How to Engage with Professionals


For Professionals who have been in the working life for a long time, it is forgotten how strongly focussed, highly skilled and just plain confident they come across. To new, fresh out of university graduates, it can be quite intimidating how powerful the Professionals approach can be. This also holds true for business people delivering a presentation, for people with English as a second language, mothers returning into the workplace, men or women who have been retrenched and are looking for that highly sort after and needed job and many others.
Professionals can seem unapproachable and the whole interaction can seem daunting. What can be done to have a friendly and less nerve-racking with a Professional either in the workplace, at university or in an interview, delivering a presentation or where-ever?

Smile – Sometimes, when you first encounter the Professional you are wanting to speak to they may seem really focused and not wanting to be interrupted or uneasy because of the interruption – your best approach is to smile – the simple smile and greeting can really start to break down barriers – makes you seem at ease and friendly (even if you’re not). You can even shake hands ONLY if its appropriate.

Make sure you know their Name – if you are in the workplace – make sure you know the names of everyone around – if you are in a meeting – know everyone’s name – speak to them using their name. Absolutely everyone enjoys being acknowledged by using their name. If you’re delivering a presentation – its essential to use the organisations name during the presentation.

Do away with Negative Self Chatter – You are working where you are for a reason, you are in the interview because you got through the first stage, if you are meeting someone as a potential client – they have agreed to the meeting – eliminate any negative self chatter – it doesn’t serve you. Think about why you are there, by getting a successful outcome will assist you in one way or other – focus on that – Have Confidence in your ability to deliver – have confidence in yourself.

Make the person you are meeting feel important – you are in this meeting for a reason – the assistance of this person will help you in your job, help you get the job, help you get the business or whatever the situation. By making this person feel important or the group you’re speaking to feel acknowledged, it will help you to achieve your goals.

Ask Questions – be focused and involved with the conversation. Ask questions along the way to increase your understanding of whatever the topic. You have the opportunity to get to know this person so apart of the process is to ask questions. This enables you to show how interested you are. Just make sure the questions you ask are appropriate to what you are there to discuss.

Listen – if you are asking questions, make sure you hear and understand the answers – sure , if you don’t understand ask another question.

Remember – these intimidating, high level people (in your eyes) are people just there to do a job. These seemingly very important people will appreciate friendliness, openness and respectfulness. If you can build a bond whether one-to-one or one-to-the group – they will get to know you and you will then have formed a memorable connection.

To engage with Professionals whether at work or at university, in a presentation or in a networking situation – where-ever, by using these easy to follow ways of engaging – you will find that your interactions will become much more friendly and successful and those intimidating and nerve-racking thoughts will disappear. It just needs a bit of practice.