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What’s all the hype about creating the best first impression? Ever had someone give you a ‘once-over’ and you found yourself rushing to tuck-in your shirt, button up your blazer or straighten your collar? Why do humans react so profoundly when they are scrutinised by another? Maybe it is to do with the fact that human beings, as a species, are highly opinionated. It takes just a quick glance, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time.
In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and this makes those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows.
Whether they are in your career or social life, it’s important to know how to create a good first impression. So how exactly does one go about creating the best first impression?
1. Be on time
Arriving early is much better that arriving late, hands down, and is the first step in creating a great first impression. If you come across as a person who respects the value time, it automatically adds puts the ‘professional’ stamp on tour personality.
2. Present yourself appropriately
Physical appearance does matter. You don’t need to be dressed to the nines, but turn up for a meeting with attire and grooming that suits the occasion. Its not always about standing out or attracting attention. More often, subtlety is the need of the hour. Besides, it helps you blend in with your peer group.
3. Wear a winning smile
A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. A pleasant smile on your face can unlock many-a-door and gives you a way in to any conversation. The first impression you offer is that of cheerfulness, and it puts you down permanently as an approachable person.
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4. Be open and confident
When it comes to making the first impression, body language speaks much louder than words. A confident person will naturally be at the center of almost every conversation. Strike a balance between confidence and the willingness to listen to others.
5. Be positive
Maintaining an upbeat manner and a positive outlook can put you at a huge advantage while dealing with people. People will naturally tend to approach you with problems in the long run because of the positive impact you made in your first interaction.
6. Set an intention
This is especially important before any kind of big event where you would be meeting a lot of people — i.e. conferences, networking events or friend’s parties. This can be an incredibly grounding experience and works very well to focus on what kind of energy you want to have for your event.
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Much of what you need to do to make a good impression is common sense. But with a little extra thought and preparation, you can hone your intuitive style and make every first impression not just good but great. Check out this video on the importance of first impressions and how to go about making lasting first impressions.
This is true not just on a personal level, the same principles hold fast for a company or an idea. You as a person might not matter there, but keep in mind that you are the face your organisation, and that your actions will be seen as that of the company. So, put in that little bit of extra effort and make a first impression that will last.