Every Wednesday is Tip Day. This Wednesday: Tips…to make a good first impression.
- smile and lean toward others as they talk
- if standing, keep your body fully facing the people you’re speaking with
- ask questions and follow up on people’s remarks; and in doing so, focus on opinions and feelings, not just facts
- don’t interrupt
- compliment others
- try to find common experiences or interests
- mention some vulnerabilities and laugh at yourself
- draw others out and encourage people to join the conversation
- put energy in your voice
- at least at the start, focus on positive comments, not criticisms or complaints
- offer a variety of topics
- share observations about everyday life
- share your passions and interests
- don’t dwell on the minutiae of your life, especially annoyances
- remember: people give more weight to their early information (were you engaged, warm, distracted, pompous?) than to later information, so be your most charming at the beginning of the conversation
- remember: most people are more eager to be found interesting, funny, or insightful than to be interested, amused, or informed by you
For a fascinating, highly practical book on this topic, read Ann Demarais and Valerie White’s First Impressions.
From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.