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How to Make an Impactful Impression in the First 7 Seconds

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how to make a good first impression

Innocently making a bad first impression has happened to many of us. Not coming across as you intended can create challenges in your personal and professional life. People may mistrust you, dislike you or not even notice you. Sometimes, the fault is yours.

You know what you are feeling, what you are thinking, and you tend to believe those thoughts and emotions leaking out of every orifice of your body. You overestimate how obvious what you truly think must be and fail to recognize other people in your life are in their own bubbles, thinking the same thing about their inner worlds. This is the illusion of transparency.

Your words and behaviors are subject to interpretation. Imagine you are sitting in as an audience member and you begin staring off into space while your colleague is speaking in the meeting. Are you thinking about whether you blew the candle out before you left your house? The harsh words that you mouthed to your partner when he left you with no petrol in the car or maybe you were in deep thought about the valid example of how things need to improve in the workplace. Your colleague has no way of knowing what you are thinking in fact no one knows why you are behaving the way you are but the people around you will come to some perceived conclusion.

Rightly or wrongly, our brains are wired to respond in this way. Even more than that, people make assessments all the time unconsciously relying on your appearance, status, role and body language. Prematurely or not, the person takes it further by gathering data to make a judgement about you. The rose water colored glasses provide a lens of perception that shapes their view of you. Can they like, know and trust you?

Let me share with you 7 ways to help others draw the correct impression:

1. Project warmth

Giving the right signals early in the relationship is important. Making eye contact, smiling when appropriate and acknowledging comments, being present in conversation and listening without interruption. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Being a person of your word creates a foundation of where trust is fostered, and collaborative partnerships are formed.

“It’s pretty simple, pretty obvious: that people’s first impressions of people are really a big mistake.” – Vincent D’Onofrio

2. Overdeliver

Demonstrating how instrumental you are every opportunity is gold. Go beyond any expectation, give without being asked and detach from the outcome or wanting something in return. Have a servant’s heart.

3. We-centric culture

Building an environment where we nurture an inclusive culture, creates a strong sense of ‘us’. Celebrate the strengths and achievements of others, acknowledge the values you see in others and how the shared vision belongs to you all.

4. Revise your opinion of others

Have you ever misjudged someone by letting some kind of bias get in the way? Creating stories about why someone is behaving in a way, how wronged you have been by someone or making assumptions based on the clothes someone is wearing and where they fit in the workplace. Maybe it’s time to hit the pause button as we know that there can be a wide gap between intent and impact. Adopt a curiosity lens and come with good intentions.

5. Have proper etiquette

Your body language tells a lot about you. Sloppy time keeping, or scruffiness can be taken as signs that you are not bothered and may raise questions about your general level of commitment. Be conscientious, exude professionalism and remember you are being paid to behave in a certain way.

Handling simple expectations such as punctuality, demonstrates a level of simple responsibility. Asking quality questions and putting your hand up first to offer assistance without being asked and proposing ideas allows you to start adding value right away.

6. Show kindness

Saying thank you is so underrated. It is so important to show your colleagues appreciation when they help you out. Showing gratitude lets people know that you value their time and energy.

“We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.” – Malcolm Gladwell

7. 360 feedback

It is not easy to understand how other people perceive us. We are often uncertain, confused or even oblivious of what we project. In the workplace, the lack of self-awareness can be limiting. A narrative can emerge and is often shared as advice or gossip. Getting feedback how people perceive you can be a starting point. One way can be to identify 3 key people you see you repeatedly in work situations and you know will tell it to you straight.  

Ask them directly what their general perception of you is and what could you do differently that would make a difference in the workplace. Whilst receiving feedback, manage your emotions and resist the temptation to explain, defend or justify your actions. Gathering information provides an opportunity to close the gap between how people perceive you and how you want to be perceived. The choice is yours if you want to make the commitment to change.

How do you leave a great first impression? Comment below!

Angela Kambouris used to work with high risk kids in the streets of Melbourne, now she has her own consultancy business and writes for large publications. As a leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma, she has built a high-level career as an executive and transitioned into a business owner. She has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. Love to travel, experience difference cultures and mastermind with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world. Connect with her through her website http://angelakambouris.com/ or through her Facebook.

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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