Skills are not always about specific capabilities like putting things together, typing so many words per minute or being able to write software code to solve the most complex Sudoku puzzles. To succeed in this world(however you define success), you must build relationships through sincere based interactions with people.
Very few people can succeed without collaboration and partnership with others. Before you can develop these relationships, you need to make a great first impression. This is a soft skill(one we do not take a college course to develop). Soft skills tend to focus on communication and interpersonal skills.
We know they are important. When is the last time you wanted to partner with someone who didn’t leave you with a positive impression. Martin Zwilling, CEO & Founder of Startup Professionals, Inc.; published a list of 7 things to avoid making a Poor Impression. I summarized to 5.
* Dress appropriately from the perspective of the person you are trying to impress
(Dress more conservatively than might be expected…if unsure, wear business attire – always)
* Find a common business link or friend to warm up the connection
(Key — Research who the person/company you will be connecting with. Leverage Google,
Facebook, LinkedIn …you can be sure the same will be done on you…what do you have
* Be prepared to concisely state your key objective
(In communication circles, this is known as your elevator pitch…you have 1 minute to
clearly state what you want and have questions prepared to continue the dialogue as
* Know a lot, but don’t flaunt it
(Remember, you are building a relationship….clearly do your homework and be prepared
to answer any question..but don’t be arrogant…they need to not only respect you
but like you!!)
* Be positive, courteous, on time, and attentive
(All those years of mother/father teaching you manners will pay off here…be polite, say
Hello and respect the other people’s time….Don’t be late for any reason!!)
Action: Make a lunch, coffee or even a 15 minute catch up appointment with someone you know. It can be with someone you meet with frequently or someone who you have not invested much time in the past to meet with. Pretend you haven’t met this person before. Perform a virtual search on this individual and put together a picture of him/her strictly based on the information available online. What do you have in common? Memorize the information and prepare some questions. Create an elevator pitch where you have uncovered a common interest and would like to discuss their knowledge on the topic in more details. Show up for the appointment 5 minutes earlier than the committed time. Work hard to make a great impression. Take note of the experience. How did it go? Were you able to further connect with the individual to establish or enhance a bond?
Quote of the Day: “Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.”