Which person would you want to meet for a first time again?
You have less than 60 seconds until a person you meet will have made up her mind about you. Done. You now have been put into a certain drawer and if you are lucky this first impression was favorable enough for you getting to know this person a little better. How many of such encounters in work and social settings would you want to have another chance to do better next time around?
Problem is simply that you only have one chance making a first impression. While that chance may have passed you by, there may just be a few measures you can take in order to regain ground:
- Openly ask for another chance. You really cannot make it worse by asking for another meeting. If it does get worse it was not meant to turn into a meaningful connection anyway. Laying it all out from the get go leads to building trust. That is a good second start.
- Genuinely be yourself. Do not even try pretending to be something or somebody else. Stick to who you are everywhere else. It’s another huge building block of building trust.
- Provide value. A biggie is how to provide some tangible value for your counterpart. This could be becoming a sounding board of ideas or also perhaps you can connect this person with someone else who could really make a difference in this person’s life.
- Be nice – always. Politeness and courteousness had better be something you know how to be 24/7/365. This is another huge trust building block that you need in order to turn any connection into a sustainable friendship.
- Be fun. That should not need any further explanation. No one likes hanging out with a bitter person, but folks love people who make them laugh.
- Never ask for favors – ever. I am always fascinated by people who barely get to know you and almost immediately ask you for another connection, money, and many other types of favors – right after meeting you for the first time. This breaks the trust that you really need in order for a harmonious long term connection to come to life here.
You may not be able to turn back the time on an initial meeting having gone badly. This still does not necessarily mean that you have lost the opportunity for good. Even in the worst of conditions you almost always can improve your new relationships. You can of course think about putting the odds in your favor and making sure that the first encounter with you will go better from the first moment on. That will be another post though. Happy ponderings.