from one to another. Be patient with yourself as you practice this process. As you plan YOUR first impression, consider three main things: be present; give your authentic self, and bless the other person. If you incorporate these into the connection, you have to win.[sc:publicidad ]
Sylvia Hepler, President of Launching Lives, is an executive coach based in South Central PA. Her mission is to support corporate and nonprofit executives and business owners as they solve problems, develop leadership skills, and increase balance in their lives. Her professional background includes: extensive nonprofit management/leadership, public speaking, business and freelance writing, teaching, and retail sales. Contact her at: