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Sunday, July 27, 2008

How to Make a Great First Impression

In my previous post entitled: First Impressions, I illustrated the importance of making a good first impression.

In this article, we will look at some tips on how we can achieve this.

Appearance Matters

Do take care of your appearance. This counts for a lot to the person whom you are meeting for the very first time.

The factors which we frequently neglect in our appearance include the condition of our shoes and socks as well as the condition of our nails.

Speak Eloquently and Articulate Clearly

Do speak in a clear and confident voice.

Remember to speak at a moderate pace and try to minimize any slang if speaking to somebody from another country. You want the other person to be able to understand you.

Remember to use a tone of voice appropriate to the situation.

Talk in Terms of the Other Person's Interests

Try to talk about things that the other person might be interested about. For example, if you are at a party, ask who invited him or her and how did they know each other.

Check out my post on Conversation Starters for tips on how to better initiate a conversation.

Smile and be Confident

Smile and watch the world smile back at you. Smiling is an excellent way to create a great first impression. But remember not to overdo it.

Remember that non-verbal cues communicate as much information to the other person as compared to what we say. So do remember to be confident and adopt positive and open body body language.

Much of what I've talked about here is common sense. However, once a first impression is created, it will be virtually impossible to change it.

Considering the impact it will have on your future relationship with the other person, it is worth giving your best effort to make the best of any situation.

Do remember to bookmark this post or subscribe to my blog if you have enjoyed it. :)

First Impressions

Within the first few seconds of any new encounter, you will be evaluated by the other person.

This initial impression form the basis of all future thoughts from the other individual and hence is extremely important in our interpersonal relationships.

As Will Rogers once commented

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

Hence, whether be it in your social or professional life, it is important to learn how to create a positive first impression.

Follow the Rule of Ten when it comes to first impressions

- It takes only 10 seconds for people to form an opinion of you. This opinion remains in their minds and there will rarely be a second chance to change it.

- The first 10 words that comes out from your mouth indicates the respect that you have for the other party.

Factors that influence this include your tone of voice, your manner as well as the kind of words which you use which reflect on you as an individual and how you treat the other person.

- We all know that appearance plays an important role in creating a positive first impression.

The top 10 factors that affect our appearance include: A suitable hairstyle, clean hair, vibrant skin, fresh make-up for the ladies, clear eyes, a sincere smile, clean teeth, confident posture, clean attire as well as appropriate accessories.

This article aims to bring across the idea that making a first impression is indeed very important in establishing relationships. The "Rule of Ten" has also provided several factors using which influences a good first impression.

In the next article entitled "How to Make a Great First Impression", i will look at more specific applications of things you can do to make that all-important great first impression that counts!

How to Make a Great First Impression

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Understanding the Communication Process


What is the communication process?

The communication process is an important process by which humans communicate with each other.

If you want to become a more effective communicator, you will have to understand the communication process fully and pay attention to the details.

There are THREE basic elements which are central to the communication process.

They are the audience, the message as well as the channel.

Let us see how these elements factor into the communication process.

A diagram of the communication process

In the above diagram, lets say that RED MAN wants to send a message to BLUE MAN.

He will have to encode a message based on what language BLUE MAN may understand, as well as other societal factors such as their relationship with each other and the context of the conversation.

These 3 factors of language, relationship with each other as well as the context of the conversation will influence the tone of their conversation.

After this has been considered, the channel for transmitting the message needs to be selected. Typical channels of communication include writing, face-to-face speaking, having a telephone conversation, email, fax, SMS or even online messaging among others.

Patricia Rockwell, a communications teacher with over 40 years of experience, adds that nonverbal messages such as that facial expressions, gestures, touch, vocal cues, or physical appearances could also act as additional channels of communication.

After BLUE MAN receives this message, a decoding process is needed to allow the audience (BLUE MAN in this case) to make sense of the message being sent.

In this process of communication, many factors act as noise which distorts the message from its original meaning, These factors could include environmental or cultural factors such as a noisy environment or a different speaking accent respectively.

Ultimately, successful communication depends on meeting the needs of the audience to a large extent. Do remember to practice good habits of effective communication such as active listening as explained in this blog.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Earn £8 by Running a Single Ad for a Month

I made £8 by running a single Matched.co.uk ad on my blog for a month. Here is the proof of payment!!!

Here is my paypal income notification.

How can you do it? Well, when you sign up to Matched.co.uk, you earn £5 just for signing up.

However, you will only get this £5 after running an ad on your blog for a month. Since running an ad for a month earns you a flat rate of £3, you earn £(5+3) = £8 altogether which is what i did.

Its a real deal, so please do yourself and myself a favor by signing up using my affiliate link here.

To further sweeten the deal, i will give 1000 credits to you if you sign up using my link and successfully display an ad for one month.

The credits will be sent to your account immediately when i receive the affiliate bonus for referring you as my way of thanking you. (pm me at warp9wb[at]gmail.com when you have received your first payment of £8)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Negotiation Tactics - Part 2

In previous posts, I gave an introduction to negotiation, followed by a look at the three stages of negotiation.

This post, is a follow-up to Negotiation Tactics - Part 1, where we will be looking at several negotiating tactics that you can use in your daily dealings with people.

Negotiation Tactic 3 - Good Guy/ Bad Guy

This technique involves working in pairs with one individual being friendly while the other individual acts in a threatening manner.

