In this, the first installment of Clarity’s Care Corner, Claramae Weber, RN is going to share with us her best advice on making a good impression. As a medical community, we learn AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank You) for patient and community interaction, but sometimes in the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital, it’s easy to forget that we should also practice presence and kindness to our fellow coworkers.
Making a good impression is important for wellness, not because we need everyone to like us all the time, but because we need to create a positive environment for those we care for AND the caregivers themselves to allow for personal and community healing. Wellness is more than an individual experience — it’s communal — which means that the impressions we give to those around us affect the collective energy in the healing space.
Claramae speaks from the heart as she shares her advice.
9 Best Practices for Making a Good Impression
Smiling can be one of the best ways to make a good impression. It makes you feel happier and releases negative emotions. Try smiling right now and thinking of an angry thought. It’s tough right? If you enter a situation without a smile, it could put a negative spin on a potentially difficult situation.
2. Be Present
Your presence is the greatest gift you can give to another human being. Stop your mind chatter and truly experience the person or situation in front of you. You can do this by taking a few deep breaths and reconnecting your mind to your body in the present moment.
Give 100 percent of your attention to the language (spoken and unspoken) coming from person in front of you instead of waiting for your turn to speak. Let them know that they are heard and understood through your own language (spoken and unspoken), rather than waiting for your turn to speak.
4. Be On Time
Punctuality is crucial, because it communicates that you respect people’s time. Everyone is ultra-busy and their patience may be short. Show sincere interest in the other person and be respectful of their schedule and the time they’ve carved out for you.
5. Be Authentic
Be yourself and allow your inner beauty to shine through even difficult situations. Don’t try to be the person you think that person wants to meet.
6. Make Eye Contact
Always return to eye contact through an entire conversation. It shows the other person that you are engaged in the conversation you’re having with him/her. Concentrate on the person you are with and ask thoughtful questions, engaging the other person.
7. Show Confident Body Language
Over 70% of what you say is nonverbal. Sit or stand up straight, your back erect and shoulders squared. When someone beckons you, turn your head slowly and make direct eye contact. This behavior implies that you take the other person seriously and you are confident in your abilities — important traits everyone likes to see in a hospital setting.
8. Ask Questions that Show You Are Listening
Question: What’s the number one thing people like to talk about? Answer: Themselves. Make sure to ask questions that indicate that you are interested and you are listening. That person will do the talking and remember what a great conversation you had.
9. Stop Looking at Your Phone
Turn the ringer off your device before having an important conversation, and keep it in your pocket. Whoever is calling can wait until you are available. Focus on staying present, no matter what life or work distractions might be vibrating in your pocket. Being perceived as distracted or disinterested does not make a good impression!
Remember, everyone has something unique to offer. Trust affects everything — including people’s impression of you.