Two-thirds of UK workers think that showing a sense of humour is crucial to making a successful first impression, according to new research by Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resorts.
As many as 66 per cent of UK adults rated humour ahead of appearance (50 per cent), intelligence (39 per cent), confidence (29 per cent) and a “solid handshake” (22 per cent) in the poll published today.
Surprisingly, it revealed that over a third (35 per cent) of working Brits do not do anything at all to prepare for important business meetings, which can ultimately affect their ability to create a positive first impression.
“It’s interesting that you wouldn’t usually expect ‘humour’ to factor more favourably in the findings than appearance… or intelligence even!” says behaviourist and motivational speaker Jez Rose.
“What this tells us is that it’s not about trying to be funny or cracking jokes during your meeting; it’s about conveying a good sense of humour to create a connection. This can be done simply by having a cheery disposition and smiling. Sometimes these small things are overlooked in business meetings and yet make all the difference.”
With social media playing a greater role than ever before, more than one in three agreed that having the right profile picture is “very important”.
At the other end of the spectrum, talking over people in meetings and not making eye contact with peers both work to create a negative first impression to colleagues and clients.
Read more about how to make a great first impression:
- Getting the first point of contact right
- Subject lines: The power of a good introduction
- Charlie Mullins: Does the suit make the man?
When making initial communication with a new contact, email has now overtaken phone calls, with 76 per cent of workers using this method versus the more traditional means of communicating.
Interestingly, text messaging is very much part of the business mix with almost half (45 per cent) saying they use it to communicate with colleagues or clients.
“This is a stark contrast to 10 years ago when only one in five working business men and women would think to personally text message their new colleagues or clients,” adds Rose.