It’s holiday season. There are lots of holiday parties, meeting people, pressing the flesh; ever wonder how you come across to other people or what you don’t like about particular people you meet?
We still judge people by how they look and act. Studies show that it takes seven seconds to make an initial judgement—but that judgement can be changed. Here are a few ways to change someone’s initial judgement by your non-verbal cues.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou
Look people in the eyes when you speak with them. It may seem obvious, but I have had plenty of conversations where the other party was looking elsewhere. This makes them seem either aloof or disinterested and makes you feel unappreciated. Eye contact shows that you are interested in them and respect them.
Listening is easy; active listening is difficult. It takes practice. Active listening means listening with intent—listening for the meaning in what is being said or asked. Don’t listen with the answer already in mind or just to wait for the speaker to finish talking. Active listening requires giving the speaker your undivided attention. What they have to say is just as important as what you have to say.
Research has shown that whatever the attitude—positive or negative—it shows up immediately in our bodies, and later in our conscious minds. If for some reason you’re feeling down, discouraged, or defeated, your body will show it before you even register the emotion. Next time you feel down, find a quiet place and strike a “power pose” or do a couple of fist pumps. This has been shown to counteract negative emotions and make you feel more positive and confident. The people who might think you’re feeling down will take note as well.
Keep this in mind not only when you are networking, but anytime you meet with someone, be it a family member, a friend, a co-worker or a prospect. Make everyone you meet feel important.
“To be successful, you have to be able to relate to people; they have to be satisfied with your personality to be able to do business with you and to build a relationship with mutual trust.” —George Ross
Have a great weekend.
About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)
I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.
Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!