As many as 66% of UK adults rated humour ahead of appearance (50%), intelligence (39%), confidence (29%) and a ‘solid handshake’ (22%) in the poll published today.
Surprisingly, it revealed that over a third (35%) 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.
Discussing the research findings, award-winning behaviourist, motivational speaker and author, Jez Rose says: “The Crowne Plaza brand has commissioned a piece of research into what makes a positive first impression in business and what’s interesting is that you wouldn’t usually expect ‘humour’ to factor more favourably in the findings than appearance… or intelligence even!”
Rose continues: “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 1 in 3 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.
When making initial communication with a new contact, email has now overtaken phone calls with 76% 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%) saying they use it to communicate with colleagues or clients. “This is a stark contrast to 10 years ago when only 1 in 5 working business men and women would think to personally text message their new colleagues or clients,” adds Rose.
When it comes to conducting business in the most successful way, three quarters of people agreed that face-to-face trumps all. With this in mind Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Jez Rose to provide business guests with his top insights and tips to make a positive first impression in a short, specially created film. This will be made available for free to guests via the Crowne Plaza website.
Tom Rowntree, IHG’s Vice President for the Crowne Plaza brand, Europe says: “We put our guests first and pride ourselves on ensuring that business travel works.
Because first impressions are so important in business, we’ve partnered with one of the UK's leading professional development and behaviour experts to share some insights and simple behavioural tools for creating a positive first impression and facilitating business interactions.”
With 111,917 rooms worldwide, Crowne Plaza is one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the world, with amenities and services that are designed to help guests be productive when travelling for work.