Photo: Voka Kamer on Flickr
All it takes is an awkward start to potentially create a negative atmosphere during an interview or business meeting. And with so many different personality types, you can never really be sure how your own behaviour is going to affect the other party’s response or their feelings toward you.
Adam Riccoboni and Daniel Callaghan write in their book “The Art of Selling Yourself: The Simple Step-By-Step Process for Success in Business and Life” that a strategic way to maximise rapport during a professional meeting is to pay close attention to the other party’s body language and imitate it.
For example, if they’re making a lot of eye contact, you should follow suit to win their trust. If they don’t seem to prefer the long, intense eye contact, you shouldn’t try to make them uncomfortable with your stare.
Riccoboni and Callaghan say:
“Look at the other person’s body language — see for example how they are sitting, and if they move their arms and hands a lot — and notice the type of spoken language they are using. Then try to mirror these. Through this act you will begin to create similarities in the listener’s mind. It is important not to overdo this, though. Make sure you do it subtly, otherwise you run the risk of being seen as sarcastic or false.”
If there’s more than one person at the meeting, imitate the person you’re trying to impress.
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