It is said that we come to conclusions about people within the first 7 seconds of meeting them. Do we like them? Do we feel uncomfortable around them? Do they make us feel valued?
First impressions are so important. When it comes to a first impression, everything matters; body language, tone of voice, what you say, how you respond. I’m sure we’ve all had bad first experiences with people – where they were too distracted to look you in the eye, or mumbled their name so quietly you didn’t catch it. Likewise we’ve all had amazing experiences where the person feels like our best friend in the first five minutes.
As a tutor, our jobs are so much more than just having knowledge about a subject. If all a student wanted was information they could probably google it or find it on Youtube. They are looking for a human connection – someone who they can relate to and connect with.
Making our students feel comfortable needs to be one of the first things we do as tutors. Here are 3 ways to make your students feel comfortable within 5 minutes of every session.
Few things disarm someone like a smile. A smile lets someone know they are valued and you are excited to see them. Always smile when you meet someone for the first time – it makes such a big difference!
Mirroring their level of energy
A well known NLP strategy, mirroring builds trust and increased familiarity. Mirroring is all about meeting a person at their current energy level. If they are really energetic, then you need to be too. If they are mellow, you need to be too. Subconsciously, when someone is similar to us, we trust them – allowing us to feel comfortable instantly.
Caring about their lives
A student may expect a tutor to care about nothing more than getting good marks, so if you actually take an interest in their world it will catch them off guard and they will begin to trust you. I always try to find one thing in common with the student I work with within the first 5 minutes. This could be simple – that we did the same subject at school, or it could be a shared passion for a sport, TV show or band. Care about your student and they will feel comfortable.
3 small actions, but they will go a long way in helping your student feel instantly comfortable.
Make it count!