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Friday, May 9, 2014

Have you ever met a President of the United States?

Interesting article on the power of the first impression By Bill Graham US Chamber of Commerce DC

Have you ever met a President of the United States? When I work in the DC area, I ask the participants in my workshops that question. Usually there are a few people who have had the experience.

It doesn't matter if the president was Reagan, Clinton, Obama or one of the Bushes, when they tell us about the encounter, the descriptions are very similar:

“I felt like I was the most important person in the room.”

“He seemed genuinely interested in meeting me,”

Or the one that I've heard from both Republicans and Democrats:
“I was shocked, because I completely disagree with the guy, but you know, I really liked him!”

These are great first impressions. Presidents can meet hundreds of persons each day, and yet consistently they get these reactions.

So, what’s the presidential secret? These guys know how to make “personal” connections. They don’t try to be “presidential.” They understand the value of being personable. They make personal connections by genuinely caring about each person that they meet.

What are these connecting skills?

First, understand your power. Think of making a connection as giving people your positive energy through eye contact and the way you shake hands. If you emit positive energy, you can change the emotional energy in the room. If you make the people in the room feel better, then you have the emotional power. If you have the power, you are the emotional leader.

It is said that managers are left-brained, or logical, and leaders are right-brained, or emotional. Good leadership often comes down to inspiration and motivation- emotional traits.

Second, remove your physical, protective walls. How you use your face, voice, and body can be a barrier that prevents you from making a connection with the other person. Show them an “open” or caring face. When I taught acting, I used to say, look at the camera as if it is a person you like, and the audience will love you.

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