“Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, even when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family….for smiling is the beginning of love.”
― Mother Teresa
Have you ever thought about what your smile—and your countenance in general, really—say about you? When I first meet someone, I look at their eyes (are they kind?) and their mouth (are they joyful?). I am sure that judging a first impression based of eyes and smile might sound crazy to some, but actually, these cues are often spot on. They are great indicators of a person’s level of engagement with those around them. If the eyes and mouth don’t make a great first impression, it’s likely the rest of the person won’t either.
What impression do you give other people when they meet you for the first time? Your countenance matters, probably much more than you realize! After all, the person you just met could become a new friend, future spouse, future in-law, potential employment reference, employer, manager, industry contact, mentor, or client. The fact is, life is a series of chance moments with others, and you never know what might become of the people you meet and the role they could play in your life.
There’s a wise saying: “You never get a second chance to make a good impression.” In fact, most employment recruiters will say that the first 30 seconds of an interview will make or break your chances! Yes, that’s 30 seconds! For some, it only takes five!
In order to master the art of relationship building, it’s essential to make a great first impression with everyone you meet. Here’s all it takes:
- Demonstrate through your countenance, words, andbody language that you’re happy to meet them (key: smile!)
- Give a firm, confident handshake and look them in the eye
- Be positive and enthusiastic
- Be inquisitive. Show an interest in them and in what they say. Focus more on listening to them than talking about yourself.
- Remain engaged in the conversation and avoid distractions like calls and texts
- Use good manners and be gracious
Surprisingly, many people just don’t get it. They allow negative thoughts, cynicism, suspicion, self-focus, insecurity, and indifference to cloud their countenance. They may not realize it, but it shows—and in job interviews and in life, it doesn’t end well.. They may say all the right things, do all the right things, yet wonder why others aren’t warming up. Many times, it all comes down to countenance. Your smile can make all the difference!
Do you make sure to always wear a smile, especially when meeting new people? What are your tips for making a lasting first impression when you meet others? When you meet someone new, what are the first things you notice about them?
Photo: Freedigitalphotos.net, by stockimages
I totally agree! I always genuinely smile and make eye contact when I first meet people, and I am more interested in interacting with those they go it back to me. I also try and do the same with my kids on a daily basis 😄 several times a day.
Thanks for the comment! Yes, it’s amazing, isn’t it, how much of a difference a smile and eye contact (and warm handshake where appropriate) make in getting off on the right foot with anyone you’re interacting with. And it’s definitely a great quality to instill in children and teens … sounds like yours are learning it from you!
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