Did you know that all it takes to make a first impression of someone is a quick glance at their face? According to research, it only takes someone 33–100 milliseconds to create an opinion of your character. In this brief period, the other person assesses you based on your look, body language, temperament, behaviours, and how you are dressed. Whenever you interact with someone new, they evaluate you and create a perception of you. These first impressions frequently set the course for the relationship that proceeds and can be very difficult to change or undo.
Additionally, we become emotionally tied to our early perceptions of other people and struggle to change them, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. As the saying goes, ‘you never get a second chance to make a great first impression’, applies to many circumstances, including sales calls and job interviews.
Initially, favourable perceptions are permanent. Whether they are true or false, first impressions are typically difficult to modify without a lot of effort. First impressions are highly lasting since they are primarily subconscious. We perceive the environment and other people through our lenses due to our cognitive biases.
People are more likely to feel at ease around you if their initial impression of you is one of friendliness, competence, and reliability. Then, they are more inclined to regard you as a friend and confide in you. The more people you meet, the more probable it is that they will remember you and tell their friends and coworkers about you. Making an excellent first impression, therefore, affects your networking.
The effects of this form of social capital can be profound on both your personal and professional lives. Your positive reputation will spread among others. Competence will give others confidence in your skills and abilities if it comes across in the initial impression you make. They are more likely to have faith in your ability to carry out the tasks you've been given and accomplish your established objectives. This may give you more flexibility in carrying out your duties and meeting your objectives.
After discussing the significance of first impressions, the following advice will help you ace your first meeting.
An example of nonverbal communication is eye contact. Making eye contact with the person you are speaking to is seen as a sign of respect and candour. Maintaining eye contact also conveys your interest in and receptivity to the other person's speech. Leil Lowndes suggests a 60/40 mix in her book, 'How To Talk To Anyone’, with a purpose of 60 per cent eye contact to signal attentiveness without being aggressive.
It's normal to feel anxious when meeting someone new is normal, but you don't want your uneasiness to come across. Dorie Clark's book ‘Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future’ says body language should be assured and at ease. Clark advises taking enormous strides, sitting straight, and walking with your chest high. You may even adopt easy positions to boost your confidence.
Your "nice explanation" for being late won't intrigue someone you are meeting for the first time. Plan to arrive a few minutes early and leave yourself some leeway in case of traffic delays or making a mistake turn. Arriving on time is the first step in making a strong first impression and is much preferable to arriving late. Check your tech and connection in advance if your first encounter is virtual, and consider your surroundings and backdrop.
Good communicators spend more time listening than talking. The rule of thumb here is to speak no more than one-third as much as you listen. Increased listening demonstrates your focus and gives the other person a sense of being heard. As First Impressions founder Ann Demarais points out, people constantly remember how you made them feel. People will like interacting with you if you communicate clearly and are attentive to their needs.
Pay close attention to the individual you are speaking to. A strong connection might result from sharing empathy with the other person, and it implies that you have an emotional grasp of them.
Yes, you do need to "blend in" a little bit if you want to make a good impression. However, it does not include becoming someone you are not or losing who you are. Being true to who you are is the best approach to making an impact. You'll feel more assured, be able to establish trust, and gain the respect and integrity of the individuals you encounter if you do this.
As the saying goes, "Smile and the world smiles, too", therefore, nothing makes a good first impression like a smile. Both you and the other person will feel more relaxed with a pleasant and genuine smile. So when it comes to making a good impression, smiling wins. But be careful not to overdo it; those who do so risk being patronising and disingenuous.
You can better comprehend the setting and circumstances by conducting some simple research. It can direct you toward the proper linguistic formality and assist you in choosing appropriate clothing. There's a chance you'll learn something about someone else to help you start a conversation with them. You'll feel more relaxed d engaged if you have done your preparation.
It should go without saying that having proper etiquette and acting in a polite, considerate, and observant manner contribute to making an excellent first impression. In fact, if you do anything less, you risk squandering the one opportunity you have to make a good first impression. In that case, act appropriately! For example, turn off your mobile phone so that you may focus entirely on the person. Remove technological distractions from the situation. Stay focused and avoid being distracted by others. All of your attention should be focused on your new acquaintance. If you do anything less, you risk giving them the impression that they are inconsequential or even annoyed.
It's critical to express gratitude at work for any assistance you receive from others. And nothing demonstrates appreciation as effectively as generosity and sincere feeling. Express your gratitude to everyone who assists you on your first day of work, including your colleagues, office personnel, and human resources personnel. Showing your appreciation to people who have assisted you in adjusting will help you make a good first impression. Begin by expressing your gratitude with these two fundamental words: "thank you." You might also choose to send an email or a handwritten note of gratitude after expressing your gratitude verbally. Consider buying them a modest gift or inviting them to lunch if they've gone above and beyond for you.
As soon as you begin a new job, you only get one chance to make a good impression. Setting a good example on your first day can pay off in your work life for a very long time because first impressions frequently lead to long-term perceptions. Put some thought into your first-day appearance to ensure that you communicate to your new coworkers what a tremendous asset you will be to the organisation.