It’s important to make a good first impression. So, here are a few secrets from highly-likeable people. This comes from business columnist Jeff Haden:
First: Lose the power pose. Sure, you look self-confident when you stand tall, lower your voice, and shake hands with a firm grip. But if you overdo it, it can look like you’re trying to prove you’re more important than everyone else. Remember: We like people who like us. So, show you’re happy to meet them by taking a step forward, instead of making them come to you. Also, tilt your head toward them slightly, since bowing is a subconscious sign of respect.
Another way to make someone like you: Lightly touch their shoulder. Studies show that touch disarms people. We don’t expect it, so it breaks down our natural defenses. And researchers found that touch raises the levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin.
Also: Get people to talk about themselves. When people spend 10 minutes talking about themselves, they usually walk away thinking “Wow, that was a great conversation!” and may never realize they learned nothing about you. Keeping the focus on the other person makes them feel respected, as a result, they’ll think more highly of you. Because, of course, we like people who respect us.
And, make a good final impression. Use touch again: You can shake hands, or gently touch their forearm or shoulder. And say something genuine, like: “I really enjoyed talking with you.” Because nothing says “remember me” and “like me” like saying I really like you.