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					The importance of first impressions:
Although it takes only 30 to 45 seconds to formulate a first impression, it often requires
four or five additional encounters to change someone's first impression. Many times,
once you've made a first impression, you will not have a second opportunity to change
that impression. Therefore, it's important to make your best impression on the first try.

Elements influencing first impressions:
Often impressions are based on abstract qualities such as:

          Appearance

           Your appearance is comprised of several factors: the clothes you wear, your
           personal hygiene, your posture, and even your handshake all leave
           impressions on people you meet. When meeting people for the first time, it is
           best to do some research and find out about their environment. If you are
           entering a different country or culture, determine whether your attire is
           appropriate. Learn how that culture views eye contact and discover what hand
           gestures are considered inappropriate to avoid them.

           Do your best to duplicate the styles and characteristics of the people in your
           meeting environment so messages will not be cluttered by misperception.

          Knowledge

           Although your intelligence will not be scored in a business meeting, it will be
           tested and judged based on your competence. Just as you would research
           different cultures in order to adapt to them beforehand, so too should you
           research the topic of your meeting before hand.

           If you do not know the answer to a question, do not lie. Rather, admit that you
           do not know the answer and promise to find out. Then, make sure to follow
           through on that promise. Let the person know when you'll be able to provide
           her with an answer, and deliver it at that time.

          Social composure

           Social composure comprises grace, charm and etiquette. Being graceful in a
           meeting or social activity involves being comfortable in your surroundings.
           Knowing that you are appropriately attired and are familiar with the customs
           and culture of your group will help put you at ease. Simply being friendly is
           the key to exhibiting charm. You can build rapport with your associates by
           listening to and sharing with them. Be sure your communication involves a
    two-way exchange of information. Displaying the proper etiquette for the
    environment will also lead you toward achieving a high level of social
    composure. Being polite to your associates will communicate a desire to build
    rapport.

    Communicating to build rapport:
    Rapport is a relationship of mutual trust. Without trust, communication is
    superficial at best and nonexistent at worst. You also need to establish your
    credibility to communicate effectively, which means you need to ensure that
    listeners respect and believe you.

    There are three guidelines you should follow to build rapport:

   Adapt to the other person's communication style

    By paying attention to conversation and body language, you should be able to
    determine the other person's primary communication style. Recognizing a
    person's communication style allows you to adapt your own communication
    style to his so that the two of you are compatible. The person to whom you
    have adapted will appreciate your insight and understanding.

   Find common ground with the other person

    Common ground is often considered small talk in interactions with other
    people. This part of communication is meant to break down barriers and find a
    topic to which all people involved can relate.

   Focus on mutually beneficial goals

    To establish rapport, you must identify mutually beneficial goals early in the
    conversation. For example, in a meeting to resolve a conflict regarding office
    space, it benefits all parties involved to recognize that an efficient
    arrangement of workstations is the mutual goal. By focusing on that point,
    differing opinions might be expressed, but the rapport will continue because
    the parties are working toward a common goal.
Listening
  — What is the difference between hearing and listening?

  — There are three levels of listening:

                 1. Hearing but not listening.

                 2. On & off.

                 3. Physically & emotionally involved.

  — Active listening

     Is the process of taking action to help someone say exactly what he or she really
      means.
     It employs paraphrasing messages & asking for confirmation of meaning.
     It minimizes the importance of the self & allows one to understand more fully
      another person’s perspective.
     A technique of asking open-ended questions to clarify & expand the meaning of
      another person’s message.




  — A] Open Ended Questions

  — Cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no", or with a specific piece of
    information & gives the person answering the question scope to give the
    information that seems to them to be appropriate. Open-ended questions are
    sometimes phrased as a statement which requires a response.

  — How was the instructor?

       I think ……., but ………...; moreover ……….; however,………..!@%*!!?



      B] Closed Ended Questions
   A closed-ended question is a form of question which can normally be answered
   using a simple "yes" or "no", a specific simple piece of information, or a selection
   from multiple choices.

   Examples include:

— How old are you?

— 32 years old.

   I’ll be turning 12 by next August.



   Why Do We Ask Questions?

             Get information
             Gain & maintain control
             Handle complaints
             Establishing trust
             Sarcasm
             Create emotional involvement
             Acknowledge or confirm a statement
             Gain Time

				
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