In business (and in life) we come across many uncomfortable situations – the event where we don’t know anyone, the dinner parties that continue to drag on, or the conversations that can’t get off the ground – we’ve all been there. Not everything is a walk in the park. But sometimes we need to experience those awkward moments to get better, both professionally and personally. And as an outsourced CFO company, we know the difficulties that can arise during these instances. But don’t fear: we’ve come up with a few tips to gain more control over these situations, if ever you’re feeling stuck.
If you’ve seen any movie, you know that the characters with the most confidence are the ones that the audience (and the camera) are the most drawn to. And this mirrors real life. Confidence is the key to rising out of discomfort.
But what if you don’t “have” it? Well, it’s time to fake it ‘til you make it! And it all starts with body language…
Body language is one of the most important factors in first impressions. When your body is hunched or closed off, then you’re signaling that you’re not interested in opening up. But is that what you want your intention to be? Of course not! So try standing up straighter, giving a warm smile, and making eye contact – these small gestures will help you engage with potential contacts before you even speak with them.
Next, have a purpose or intention when you begin speaking to a new person. Why are you here? Is there someone you know that knows this person? Is there anything that was mentioned previously that you can use as a conversation starter? Find the common thread that connects you to this other person and run with it — you never know where it may lead…
Finally, if you’re faking it so well that you’ve actually made it, keep the conversation going! Give them your contact information or business card so you can connect with them in the future.
So what are you waiting for? Give it a try! Stay open to the possibility of meeting new people and make-less-than-ideal situations better.