Many of us are familiar with the quote: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” That is what was running through my head throughout my first day of work at my new company. Clearly I had already made a positive impression on the team who interviewed me because they offered me the job. I also knew that God allowed me to get this job and that He had me here for a reason.
The world teaches us to make a good impression, but that usually leads us think more about ourselves and to hide our weaknesses. Why not take a new approach and organically make a positive impression by being focused outward on other people instead? Here are few tips for getting started:
1. Smile. A warm smile invites people to engage, and also is one of your first tools to disarm someone who may not be as open to the relationship as you are.
2. Remember names. As the “new” person, you are being introduced to several people who only have to remember your name. Most people are impressed if you reciprocate by remembering their name and it helps them to understand that you are interested in them as a person rather than as just another employee.
3. Ask questions. People will expect you to have lots of questions. My experience has been that people also like to answer your questions because they want to show you how much they know. It’s an easy way to breakdown walls by expressing need and naturally opens the door to further conversation where you can begin to share more personally and build a friendship.
4. Initiate coffee or lunch. Some of the best advice I was given was to initiate times with the people you will be working with early on so that you can get a sense of what they actually do and start building rapport before the challenges of working together begin. This may require investing times outside of normal work hours to accomplish but a little upfront investment can pay big dividends later on.
5. Pray. New friendships take work and it always helps to have direction and protection from God when you are forging new relationships. Pray for God to help you see who needs your friendship.