INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
People can form an impression of you in as little as 1/10th of a second. And it can last forever – it’s hard to change someone’s view of you thereafter. Nobody said it was fair.
So, how do you make that first impression a darn good one, then? In my new LinkedIn Learning course, “How to Get People to Like You,” I share this.
1. The basics: Be on time. Be prepared. Be yourself.
(By the way, being the friendliest version of yourself, helps)
2. Mind your visual and verbal cues.
Visually, dress for the occasion. Give a genuine smile, show enthusiasm, and make eye contact (while keeping your distracting phone out of sight). Uncross your arms, show confident, upright posture, and mirror the body language the other person is using (which creates a subtle connection). For example, if they’re gesturing with their hands, gesture the same way when you’re talking. Regarding verbal cues, give a warm greeting and be confident, yet respectful, in tone. Pay attention to how fast you’re talking, slowing down or speeding up as appropriate, while watching your use of “likes” and “ums.”
3. Be interested, not interesting.
I’m not saying be dull. Just focus on showing how interested you are in what they have to say versus trying to be dazzling and impressive. Harvard psychology research shows many people believe good first impressions come from quickly focusing the conversation on yourself (and redirecting it back to you) in an effort to impress – but that has the opposite effect.
It’s about trying to create a memorable conversation that makes the other person feel good by giving them a chance to talk about themselves or their topic – which people like to do. Which means they’ll be more likely to like you. To further fuel this, don’t interrupt. Don’t try to be right. Ask good questions, listen attentively, and show signs you’re doing so, like nodding, leaning in while your partner is talking, or paraphrasing what they said (which also shows understanding).
Learn more about how to make a good first impression over a video call (and how to increase your likability quotient in general), via this link to my new LinkedIn Learning course, “How to Get People to Like You.”
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many new managers make)
I frequently post on the “New People Managers” group in LinkedIn Learning. The most common inquiry I get is, “What’s the key to success for a new manager like me?” I respond with 5 words:
Shift from tasks to people.
This advice avoids an all-too-common pitfall – when a newly promoted manager, with direct reports for the first time, fails to shift from focusing on tasks, projects, and timelines (the thing that got them promoted), to getting all that work done, through their people. They miss the call to go from output-oriented to others-oriented. They soon come across as micromanagers, unwilling to let go, “control freaks,” untrusting, or worse.
So many good things happen when the new people manager remembers to get work done through, and to focus on the growth of, the people they now manage.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
A Harvard study shows our minds aren’t focused on what’s right in front of us 47% OF THE TIME, leading to unnecessarily low happiness levels. I’ve written before about how to stay present in the moment, but I get asked about it so much, I wanted to share a power tip to help. Think of this as a 5-word mantra for being mindfully present – repeat it to yourself as often as you must until it habitually just pops into your head:
Wherever you are, be there.
I say it to myself whenever I’m not being where my feet are. It really works.