We all know how critical it is to make a good first impression, and how difficult it is to overcome a bad start. So what’s a surefire way to get off on the right foot? According to bestselling author and CNBC contributor Joanne Lipman, who cites research from Harvard Business School and Wharton, a great way to make a good impression is to ask for advice.
This may seem counterintuitive. If we want to impress a new acquaintance we often talk about ourselves and our accomplishments. We rarely ask for advice — or, indeed, ask anything at all. Most people fear that asking for advice will make them look less than competent, but studies show it actually makes them look intelligent. At the same time, most of us think that those who ask for our advice are smarter than those who don't.
This all makes sense from his standpoint of emotional intelligence (EQ). We usually feel flattered when someone solicits our knowledge and opinions. And flattery is a useful too for getting people to like us. As Lipman puts it "We tend to think: They were smart to ask for my advice because I am smart." Moreover, if someone asks you for advice or information, it's likely they've done the same with others. And if they routinely ask other people for advice and information, then they are probably well informed.
Have you ever asked for advice during a first encounter, and what were the results? If not, are you willing to give it a try? To join the conversation, click "comments" on above.
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