Saturday, September 6, 2008

    The amazing greeting. It takes more than a smile.

    During my job in Germany, there was a man that I liked from the first moment. I knew him because every day he would come to my department, greet me, and go further. I found him to be sincere and charismatic, and my impression was that he actually really liked me. After some time I started questioning why I felt this way towards him, because I realized we would never say more than a sentence to each other. Why did I like him over other people that even try to start a small conversation with me every time? I started analyzing his behavior and his interactions. Then I figured out the thing that enchanted me (and other people) each time: he was just great at greeting people!

    Here is what a normal worker does when he comes into a department that is not his:

    1-Put a fixed smile on his face. Normally tight lipped.
    2-Look around, thinking about his stuff while he walks to each desk, gives a hand to the colleague and shortly stares into his eyes.
    3-Say "HI" or "Good Morning" while his eyes are already distracted or seeking for the next colleague to greet.

    Here is what the great greeter does:

    1-He comes in, but he doesn't smile. He has no special expression on his face.
    2- With conviction he walks to each desk, looking into the colleague's eyes, but still no facial expression. Then he will stretch his hand, and start a firm and intense handshake.
    3- He will say "Good morning", and during this period his facial expression completely changes to overwhelm you with the warmest smile while he looks into your eyes and continues shaking your hand.
    4 - He holds the stare and the smile for about 2 seconds before his smile disappears and he goes to the next colleague.

    There is such a HUGE difference in the impression that both approaches cause. When he greets, he will present you with four intense and perfectly delivered stimulus: Direct look in the eyes, a spoken greet, a good handshake and warm smile. It makes you feel just what a young innocent girl must experience when a eloquent, well mannered guy tries to seduce her with for the first time.

    I believe an important part of his approach is how he smiles. His smile is not fixed on his face, but it comes out for each person individually. This makes it feel personal, like it is just for you. And it comes out at the right moment, as a cherry, crowning the greeting.

    When you greet the people around you, try to imitate my ex-colleague. Use your smile as a present! Don't show show it before time. Let people wait for it so they know it is sincere and only for them. Distinguish yourself from the rest, a greeting takes about 5 seconds; during that period dedicate yourself completely to the other person. You will enjoy the much more positive response you will get from other people and the great first impressions you will make!

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