I have a colleague who makes an incredible impression, not only the first time, but time and time again. JoAnn is one of the masters when it comes to connecting with others and standing out from the crowd. My wife is the same way. I’m constantly amazed at how quickly she gets rapport with someone she’s just met or how well she’s thought of by her co-workers and friends. Making a great impression, whether it’s the first time or the hundredth time, will allow you to stand out and go far. Here are three tips on making a great impression:
Be flexible with how you use technology to communicate
If you’re a baby boomer and you want to make a great impression on a millennial (or “post millennial/Gen Z) co-worker or your younger niece, don’t pick up your phone to call them and don’t email them. Send them a text instead. And if you’re in a generation after the baby boomers, do the opposite. Resist the urge to text everything—pick up the phone and actually make a call. The rule of thumb with technology (when it comes to making a great impression) is to use the technology that fits the generation—or better yet—the specific person you’re communicating with.
Little things are big things in making a great impression
There are many things that take little time or effort that generates big results in the “making an impression” department. Smiling, listening more than you talk, asking questions, saying “please” and “thank you,” giving positive feedback, and following through on the” little” things you promise will set you apart. For instance, how many people can you name who listen with sincere interest more than they talk? I bet not many. But guess what? They’re the ones that are making the great impressions.
Make the other person feel important
We would all likely agree that everyone is important. But that doesn’t mean everyone feels important.. You can stand out and be memorable by making your mission to help everyone feel that, at least to you, they are truly important. Years ago I met Ray Walker at a conference. He was the bass singer for the Jordanaires, a group who sang back up harmonies for Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Billy Ray Cyrus, as well as doing their own performance and recordings. Although he was surrounded by people I finally got to him and asked him a question.
For a solid hour, Mr. Walker gave me his full attention and then he gave me his personal number saying, “Call me anytime. And next time you’re in Nashville, we’ll have lunch on me.” I will never forget that day. I’m not saying you can always give someone a full hour of your time. But I bet you can figure out how to make the people around you feel important. However, figuring out how to make others feel important isn’t the hard thing. Doing it is. However, if you do it consistently, you will make more than a great impression. You will make a lasting impression.