Body Language 101: If you want to make a good impression, look your conversation partner in the eye.
Simple advice for in-person interactions, but given that more meetings, conferences, training, higher education and even job interviews are being held online, does this still apply - and is it even possible?
Social media strategist Ted Rubin says "looking someone in the eye digitally" is not only possible in today's business world, but it’s also not that difficult.
Rubin shares several suggestions with Switch & Shift, the first of which is: Always address them by name (even if you have to dig a little).
It's the same reason why you're encouraged to address a cover letter to the hiring manager as opposed to "To Whom It May Concern" or repeat a person's name when you meet them. People like it when you know their name and use it. Pretty simple.
"Sometimes it can be hard to figure out a person’s first name by their Twitter, Facebook or Instagram handle. However, the human need to be addressed by their given name is still important," Rubin says. "When you’re thanking someone for a re-tweet or a share, make sure you mention them by name."
He also advocates making interactions personal and - most importantly - authentic. Via social media you can usually find out a little (if not a lot) about a person. Use it.
"When someone takes the time to look at your bio, picks up on something there and mentions it to you or asks you about it, you can’t help but respond favorably. Make a habit of looking at other people’s bios when you’re opening up conversation," he says. "Look for interpersonal connection points where your lives might intersect. 'Oh, I see you live in Park City, Utah—I love to take my kids skiing…' Make sure it’s an authentic connection. If you’re not a skier, don’t say you are."
Whether online or in-person, the basic concept of a successful interaction are the same - making a connection, Rubin says. One way to make a connection and keep your subject interested in you and what you have to say is to be interested in them and listen, truly listen.
Click below for more ways to easily bring in-person best practices into an online interaction.