About the Chapters

The Art of Professional Connections:
Seven Steps to
Impressive Greetings and Confident Interactions

 

Seven Steps to Impressive Greetings and Confident Interactions offers strategies on how to upgrade the image you project and improve the quality of your interactions with others. It serves as the foundation for every phase of one’s career. Each chapter represents a “Step.” These steps happen spontaneously as you make your approach, greet, engage in impressive conversation skills, and make your interaction memorable.

 

 

Step 1: APPROACH WITH PRESENCE
Sub-chapters: Make an Impact with Your Appearance | Project Confidence with Your Body Language | Review 

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The objectives of this chapter (Step 1) are . . .

  • To identify the components of perception and determine how you want to be perceived.
  • To teach you how you can make a professional impact with your appearance.
  • To give you tips on how you can control your body language as well as read body language cues.

This first chapter addresses every aspect of personal presence and charisma. You will uncover your “IT” Factor as it defines what people see and feel. You accomplish this by making an impact with your appearance and projecting confidence with your body language. Nothing ruins professional attire faster than slouchy posture or contradictory body language! They must work together to send the same confident message.

Understanding the power of your visual message (e.g., non-verbal cues) sets the stage for your intended first and lasting impression message.

Step 2: INITIATING AND RESPONDING TO INTRODUCTIONS
Sub-chapters: Types of Introductions | How to Honor Rank and Titles | A Potpourri of “What to do When Moments” | Review 

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The objectives of this chapter (Step 2) are . . .

  • To identify the three primary ways to make an introduction.
  • To show you how to honor rank and titles by utilizing a formal introduction formula.
  • To help you get beyond awkward “what to do when” moments.

Delivering an impressive greeting begins with knowing when to be formal and when to be informal (or casual) with names and with titles. This is not easy with a society that often functions on a first-name basis and titles fall to the wayside. However, it is critical to make the right choices when building international and corporate relationships where the expectation is formal. Rank-based introductions require more time and thought. Getting in front of the people you need to know to achieve your goals without offending them is a learned skill. Group introductions require someone to take the initiative.

As you can surmise, there are many variables to the greeting and introduction process. They are all broken down, explained and strategized in this chapter.

Step 3: MASTERING THE NAME EXCHANGE
Sub-chapters: Deciphering and Remember Challenging Names | Unique Name Combinations and Accents | Review 

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The objectives of this chapter (Step 3) are . . .

  • To teach you how you can learn the historical significance behind some names (e.g., many international names);
  • To share techniques that help you remember a name.
  • To offer tactics that ensure the correct pronunciation of a name.
  • To help you decipher unique name arrangements and accents.

Do you know the old Shirley Ellis’ song, “The Name Game?” What a fun and catchy way to remember a name! She uses the power of rhyming. Wouldn’t it be great if it was as easy as the song implies? It is not! For most people, remembering names does not come easily. It takes practice and concentration.

This chapter also addresses hyphenated names, double names, accents, and non-Western names.

Step 4: HANDSHAKE MESSAGING
Sub-chapters: The Handshake as Your Barometer | Handshake Protocols and Variations | Review 

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The objectives of this chapter (Step 4) are . . .

  • To describe the handshake’s history and intent.
  • To identify the various types of handshakes and their meanings.
  • To explain the components and protocols of a business handshake.
  • To make you aware of non-business handshake rituals.

Today we are shaking hands, bumping knuckles, air kissing (or kissing on the cheek), hugging, high-fiving, or participating in some greeting ritual. And, as accepting as the hug greeting has become in the business arena, some of us are just not huggers with strangers, the kiss in the air (or on the cheek) feels awkward, and the germ averting knuckle bumping seems silly. The tried-and-true (web-to-web) handshake is the professional approach and is not invasive or awkward when initiated correctly. Historically and internationally, it’s the contract!

Most likely, you will have a strong opinion on the respective message of the handshake, which can range from weak in character and indifferent to overpowering. Allow this chapter to offer you guidance.

Step 5: CULTIVATING CONVERSATION SKILLS
Sub-chapters: Developing a Conversation Foundation | Building Blocks for a Dynamic Discussion | Overcoming Topic Dilemmas and Awkward Moments | The Listening Side of Conversation | Review 

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The objectives of this chapter (Step 5) are . . .

  • To identify small talk purpose and variations.
  • To show you how to develop a conversation DNA and use it to identify commonalities.
  • To lay out the blueprint for a dynamic discussion.
  • To help you make your gratifying conversations more gratifying by eliminating distractions, avoiding inappropriate topics, and overcoming sensitive situations.
  • To illustrate the benefits of listening more and talking less.

We are all unique in our background, our interests, and our personality. It’s your DNA! However, crossing age, education, experience, and cultural barriers can create awkward conversation moments.  Furthermore, electronic devices have become a crutch to avert conversation. Conversation (verbal and written) must happen and is key to successful interactions.

Combining the conversation approaches and ideas outlined in this chapter allows you to conduct a rewarding conversation instead of one for which you want to avert.

Step 6: BUSINESS CARD DEVELOPMENT AND EXCHANGE
Sub-chapters: Presentation is Everything | Maximize Your Card’s Usage | Review 

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The objectives of this chapter (Step 6) are . . .

  • To assist in developing the components of your business card.
  • To demonstrate the protocols of a business card exchange.
  • To offer tips on business card usage.

Your business card leaves a very strong impression when it is skillfully designed, user friendly, and properly presented. It is the part of you that you leave behind to serve as a reminder of your interaction and to serve as a follow-up tool. It is a powerful document and offers a wealth of information and uses. Make your card “recipient and user friendly.”

This chapter addresses the design of your business card and additional ways in which you can make your card work for you without abusing its usage.

Step 7: MEMORABLE DEPARTURES AND EFFECTIVE FOLLOW-UPS
Sub-chapters: Cement the Relationship by Staying Connected | Review 

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The objectives of this chapter (Step 7) are . . .

  • To review all seven steps and help you put them into action.
  • To show you how to overcome follow-up obstacles.
  • To create a follow-up action guide.

Your opening and closing steps go with you everywhere, from the initial interview to individual meetings and conference gatherings. They should be a natural part of your everyday business persona. Furthermore, if your greeting had a rough beginning, your savvy departure will override any faux pas or awkwardness. Make your departure memorable.

This chapter will show you how to overcome follow-up obstacles and create a follow-up action guide.


Create a Climate of Trust
 

(1) Be approachable (2) Dress your level of importance (3) Posture your confidence (4) Validate with your eyes (5) Connect with your smile (6) Apply the correct protocol to every situation (7) Inspire with your attitude.

 

 

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