Unlocking the Secrets to Connecting with Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone in Between!
We all know someone who can walk into a room, instantly command attention and strike up a conversation with anyone. We call these people charismatic. Charismatic people seem to make friends everywhere they go, while the rest of us are flat out remembering the names of people we just met. Often we assume charismatic people have innate qualities that we don’t possess, however, whilst some people have charismatic personality traits, becoming a ‘people-person’, building rapport, and getting people to like you and want to be with you, can be learned.
Want to know how? Read on, because in this article you’ll learn practical and effective ways to build instant rapport with anyone you meet – whether it’s a potential customer, a colleague, or a new friend. You’ll unlock the secrets of charisma to create meaningful connections with people in seconds and leave a lasting impression that will keep them coming back for more. Get ready to charm your way to success!
First Impressions – the minutes that make or break you
From the moment you first meet someone, research shows that you only have the first 4 minutes to make a lasting impression – good or bad – and that 60-80% of the impression you make comes down to your non-verbal cues – your Body Language.
This means that presenting yourself in a way that is both professional and approachable is your first key to success. Dress appropriately for the occasion, be punctual, and greet the other person with a warm and friendly smile.
The key to leaving a positive first impression lies in creating a positive environment, and that is precisely your aim. Here are our top five simple, yet powerful techniques to make others feel at ease and instantly comfortable in your presence:
Eyebrow Flash – this simple gesture – a raise of the eyebrows – is thought to be inborn and is one of a few gestures that is common to primates and humans of most cultures in the world. When you flash your eyebrows, you signal to the other person ‘I see you, I acknowledge you.’ In our ancient past, this signal of recognition and camaraderie was significant in social groups, and today it remains one of the most subtle yet powerful techniques of building rapport.
Watch how to do the Eyebrow Flash here.
Palm power – When used correctly, palm power invests its user with a degree of authority and silent command. Palm-up is a non-threatening gesture that’s been used since caveman times to show that the person is not holding any weapons.
If you make a presentation and continually use the palm-down position, you’re more likely to suffer resistance from your audience.
The pointed finger is a symbolic club with which the speaker figuratively beats the listener into submission and creates rejection from your listener.
If you are a habitual finger pointer, practice the palm-up and palm-down and you’ll find that a combination of these positions can create a more relaxed atmosphere and you’ll have a more positive effect on others.
Watch my video on handshakes & hand positions.
Left hand holding – This strategy may seem obvious at first, but few people pay it much attention. Practice holding folders, papers, laptops and drinks in your left hand.
We typically greet each other, open doors, move a chair or wave goodbye with our right hand. So, if your right hand is free of objects, you’ll avoid looking clumsy.
Smile Power – Smiling is an appeasement gesture to show others that you are non-threatening. Our research shows the more frequently you smile, the closer others will stand to you, the more eye contact they will give you, the more likely they will be to touch you and the longer they want to stay with you.
In other words, smiling is great for your business and personal life (and don’t be afraid to practice your smile in front of the mirror).
Watch this video that explains how to practice a genuine smile.
Territorial Respect – We each carry a bubble of space around our body known as personal space. Its width depends on population density and what culture the person is from. If you are standing close to someone and you notice them move back, they’re telling you this is the amount of space they need for comfort. Keep your distance and resist moving forward.
Building rapport is a vital skill that can be learned, and it starts with making a positive first impression. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. But if you practice these techniques you will become more successful at making a positive first impression every time.
Your non-verbal cues, including your body language, play a significant role in creating that impression, so make sure to dress appropriately, be punctual, and greet others with a warm smile. Implementing the five powerful techniques we’ve discussed – the eyebrow flash, palm power, left hand holding, smile power, and territorial respect – can help you create a positive environment and leave a lasting impression on anyone you meet, whether it’s a potential customer, colleague, or friend. With these secrets of charisma in your toolbox, you’ll become a rapport-building rockstar and charm your way to success!
Now that you’ve learnt how to create a great first impression, look out for Part 2 in this Rapport Building series to learn how to be agreeable with everyone you meet (even those you disagree with!)
Copyright Allan Pease
About the Authors:
Over a lifetime studying and teaching human communication and body language, Allan and Barbara Pease have identified the Body Language and People Skills that underpin charisma and harmony in personal and professional relationships. Across their shared 18 international top 10 best sellers, the dynamic duo has distilled the most powerful rapport-building techniques into easy to learn methods to help millions of people around the world to live a more positive and successful life.