The Art of Professional Connections:
Seven Steps to
Impressive Greetings and Confident Interactions
Aspire to Greatness by Investing in YOU! How? Develop a strong first impression foundation in the following Seven Steps. “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.
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.
Impress at the onset! 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.
This chapter offers many variables to the greeting and introduction process. They are all broken down, explained and strategized for your reference.
End awkward name moment! Do you recall 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.
Great to acknowledge one’s presence. Eye contact and a smile teamed with a handshake does it best. 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!
This chapter offers guidance on handshake dilemmas. 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. NOTE: Today’s pandemic restrictions have temporarily diverted the traditional handshake to elbow touching for health care reasons.
Conversation is NECESSARY and comes in many forms! 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.
This chapter combines the conversation approaches and ideas that allow you to conduct a rewarding conversation instead of one for which you want to avert.
Business cards are not obsolete as some might suggest! Your business card leaves a very strong impression when it is skillfully designed, user friendly, and properly presented. It is the tangible 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.
Cement your relationship by staying connected! 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.
(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.