Year To Success

Lesson 44: Project a Positive Personality

Did you ever meet someone whom you thought was extremely pleasant and had a great personality, and then later talked to someone else who met the same person on a different occasion and felt the exact opposite about the person? For example, “Hi Cindy. Boy, that Phil is a great guy. What a pleasant and polite guy he is!” Cindy responds, “Are you kidding? I met that jerk last week, and I found him to be rude and arrogant!” It is possible that Phil was in a bad mood when he met Cindy. However, the more likely reason is as follows: the people we meet often reflect our own personality.

Imagine that. It is like walking up to a mirror, introducing and chatting with yourself. Our initial reactions are to mirror the facial expressions like frown and smile, energy levels or enthusiasm, speech patterns, and even attitude of the people we meet.

This works both in the short-term and long-term. The short-term effect is the projection of almost a carbon copy of the personality you project. This effect is most noticeable when you first meet someone in the first 5 minutes or so of the conversation. But what if the two people who meet project opposite personalities? Generally, in this case, there is one dominant personality, and it is the more positive one. Be that person with the more positive personality.

Have you ever heard someone say, “They bring out the best in me”? What an amazing power to have—bringing out the best in others. This is actually the long-term effect of projecting a positive personality. When you continually “lift” others up by projecting a positive personality they are subconsciously becoming more positive and feeling good about themselves.

Here are five things you can do to project a positive personality when meeting new people.

  1. Do your best to be in a positive state of mind when meeting new people. First impressions are most important.
  2. Smile. A warm smile when first meeting someone, and while speaking with them, is often returned.
  3. Think of new people you meet as your best friends and treat them with the same friendliness.
  4. Be enthusiastic! Be excited to meet the person and show it.
  5. Speak clearly and address the person with the same level of respect as you wish to be addressed. For example “Nice to meet you, Sir,” or more casually, “Nice to meet you, Ed.”

More important, project the qualities you would like the person to show you in return. I recently had a wall-to-wall carpet installed in a room we use as the gym. The day prior to the installers arriving, we received a very stern phone call from the carpet place reminding us that everything must be removed from the room before they arrive—their installers are not responsible for removing the gym equipment. When the installers showed up early, I met them at the door and offered to help them carry the large rug into the house. Although they graciously refused my help, I could not stop them from helping me clear out the few items left in the gym.

Project a positive personality. When you do this, you will find that the people you meet are more helpful and polite. This will give you a better attitude toward new people you meet and just people in general. By bringing out the best in others, you will be bringing out the best in yourself.