How do you judge a person you’re meeting for the first time?
Non-verbal cues, body language, dressing sense, social manners, behaviour, mobile phone(!) or something else? While some of these are legit ways of forming a first impression, personally I follow just one principle: punctuality.
Punctuality means being on-time.
And being on-time means being 15 minutes early.
Being 15 minutes early shows that you respect and value the time of the person you’re meeting. It also give you the opportunity to:
- Get yourself used to the new environment.
- Calm yourself down, take a washroom break, have a glass of water.
- Rehearse the agenda for discussion, revise your pitch, if any.
It is clearly the easiest way to gain instant credibility and ace a meeting. Hence I call it the 15-minute Rule.
If the person you’re meeting asks, “Would you like a glass of water?” then it means either of the two things viz.
- he/she’s being polite
- it shows on your face that you just managed to be ‘on-time’ (probably still panting from your commute)
Now you know what it takes you to answer confidently, “Hey thank you, I just had a glass while waiting outside.”
Cover photo by Chris Liverani