Knowing how to make a good first impression is important for all of us. Some people care about making a good impression on their future mother-in-law, while others’ careers depend on making a good impression at a job interview. The ability to please those around you from the first meeting is often much more useful than other skills. The first impression is made in just a few seconds and is often impossible to change. So how to behave at the first meeting so that the interlocutor has a good impression?
An erroneous tactic is to try during the first meeting to seem different from who you really are. This applies to outright distortion of reality, and attempts to present yourself deliberately light and cheerful. In most cases this insincerity is easy to read. Try not to play against your nature: even if you cannot sparkly joke, but are able to listen and understand the interlocutor.
On the other hand, you don’t have to demonstrate your bad mood or nervousness. Try to speak slowly and calmly, so as not to give away your excitement. To keep your nerves from failing you during an important meeting, concentrate on yourself and your feelings before you meet the new person. Select the method of concentration, based on your preferences. This can be a meditation, self-humiliation, or simply recreating in your memory a moment in which you feel calm and confident. Recreating in his imagination a positive visual image, we help ourselves to tune in to the wave of confidence in the world and gain confidence. The interlocutor always feels this inner calm and begins to feel sympathy. And here it is a successful first impression.
Tune in to the Right Mood
Before an important meeting you should try to adjust yourself in the right way. In advance, try on a sincere smile, a friendly look and a sense of confidence. This at first glance seems useless advice, in fact, after such simple preparations you will feel easier to behave naturally during the meeting.
It’s also important to tune in to the interlocutor. The Pygmalion effect is known in psychology.
Being someone’s “spotlight” is another way to add freshness and sincerity to an interaction. You bring out the best in your interlocutor by “highlighting” his strengths. This has nothing to do with flattery, let alone sycophancy. Rather, you are trying to focus on what you think is really worthwhile, and to have a really good conversation.
Everyone knows the story of the Greek sculptor Pygmalion, who carved the perfect woman from ivory and fell in love with her. When the statue came to life, Pygmalion married her. This story is about how one’s expectations become reality. And the more expectations you have for people, the harder they will try to live up to your trust. If you believe in advance that your future companion is a pleasant and open person, it will turn out so when you meet him! After all, you will go to a meeting with such a person. We can improve communication if we believe in the openness of others and illuminate for ourselves their best qualities. Such a person-light and himself becomes the center of attention.
Therapists conducted an experiment based on the effect of Pygmalion. And it showed: if a person is sure that you like him, he begins to behave more friendly.
It’s believed that to recognize the mood of the interlocutor on his facial expressions and gestures can only a professional psychologist. But in fact any person subconsciously reads body language. And body signals can be used to your advantage. For example, you will cause a greater confidence in your interlocutor if you look him in the eyes during the conversation, without constantly looking away. Open eye-to-eye contact is a sign of interest and trust. Correct eye contact adds to your score.
It makes sense to pay attention to the position of the hands. Arms crossed across the chest indicate a desire to distance oneself. This is the most unfortunate position of the hands during the first meeting. A less demonstrative posture is one hand lowered, and the second hand lies on the chest and its palm encircles the lowered hand. But this pose also betrays a desire for detachment and a lack of trust. Open hands that the person does not hide behind their back or in their pockets are a good option.
Smile at the first meeting. A sincere smile can melt the ice, but a frown has never helped anyone. But do not overdo it, so that the smile does not look faked.
Another sign of a confident person is good posture. Try not to slouch – it will help to make a pleasant impression.
Everyone has someone in his circle who understands what personal boundaries are. When he makes any request, he gets so close that his breath can be felt. Everyone intuitively recoils or wants to take a step back. The fact is that the optimal distance between people who are not close shouldn’t exceed 120 cm. Over time, this distance may be reduced, but when both people realize that they are comfortable being a little closer to each other. In any case, during the first meeting there is no need to get too close. However, sitting or standing farther away, too, may be a mistake tactic. This removes you from the interlocutor, which can spoil the first impression. In most cases the distance between the interlocutors clearly shows how open they are to communicate. In any case, try not to get close to the person’s face. If you have to lean closer because of noise, do it in such a way as to avoid eye-to-eye contact.
