3 non-verbals to pass the 3 second test
You shake hands with your prospect - but you don't feel friendly vibes... why? It could be that they were unaware of these 3 simple non-verbals - and their impact. What are they - and do you use them?
Just a reminder of the goal - to be liked in 3 seconds. Does that sound weird?
You could easily say - 'how can someone like me without knowing me - and they can't know me in 3 seconds!
When I say - 'like' - I mean 'feel good about' and 'instinctively trust' - feel 'drawn to'...
Caveat: You could follow these 3 non-verbal tactics and then go downhill rapidly and end up NOT being liked - but I am assuming you are not going to do that!
1. Be present
Dump the distractions!
There is only one place you should be in these first 3 seconds of interaction with a group of networking attendees, a face to face with a prospect or a meeting with a potential investor....
Where is that place?
With them - there - where they are - in the moment with no distractions
So what are potential distractions and resulting non-verbal negatives to be aware of?
- A previous/upcoming meeting
- A family disagreement
- A backache/headache
- A pre-conception
- Uncomfortable clothing
- Mobile phone
- Non focused listening
- Insincere listening
- Pained expression
- Tense body language
- Lack of eye contact
Amy Cuddy reminds us, in her book 'Presence', that anxiety, stress, negative mood and distracting thoughts are all components of 'powerlessness' - and that might well show in seconds. There is a lot going on in those first moments - non-verbals are often missed by your conscious self - so self-awareness is crucial.
You only get one chance to make a first impression - so concentrate and leave the other baggage behind.
2. Preload the smile
A smile works best when it is genuine and spontaneous, however we all know that is not always possible - LOL 🙂
If you don't feel it - fake it? That is a dangerous tactic. A fake smile is worse than no smile when it comes to being trusted and liked. However - there is a way to create a smile when the spontaneity is missing.
Follow this sequence and magic happens:
You basically trick your brain into believing the smile - and once you are on that track you really begin to feel like smiling - it is a marvel of our wiring.
How does a smile make me instantly likeable?
There is so much research on the science and psychology of smiles - too much for this short post! Suffice to say - smiling has a proven effect on both the 'smiler' and the 'smilee'
Smiles are contagious - not only are you in a more positive mood when you smile - you also make the people around you feel better - therefore they like you!.
Some people have smiley type faces
Some people have more naturally smiley shaped faces than others – just a fluke of birth! It is not always an advantage however – I refer to Fiona Bruce reading out a sad news items.
If, like me, you tend to look severe or sad when you are not deliberately making a facial expression - your resting face in other words - then you need to consciously check in with yourself before entering any interaction space - BEFORE entering!
- Communication is more than words – gestures count a lot – they are reinforcers
- A smile can work for you or against you at that first impressions moment – get it right
- A genuine smile projects warmth and is contagious – good start in the rapport process.
3. Check your body language
You are well aware of non-verbal body language - it is a huge subject ...so I will focus in on 3 specific body language tips that relate directly to this post - body language that could have a huge influence on your 3 second likeability.
All of the above give the impression that you don't want to be there - back to #1 - you are not present. You might not intentionally be putting up a barrier - but remember they don't know you - they pick up a vibe and it takes a long time to reverse that negative vibe - far longer than it took to inadvertently create it.
Fidgety includes a host of actions - rubbing your eyes, fiddling with hair, keys in pocket... not good for instant trust!
Crossed arms - there are many varieties - but generally seen as a barrier - there is also no way you are going to feel relaxed with your arms tensed.
Wandering eyes - big trust breaker. The message is: I don't want you to look directly into my eyes - I have something to hide. I am not interested enough in you to bother looking directly at you - that is no good for rapport building!
None of us can see ourselves as others see us - fact
That is where a coach is invaluable - objectivity, perspective and feedback - all within a confidential, supporting and safe environment.
There is a whole word of mastery and optimising out there for you - take the first step and book a free mini coaching call - that way you get a sense of how working with me could get you closer to your goals - could grow your client list and boost your confidence. Drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org - we can look at our diaries and book a 30 minute coaching call - if you are local we can do this face to face (and add a little more time on I suspect).