A 90-second plan for improving your communication style

By Nicholas Boothman
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/23/2001

First impressions can make or break a business relationship. Can you really develop a meaningful, positive connection with someone in 90 seconds or less? Yes, absolutely, because making people like you is a skill and anyone can learn how to do it.

Have you ever noticed that when you meet some people for the first time things just seem to click as if you’ve been friends forever? Yet with others it seems difficult, and sometimes impossible, to connect with them, be it in one’s professional, personal or social lives. There are some people we connect with naturally and easily — this is called rapport by chance. For everyone else there is rapport by design.

How much easier would your job be if you could always establish instant rapport with a new employee or client? Studies show that you have approximately 90 seconds to make a favourable impression when you meet someone new, and what happens in those 90 seconds can determine whether you succeed or fail.