We all know that making a positive impression on someone can be valuable both personally and professionally. But not everyone is clear on how to do it.
In his piece in Psychology Today, author Keith Rollag, PhD, shares do’s and don’ts for making a great first impression, including a “simple-but-effective strategy” from CareerEngage founder Jayne Mattson.
According to Mattson, the key to leaving a new acquaintance with a positive first impression of yourself is to remember four little words: “You…You…Me…You.”
This mini mantra refers to the order of focus in the initial conversation you share with someone. Basically, what you want to do upon meeting someone for the first time is get that person to talk about him/herself (hence the “You…You” spotlight to start). This is accomplished “by asking questions, showing interest, and following up with more questions to learn more about their background and interests.”
As the conversation continues, “find an opportunity to share something about yourself (…Me) and then try to end the conversation with a renewed focus on them (…You).”
Being able to make an excellent first impression is a key component of successful networking — and networking is a necessary part of the job-search process. So if you’re looking for a new job following a cancer diagnosis, you’ll need to bone up on your networking skills and be sure you’re always ready, willing and able to meet-and-greet new people — and to have a positive impact when you do.
Obviously there are other important steps involved in networking, such as having a strong LinkedIn profile and offering to help a contact by sharing your expertise on a subject or connecting him/her to someone you know. But it goes without saying that an individual is more likely to assist with your job search if their initial experience of you is favorable. One way to ensure that’s the case is to follow the “You…You…Me…You,” advice, so that, after meeting you, a person walks away “1) feeling heard, valued and energized and 2) learning something positive and memorable about you.”
For the complete version of Dr. Rollag’s article “The Secret to Great First Impressions,” click here.
To watch our archived webinar on “Building an Effective LinkedIn Profile,” click here.
Keep track of your networking efforts and contacts with this useful Networking Tracker.