I will be speaking at the Central Pennsylvania Association for Female Executives (CPAFE) meeting, which will be held on November 3 at 7:30 am at the Giant Community Center in Camp Hill. I have chosen the topic of, “How to connect with a person in the first two minutes.”
It’s true what they say, first impressions are lasting impressions. An immediate connection with another person is something that’s not guaranteed, but you can learn a few tricks by attending this meeting. I wanted to give you some insight on the topic with a brief Q & A. For more information or to attend the meeting, please check out: www.cpafe.org.
Q: You have years of experience helping others become “unstuck” in their business…what made you decide on this topic for your speech?
I am pleased to present this topic because every success we experience in business—and in all of life—results from our ability to connect with others. We can’t accomplish anything if we don’t connect with other people on some level. Talking isn’t the same as connecting. In fact, you can connect with someone without uttering one word. I look forward to the opportunity to address the subject of connection from a bit of a different angle.
Q: We all have bad days: a flat tire, a sick child, or a meeting that causes us to be late for the meeting we are about to have… How do we allow this stress from entering into our professional life, especially when meeting someone for the first time?
The secret lies in grounding ourselves each and every day. This grounding process may involve deep breathing, meditating, practicing yoga, exercising, reading spiritual literature, praying. It looks different for each one of us. If centering ourselves is a daily ritual, then the temporary disturbances of life can’t derail us at our core.
Q: The past few weeks have been focused on gender roles and communication in addition to the fact that you are speaking to a women’s group, do you find that gender plays a role in the outcome of a good or bad first impression?
I don’t see evidence that gender plays any role in whether or not someone makes a good or bad first impression. The outcome of that impression depends more upon being fully present with the other person and being genuinely interested in him or her.
Q: I made a bad first impression, or at least I think I did, now what?
In many cases, the damage may already be done. And now it’s difficult or impossible to alter the other person’s impression of you. Unquestionably, the first impression counts most. However, you can look for opportunities to create a new impression if the potential relationship means a lot to you. Invite the individual to coffee or lunch, send her a valued resource, or write a handwritten note explaining why you think you made mistakes during your initial meeting. Ask directly for a second chance, but make sure you demonstrate humility.