Meeting someone along can be a hundred times more stressful than larger meetings that involve multiple people. This is especially for the cases of professional meetings, like job interviews, and various business meetings. If you are one of those individuals, and even if you are not, this article will act as your guide by providing you with the best tips for having an effective and successful 1 on 1 meeting.
These tips will help you a lot if you are going on a 1 on 1 meeting for the first time. However, as you go to more of these meetings in your professional life, only then will you truly understand the importance of these tips. You may also come up with more tips with your experience. Meanwhile, brace yourself with a few:
Do not be late for a meeting, ever. It leaves a really bad impression, and the person that was looking forward to this meeting may lose interest even before the meeting starts. It will affect your chances if it is a job interview, and may raise reservations if it is a business interview.
However, the damage may not be as big in informal meetings. Nevertheless, it is always good to be on time. Assure that you prepare everything for the meeting or interview a night before and reach at least 30 minutes before time. It will not only leave a good impression but also the chances of getting deal or job may increase.
When someone is talking to you, make sure to give them all your focus. Look them in the eye, and respond to their talks with facial and verbal gestures. Do not stare at the mobile. It will distract you and become a cause of inconvenience for the person you are meeting.
It would be better if you turn off your mobile for good. You have to assure that you pay complete attention to the other person. Make sure that you interact with them during the meeting to show that you are listening to everything. As well as you can ask question to show your level on interest in the topic which is being discussed.
When you are conversing with someone, you should face them properly. Either of your head or body, or both, should not face the other way, and you should be looking at the person. Facing away from the person you are meeting gives off the impression that you are not interested, and may reduce the potential and productivity of the conversation significantly. The fellow converser may decide to stop sharing more with you.
A common mistake people make in a meeting is that they turn their back towards audience. Do not make this mistake even for a second because it shows lack of confidence. Your body language will prove that you have complete command over the information you are sharing and that is only possible when you deliver the meeting with right position and confidence.
It is very important to answer all the questions someone asks you. Ignoring their queries, or simply stalling them will do you no good, and eventually lead to frustration and hassles within the meeting. However, responding to every query or question does not mean you have to answer everything.
If you do not know about something, you should be honest and tell them you do not know. This would be much better than giving a wrong answer (like, by lying) or stalling them. They may also develop trust in you.
When you have decided to start a discussion, engage in it with maximum fervour. Answer to all their questions positively, with the best of your ability, and further engage yourself by asking questions too. Asking and not being asked makes someone feel worthless in a discussion, and makes them think that they are not learning enough. To ensure productivity, engage yourself. However, if the topic of discussion is not of your interest, it is okay, to be honest. This way, you may move towards a conversation you both are interested in. During the discussion assure that you understand the information that other parties wants. In this way you can manage a more constructive and positive discussion instead of going off-topic. Do not hesitate when you have to share your points regarding the project you are working on.
Going off track makes you go against the theme of your discussion, and may lead to a lack of productivity. Stick to your topic as much as possible, and discuss other things only when they have, or seem to have a link to the theme or topic of concern.
Sticking to the topic also keeps the conversation more engaging, as both the individuals would be well-prepared beforehand. That is why you will have to be prepared for different types of questions and concerns. When you will have the right amount of information it will be easier for you to stay on track and you will not get confused.
If criticism becomes a necessary part of the discussion, you should not criticize someone for the sake of criticism, or guilt-shaming and insulting them. The objective of criticism should be to learn and grow, for both the one who criticizes and the one who is criticized. It may be that your criticism is faulty, and the individual clarifying it would help both of you.
Thus, when you are criticizing, be as respectful as possible and acknowledge that you are a human too, that may have reached the wrong conclusion. You can share constructive criticism in the way that it will not hurt the feeling of the other person and they will work to improve their mistake. If you think that your words may do some damage it is better to find another respectful way to point out the problems that you have noticed.
When you are meeting someone, smile. You do not have to fake a smile, but at the very least, you can be as respectful and courteous as possible, and smile when it is appropriate. It will make your fellow converser more comfortable, and the discussion will go smoothly.
Moreover, a smile is contagious, so maybe your smile ends up making the day of the other person. Remember that when you will smile respectfully during a matter it will give confidence to other person to share the information they have as well as they will trust you easily. On the other hand, if you will smile in an awkward way or you will not smile at all it will show that you either do not have confidence or you are not interested in the meeting. So, do not make such a huge mistake.
Try your best not to go empty-handed. When meeting someone, hand them over a small gift before parting ways. It could be a thing that vanishes quickly, as a food item, but handing over something that stays with them permanently would be preferable. Some ideas include:
Leaving such items is a good practice because whenever they have their eyes on the item, they shall remember you and the conversation you had with them. However, if you think permanent objects are not appropriate for the occasion, you may give something else.
You can give a customized product with the name of your company or brand on it. In this way your guests will remember you as well as they might recommend your services or products to other potential partners which will be beneficial for you in the long run.
Once you have met someone, speak good of them to others when needed. This will leave an ever-lasting impression on them if they happen to find out about it. On the contrary, if you speak bad about them, the experience they had with you would be utterly wasted.
Keep in mind that what you say will come back to you as well. So, it better to remember everyone in a positive way because that is the only way you will be able to maintain a healthy interaction with your prospects in future.
If you follow all the tips provided in this article, your 1 on 1 meeting will go a lot more smoothly and will have a higher chance of success. However, that doesn’t mean you should not apply some of these tips in generally larger meetings too. They are universal and will be quite helpful in most cases. Assure that you always have a confident and respectable way of talking with others because it will help you with trust and respect of others. It will be beneficial for your company in the long run.