From Real Simple
By Anne-Marie O’Neilla
Want to learn the secret to a great first encounter? Five pros share their most effective moves.
A lot of folks have a habit of imparting endless information during a first encounter. I call it male-pattern lecturing, though it’s by no means exclusive to men. The listener smiles, nods politely, and asks questions, and so the male-pattern lecturer keeps…on…talking. The lecturer comes away from the experience thinking that it went really well. He felt so confident and interesting! But for the listener, it was a bust. She didn’t feel affirmed or appreciated. It’s natural, especially when you’re nervous, to focus on whether the conversation is going well for you. But make sure you’re also thinking of ways to make the other person feel good. Honestly, that can be as simple as asking about her day.
Ann Demarais, PH.D., is an executive coach and a coauthor of First Impressions ($15, amazon.com).
Don’t Take All the Credit
When I interview a job candidate, I look to see if she is too self-serving. Does she appear to exaggerate her own contributions? Blame colleagues for things that went wrong? When you ask her to share his weaknesses, does she merely dress up her strengths? “I care too much.” “I work too hard.” (Ugh.) Just be humble, and let people know that you hold yourself to the same standards to which you hold others.