Advertising
Advertising

How To Introduce Yourself In A Way That Lets Others Know You Matter

How To Introduce Yourself In A Way That Lets Others Know You Matter

We’ve all heard the phrase “first impressions are everything.” To an extent, this is absolutely true. The way you present yourself when meeting someone for the first time will be the first time they decide whether or not they want to keep you in their life. Your body language, speech, and awareness of others all combine to create the persona you project to the world. Slouching, mumbling or using slang, and not paying attention to social norms is a surefire way to fall off a potential employer’s radar. If you want to make an interviewer feel like they should keep you around, you should pay attention to the following:

1. Your body language

Without saying a single word, your interviewer can tell a lot about you by your body language. If you strut into the office and slouch down in your seat, you give off the impression that you aren’t taking the interview, or the job, very seriously. Walking in with a smile on your face and an outstretched palm will show that you’re happy to be there, and ready to make a true connection with the person you’re meeting. While that piece of advice probably goes without saying, you also should wait to be asked to sit. It may seem old fashioned, but it shows that you’re keeping others in mind before your own self.

Advertising

2. Speak confidently

When you introduce yourself, and throughout the interview, speak with importance in each word. Remember: You’re not meeting your friends out for a drink; you’re trying to impress someone who’ve never met before. Speak slowly and clearly, and use complete sentences. Don’t be afraid to think before you speak. This will not only give your interviewer a chance to finish his thought completely, but it will also allow you to avoid awkward “um” and “uh” moments. Furthermore, when you think before jumping into an answer and speak slowly and rhythmically, your reduce the risk of your interviewer not catching everything you had to say. When you speak with confidence, your interviewer will know you believe in yourself and the abilities you’ll bring to the company.

3. Be socially and culturally aware

When meeting someone for the first time, be aware of the local culture, as well as the culture of the industry. Many times, innocuous comments can often be misconstrued and will cause others to misjudge you. Be careful of using humor upon first meeting an individual; you have no idea where they’ve been in life or what they’ve experienced. A statement that may seem innocent to you may actually be offensive to someone else. It also could reveal biases that you didn’t even realize you held.

Advertising

As far as the business industry is concerned, you should always know the demographics of a company before you interview with them. Is it a startup business put together by a few twenty-somethings, or is it a long-running Fortune 500 company? Although in both situation you’ll want to carry yourself professionally, there will be different expectations in both situations. Prepare yourself before the interview, and be flexible no matter what situation you’re placed in.

4. Tell what you’ve done, not what you’ve been

When introducing yourself to a potential employer, don’t waste their time (or yours) discussing what titles you’ve held or degrees you’ve earned. Instead, focus on what you did during those times. If you were a member of a fraternity, talk about the charitable events you were a part of, and what responsibilities you had during those times. Same goes for previous employment positions. Saying you were a store manager really doesn’t make you stick out from a bunch of other potential employees. Instead, discuss how many people worked under you, what your job entailed, and what goals you met throughout your time in the position. You can definitely discuss awards you’ve earned, but put them into the context of what you did to earn them. Talking about awards won will make you seem like a blowhard; discussing the effort put into earning them allows people to see you as the dedicated worker you are.

Advertising

5. Be memorable

Like I said, you want to make yourself stick out from the rest of the interviewee pool. Again, don’t waste time talking about your college degrees. Think about it: If degree is a requirement for the position, then having a degree is not a unique qualification. Instead, talk about what you bring to the table: What skills do you have that you believe sets you apart from everyone else? What have you learned throughout your life that will allow you to succeed in this position? Most importantly: What can do you for the company? Why should the company hire you? The first time you meet a potential employer is your first chance to sell yourself. Make sure they know everything they can about you, and that you stick out in their mind at the end of the day (in a good way, of course!).

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm4.staticflickr.com

Advertising

More by this author

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One 8 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Ever Stop Loving You 8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart 14 Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Trending in Communication

1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

Advertising

The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

Advertising

If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

Advertising

In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

Advertising

It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next