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Elevate: It’s Your Move

Cracking the Code: Great Traits That Make You Instantly Likable

It’s often said, “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.”

We all know that’s the truth.

Whether you’re attending an event, meeting a client for the first time, or entering that important first interview, we all want to be well received – “liked” – by the people we meet.

As someone who has “WOO” (Winning Others Over) in their Top 5 CliftonStrengths, allow me to share my top five best practices for getting off to a great start with someone new.

  1. Engage with your eyes. Eye contact is so important when connecting with someone for the first time. As you make an introduction and extend your hand, be sure your eyes are locked on the other person – and smile! A good handshake accompanied by direct eye contact and a warm smile allows your body to instantly produce oxytocin, the connection hormone. It helps you to be received as confident and trustworthy, two very important traits to possess.
  2. Listen with your mind. Of course, you’re listening intently to what your new acquaintance has to say, but listen with more than just your ears. Give them your full attention, fully present in the moment and in the conversation. We live in a world of constant noise and distraction. Share the gift of listening by being fully present, and you’ll make an instant connection.
  3. Be who you are. Are you funny? Make them smile. Are you caring? Ask them how they are doing. Are you kind? Offer a sincere compliment. Most of all, be authentic. People can sniff out a fake instantly. You don’t have to work at impressing others, just be real with them and they will find that endearing.
  4. Just ask! Do you know what everyone’s favorite topic to talk about is? Themselves! People love to talk about themselves, their lives, their work. Ask genuine and thoughtful questions to get to know them better and they will love you for it. (And don’t forget to listen with your mind as they provide you with answers!)
  5. Name it. Whenever we use someone’s name in our conversation with them, they instantly feel validated. It shows them you’re paying attention – to them! – and it helps to create an instant rapport. Added tip: If you’re in an extended conversation, make an attempt to use their name three times in the conversation before you part ways. This will help cement their name in your brain, aiding with recall for the next time you meet.

The next time you have the opportunity to meet someone new, try out these tips.

Getting off to a great start with someone makes developing a good relationship with them so much easier. Ultimately, those good relationships help you be much more effective in your workplace. And that’s our hope for you!

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