Pay Attention to Your Clothes
Our appearance is a clear indication of our inner self and has a direct impact on creating a good impression. Before an important meeting, you should think carefully about your appearance. Even if you like to experiment with images, for the first meeting it is better to opt for the most concise and natural variant.
There are three basic rules that must be adhered to when meeting with the person who is important to you:
- Your attire and accessories should match the setting.
- Your shoes should be comfortable. This is critical, so don’t wear new shoes.
- Remember to be neat. At the first meeting you will definitely be considered with interest and will notice a dirty shoe or a detached button.
The human brain tends to remember funny and strange things. This does not mean that the need to appear at the meeting in a clown’s hat. But a small bright detail will not be superfluous.
Focus on the Person You’re Talking to
If it’s important to you that the person has a good impression of the results of your first meeting, pay attention to the personality of the interlocutor. Put your focus on him. There are several points to be made here:
- During the first meeting, it’s easy to forget the person’s name, even if they introduce themselves to you. Nerves and excitement do their job. But it is not a good idea to carry on a conversation without calling by name. Try a simple method of remembering the name, it will help you more than once. When the new acquaintance says his name, pay attention to the color of his eyes. Try to think of some association with the name and eye color. You can think of someone with the same name. Address the new acquaintance by name as quickly as possible. The sound of your own name for all people is associated with comfort and trust.
- Allow the person to talk about themselves. Ask how the last weekend was, or talk about hobbies from parachuting to betting via Bet22. You can compliment the appearance, but everything must be in moderation. Don’t flatter and overdo it, so as not to seem sycophantic.
- For additional focus on the interlocutor, use the similarity attraction effect. It is based on the fact that people with common views usually like each other. But the interesting thing is that people with whom we have similarities in negative traits attract more sympathy. It remains to find these common points. Psychologists compare a person’s thoughts to a tangle, and common topics to connect threads. In order to have a pleasant conversation, you need a phrase that opens a certain topic and a connecting thread. The theory of connecting threads is the basic principle of communication. There are three categories of common threads that can be used. The first category is people, common acquaintances through whom you can find similar interests. The second category is the context or what brought you to that meeting. A job interview and getting to know your future mother-in-law require a different context of conversation. And the last category is common interests, these are the strongest connecting threads. If you get to find a topic in which you and your companion know each other equally well, the chances for a pleasant conversation will increase dramatically.
Don’t Be Afraid of Mistakes
In unfamiliar surroundings, we try to show ourselves at our best. The desire is laudable, but because of the excitement are inevitable blunders and embarrassment. In this situation, you can use the Pratfall effect. It says: a manifestation of weakness and a small mistake – a good way to win favor. Suffice it to recall the actress Jennifer Lawrence, who managed for three years in a row to fall in front of the whole world, but her popularity from this only age.
The Perfect Dialogue Scenario
Experts in the field of establishing contacts suggested the ideal scenario for a dialogue with the person you need to please. It looks something like this:
- After introductions, ask some general question, inquiring about your interlocutor’s opinion. You can ask about the weather, traffic, or just about the mood.
- Next, look for connecting threads that will allow you to learn more about the new acquaintance. Here it’s appropriate to tell a little about yourself and then lead the dialogue, focusing on what will arouse the interest of the interlocutor.
- People always remember the first and last thing they hear. So at the end of the meeting, give the interlocutor the opportunity to speak on a topic that concerns him. Or just ask about his wishes and impressions of your meeting. So you will be remembered as a sensitive and attentive interlocutor.
The psychology of the first impression is a popular one. The development of any relationship is always built on the impression formed during the very first meeting. So, it’s important to be able to show your best side, as well as correctly assess your new acquaintance. This will help to avoid the problem of misunderstanding, and an important conversation will become a pleasant conversation.