Last night, I had the opportunity to speak at the one of the leading business schools in the world. The subject was, ‘Making a Good First Impression‘. And, while I did include practical tips such as the importance of learning peoples’ names and asking open ended questions to help find commonalities (this is one of the easiest and quickest way to build rapport with strangers) it is impossible to stay on a one-dimensional level when it comes to human behaviour.
The concept of how ‘you’ can impress others is actually looking at it the wrong way around. The great Dale Carnegie, author of ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People‘ says it best, ‘‘You can make more friends in two months by becoming truly interested in other people, than you can in two years by getting people to become interested in you!” The best way to make a good impression is by letting others be in the spotlight. This not only allows people to feel understood and appreciated by you (thereby promoting liking) but also allows you to feel at ease. Imagine how much nicer a conversation could be if, instead of constantly thinking about what clever ditty you will reply with, you are completely engaged in that moment with that person. You are present and fully listening. Imagine the stress that could evaporate if you have not put all your attention on yourself, how you’re feeling, how you think you’re doing, but instead put that attention on the other person. Ah, sweet bliss.
The best way to make a good first impression is to make the other person feel like the king of the world. All you have to do is listen, be curious, and be present.