The objective of this technique is to give your opponent the illusion that he got a concession from the "good guy".

This technique is often portrayed on television where a "bad cop" acts all unreasonable and aggressive while a "good cop" apologies for the "bad cop" and pleads for compliance.

In real life, parents may often use this technique on their children with the father being the fierce and aggressive disciplinarian while the mother plays the role of the understand parent to gain the compliance of the child with a soothing and gentle request.

Negotiation Tactic 4 - The Red Herring

This technique involves laying a false trail for the other person to follow. You are supposed to create an issue or act offended during the negotiation.

The objective of this endeavor is to distract the other party from the real issue. You may also subsequently use this problem as a trade-off for the real issue in question.

For example, when in deep discussions over contractual issues, raising minor issues with outlining points creates points of contention which could be used as a compromise over the important point.

Another example will be when negotiating over the price of an item. You could raise minor issues like "the design is old", "the product has minor faults" or even "I have a headache or stomachache" to get the shopkeeper to reduce the price.

The way to counter this technique is to be steadfast in your resolve and focus on the main issue at hand. Only then will you not be distracted by the minor issues and fall prey to "The Red Herring".

Do you routinely use these negotiation techniques in your real life?

If you are interested in this post, do consider checking out the related posts in the negotiation mini series.
- An Introduction to Negotiation
- The Three Stages of Negotiation
- Negotiation Tactics - Part 1

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Finding Meaning in Your Life


We drift through it like clouds on a clear blue day, going where the wind takes us. We search for meaning, but the answer seems just out of reach. We try our best to make things work.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some guiding principles to live by?

My girlfriend Xue Ling, a sweet and caring person with a heart of gold, recently shared with me a message that i would like to share with everyone.

Here are some guiding principles from the word "LIFE" that will help you to find more meaning in your own existence.

Lead a LIFE -- Learn, Invest, Family, Empathize...

L - Learn at every moment

Life is a growing process. As humans, we need to learn, evolve and improve continuously and actively improve ourselves.

Life is a learning process. Learn and grow whenever you have the chance.

I - Invest in money and time

Time is a finite resource for each and every individual. Once it is gone, even the riches of the entire world will not be able to bring it back.

Remember to use your precious time wisely and not waste it on meaningless pursuits that ultimately amount to nothing.

F - Friends and Family

In life, few things are important as our friends and family, so isn't it logical to prioritize them in our lives. Unfortunately, in life, we are often bogged down by mundane matters and neglect what is important in our lives.

Remember to devote some time from each day to nurture these relationships in our lives.

E - Empathize, seek to understand

Do have empathy for those around you, be it your family or your friends and loved ones. This is here where better interpersonal communication skills comes in. Actively try to seek and understand the other person's viewpoint.

Only then will you develop better relationships and build those important ties with the people around you.

I hope with that by Learning and Investing on Friends and Family, and by Empathizing with them, this will help to provide more meaning to your life.

Do remember to bookmark this article if you found it meaningful. Thanks...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Negotiation Tactics - Part 1

In previous posts, I gave an introduction to negotiation, followed by a look at the three stages of negotiation.

In this post, we will look at several negotiating tactics that you can use in your daily dealings with people.

Negotiation Tactic 1 - The Flinch

In this technique, you will react visibly when a proposal is made to you.

Your goal is to make the other party feel that his offer is unreasonably high or low.

Think of negotiating with shopkeepers at roadside markets. You make them an offer for a piece of clothing, lets say $10 for instance, and immediately, a look of shock appears across their face and they start to return the item to its original position.

Sound familiar? Don't be surprised. Shipowners who negotiate the selling price of their items are the masters of negotiation and they are able to apply the technique of "the flinch" as described above on command.

Once this technique is applied, your opponent will immediately realized that the amount is the absolute limit and will not attempt to negotiate past that barrier. This allows a definitive boundary to be established on your own position.

Negotiation Tactic 2 - The Hot Potato

This technique involves passing the problem over to your opponent.

The goal is to confuse your opponent and let him solve your own problem. This will also allow you to gain some valuable information about your opponent at the very same time.

For example, you are a laptop salesman and you are trying to push a certain model to a customer which costs $2000. The customer, eager to try to negotiate a better deal, says that they like the model, but have only a budget of $1500. Obviously, they hope that we will lower the price to meet their needs.

To use the technique of "The Hot Potato", you could perhaps tell the customer something like "I have this new model that is a real bargin, but it costs more than $2000. Is there any point in showing it to you?"

If the customer would like to view, this would imply that he or she is not as constrained by the budget as previously mentioned. This gives you additional information about the customer allowing you to negotiate more effectively.

Look out for my next post in this series entitled: "Negotiation Tactics - Part 2" for more effective negotiation tactics that you can use in everyday life. Do bookmark this post if you enjoyed it. Thanks.

If you are interested in this post, do consider checking out the related posts in the negotiation mini series.
- An Introduction to Negotiation
- The Three Stages of Negotiation
- Negotiation Tactics - Part 2

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Jim Rohn: How to Avoid Being Broke and Stupid

While you're surfing and dropping, why not listen to or check out this video by a great entrepreneur, philosopher, and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn.

If you liked that video, you might wanna check out these clips.

Jim Rohn - How to have Your Best Year Ever

Part 2

Part 3

If you're interested in materials by Jim Rohn, check out this link.