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8 Tips on Making a Lasting Impression

The cover of the book conquered by jack nasher.

Want to make the kind of impression that draws people's attention and gets your talents recognized? In Convinced!: How to Prove Your Competence and Win People Over (Berrett-Koehler, 2018), Stanford faculty member Jack Nasher applies his expertise in psychology and negotiation (and also his experience as a mentalist at Hollywood's famous Magic Castle!) to show how anyone can master the techniques of "impression management."

Nasher, an Oxford graduate who has spoken at TEDx, worked with the United Nations and founded the NASHER Negotiation Institute, is a leading expert on reading and influencing people. He is also a member of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology and a principal practitioner with the Association of Business Psychologists. In Convinced!, Nasher outlines eight pillars of "impression management" that readers can develop in order to:

  1. Discern the difference between actual and perceived competence and how they are connected.
  1. Shape people's expectations of your skills to inspire their belief (and your own) in your ability to succeed.

  2. Deliver good and bad news in ways that allow you to gain the utmost advantage from your successes while suffering the least amount of damage from your failures.  
  1. Frame your competence and insulate it from corrosive influences, including how to highlight external circumstances to make your ability shine.    
  1. Use "power talking" to position yourself as an expert by pairing the right, impactful words with strategic use of vocal range, repetitions and interruptions.
  1. Communicate your competence without speaking—through eye contact, (not) smiling, gestures, location while standing, posture while sitting and proximity to others.
  1. Boost your image of competency by increasing your likeability and attractiveness, without wasting time and money on making changes to your physical appearance.
  1. Elevate your status through everyday interactions with others by, for instance, using tactics from praise and peace-making to create strong associations. 

The author's insights on how to read and influence people are designed to give readers an edge in radiating competence and detecting it in others—useful skills for any HR professional to have.

Desda Moss is managing editor of HR Magazine.



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