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First Impressions

Posted 10/5/2016

Make or Break.....

We usually get one chance to make a first impression. On a very rare occasion you might get a second chance, yet we so often neglect the impact of that first impression.

First impressions – what is it about?

  • It is about how you introduce yourself
  • It is about how you look (your style, dress, the overall presentation)
  • What you say and how you speak, your facial expression
  • Behaviour – etiquette
  • How you present yourself – personally (as an individual)

There are a few questions for one to consider or ponder on;

What impression would you like to make? How do you want to be seen? What message do you want to convey? How do you want to brand yourself - what is your personal brand?

How do others (society) experience you, based on that first impression? How do they see you? What is their perception of you? Is it what you would want it to be? Does it portray who you truly are or how you want to be seen? In a professional capacity, do others see you as you should be seen or wish to be seen?  Personally and socially, are you sending the right messages of the true you? Are you attracting the right kind of attention? Are people drawn to you or would they prefer to flee from you?

What if you had just one chance to make an impression? Would you be more cautious?

We have become complacent and somewhat careless. We live in times when people seem to care less –when it seems that opinions do not matter. We question what the norms are and who is setting the standards that we are assessed and measured on, especially around etiquette. Amidst excuses, inappropriate behaviour is often passed off as culture. Where does one draw the line between culture-related behaviour and inappropriate behaviour or bad manners?

You could be fortunate enough to have a number of opportunities but sometimes you just have that first (one and only) opportunity which would influence or be the deciding factor on a way forward with regard to future relationships or a potential business opportunity etc.

Will you get a chance to go back for a reintroduction and start over again?  Will there be opportunity for you leave the room to change what needs to be changed and re-enter again. Are you able to erase or delete what has already been said or done? Sometimes it is better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing or even say it badly. Choose to hold back on communication rather than communicate poorly and possibly risk closing the door where there could have been a positive opportunity.