First impressions are everything. If you aren’t careful, you can start a relationship off on the wrong foot—before you even open your mouth. Follow these tips:
Change your state of mind. If you are feeling rushed, nervous, annoyed and so on, the other person will pick up on those feelings and may even mirror them. Prior to meeting people, take a few minutes to adjust your mood. Take a brisk walk, meditate or daydream about a loved one. Then imagine what a successful first encounter will be like and—above all else—smile.
Be on time. You know you shouldn’t be late. However, don’t show up incredibly early either. You’ll only make the other person feel rushed. If you arrive early, hang out somewhere else until no more than five minutes prior to the meeting.
Don’t be too domineering. When you meet people on their turf—even if you are technically the authority figure—let them lead you to the meeting location and drive the agenda. Don’t try to take over.
— Adapted from “14 Ways to Make a Great First Impression Without Saying a Word,” Minda Zetlin, Inc., www.inc.com.