Big meeting coming up – important date, job interview, dinner party or meeting a new client? Do you think about and visualize how you will greet them, what you’re wearing, where you’ll sit, and how you’ll follow up after an introduction? If you don’t, you should be. Preplanning and following up are important – or should I say essential – before a significant or important introduction, event or meeting.
I’m really talking about how to connect, reassure and make a
good and hopefully lasting impression. You have what it takes to accomplish
this as it is within you, but you have to know where to reach and retrieve it…and
then how to use this energy.
I’ve talked before about the 7-second rule, which is the
anticipated amount of time a person takes to decide if they like or will be
rejecting you. If you don’t consider this on a fairly regular basis, you need
to retool because you’re not doing yourself a service. Like it or not, those
first seven seconds in an encounter are very important!
pretty good at this, but that’s
not to say that I don’t have to get myself primed before every significant
event or introduction. In preparation I consciously remind myself to visualize
the meeting, stand straighter, plan what I’ll be wearing (appearance), pull up
my energy, and actively push it out. I also need to engage with a smile which
will be probably broader than usual and extend my hand with energy that will be
felt fully through my grasp. Perhaps most important in the U.S. culture is the
need to make eye contact, which is engaging but not intimidating.
At the beginning of each personal coaching session, I ask my
client to remember when he/she has done extremely well in a speech,
presentation or important introduction. As they recall the event, they usually articulate
everything on the teaching agenda. Doing a personal recall is a great
visualization technique and definitely facilitates learning. Recalling when you really did well is
extremely effective because we can see ourselves and recall the personal
experience again to remember why the interaction or event was successful. With
that memory bank accessed, the coaching proceeds effortlessly.
And I would be remiss without mentioning the importance of
planning what you want to accomplish. Often it’s important to start any meeting
by listening to get a better sense of what the other person wants to
accomplish. Absorb the atmosphere, look for resistance, and then (with a smile!)
chart your course.