We know that first impressions count. It’s a fact that’s drummed into us from an early age. So we get the idea that, many times, if we don’t make a good first impression, we’re not likely to get the chance to make a second impression.
A classic example of the above would be in a job interview. In this situation we get one chance to impress. If we blow this, we don’t get the job, simple as that.
So exactly how do you guarantee to make a great first impression? Here are some tips.
The best way to start a meeting when you’re looking to make a good first impression is to go in with a smile on your face. It’s that simple. When you smile, you convince the people that you’re interacting with that you’re a happy person, that you’re confident and that you’re enthusiastic. And they’ll see these as positive traits and will react towards you accordingly.
If you’re seeking an interview for a job, make sure that your resume or CV is full of positive words like energetic, decisive, resourceful etc. The reason that this is a good idea is because the interviewer is likely to at least glance through your resume immediately before the interview and will have those key words from it in the front of their minds where they are easily accessible. Research has shown that when we’ve just been exposed to positive words or images, they conjure up positive emotions in us and we are apt to transfer those positive feelings to our environment. Therefore, we are likely to have more positive feelings towards anyone we meet at that time.
In other situations when you’re trying to make a good first impression on someone, make sure that you use several positive words at the beginning of your conversation with them to achieve the same effect as above. If you know something about them, know some of their passions and interests talk positively and enthusiastically about these subjects that they hold dear to their heart. That should do the trick.
Research has shown that a first impression is important because following behavior is interpreted based on the first impression. In simple terms, what this means is that if you make a positive first impression, you get cut more slack subsequently than if you make a less than positive first impression.
But if, despite the above, you still end doing something inappropriate that doesn’t go down too well, there’s still hope. You shouldn’t get defensive and try to justify what you did, you should just come right out and admit that you’re embarrassed about what just happened. This strategy will often work because:
a) It acknowledges that you know you did something wrong and will be unlikely to do that again.
b) It confirms that you’re human, and this is a trait that people tend to warm to, and
c) It shows that you’re open and honest and prepared to own up to your mistakes – and that will always be seen in a positive light.