6 Essential First Impressions to Make

God creates the first wrong impression
“God creates the first wrong impression.”

First Impressions Matter

In the business world, the process works like this:

A. If you appear to be of comparable business or social level, you are considered suitable for further interaction.

B. If you appear to be of higher business or social status, you are admired and cultivated as a valuable contact.

C. If you appear to be of lower business or social standing, you are tolerated but kept at arm’s length.

D. If you are in an interview situation, you can either appear to match the corporate culture or not, ultimately affecting the outcome. [source]

First impressions prepare your viewer for more of the same. People like consistency and predictability. That said, look around for a minute; what image are you broadcasting to the world right now?

1. What are you wearing?

– Are you wearing something you feel comfortable wearing and that conveys how you feel about yourself and the people you associate with? And what kind of people you associate with?

2. How are you sitting?

– How’s that posture? Alert and interested? Would others see you as engaged with what’s going on? Someone who knows how to get things done?

3. What kind of chair are you sitting in?

– I just threw this question in here because there’s been a lot of talk on the importance of a good chair in the blogosphere lately. 😉

4. What is your facial expression?

– Now, no one expects you to be all smiles every minute of the day. In fact, that’s creepy. But by relaxing your facial muscles and practicing a genial (and natural) open expression, you involuntarily relax both your body and your mind. And others will take your cue and feel calmed by your zen-like demeanour.

5. Your body language?

– As above. Physiology informs psychology and vice versa, so if you want to feel confident, look the part.

6. Your thoughts about your plans for today and tomorrow?

– Do you have a purpose for the activities to which you’re currently devoting your time and energy? Are you expecting good things because you focus on the things you want and ways to better serve yourself and others?

First Impressions Matter. For the second time.

This posting is somewhat facetious considering my previous posting showcases a picture caption containing the ubiquitous yet always-good-for-a-startle F word. Which leads into my next point in Marketing 101:

Do the unexpected. Occasionally. Otherwise, it’s expected….

Doing something unexpected and out of the ordinary will make a longer imprint on the memory of the viewer. What is different stands out, and as a survival mechanism, we notice variations in our environment while the rest of the familiar fades into the background. We notice music that has variations in tone while remaining true to an overall pattern. Oh, how delicious is that one flat note before the chorus begins; my ear both braces and yearns for the offbeat.

In other words, simply be yourself! You’re not like anybody else. In a good way.

Do what works and experiment; play on expectations.

Make a positive impression, even if you have nothing in common

A study on First Impressions conducted at the University of Minnesota had the following results (check out the study on First Impressions here):

“People are making snap judgments about what kind of relationship they want with the person they just met.” This follows what researchers call predicted outcome value theory, which states that when we initially begin communicating with another person we make predictions about the relationship’s potential and act accordingly.

“We make a prediction about what kind of relationship we could have with a person,” Sunnafrank said. “and that helps determine how much effort we are willing to put into developing a relationship. It is NOT that people are good at sizing others up or knowing who will or will not be a good relational partner. Instead, people seem to make these predictions based on first impressions and then act in a manner that makes the relationship become what they expected. i.e., ‘I think you will be a positive person to be around and therefore, I’ll communicate more, tell you more about myself and do things that will help ensure a friendship does develop.’ If they have a more negative prediction about a future relationship, then they will restrict communication and make it harder for a friendship to develop. Our research results don’t really point to accurate first impressions but self-fulfilling ones. We saw students achieve their self-fulfilling prophecies.”

Act as if you are that, and soon that you shall be….

“It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.” – William James


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