To a great mind nothing is little. Little things, are so extraordinary – Sherlock Holmes
First impression is topic of classic interest and particularly timely in today’s world. The knowledge about psychology of first impression is crucial in the persona game. It is rarely taught in schools and rarely does anyone discuss this in a candid way.
It is based on small amount of information, used to build a bigger picture about you, as per research it starts in 7 seconds and is all over in 17 seconds, and it is 3 times more impressive and stubborn compared to a second revised or factual impression.
A negative first impression is more impressive than a positive one. It is easy to build a first impression than to reconstruct a second one. and first impressions, it is said are lasting, you do not get a second chance to make a first good impression..
A good impression is one that reflects the real you, it’s just a sample of you which is displayed and the perception is drawn from this available clues, it’s like the soup before a dinner.
Executives who recruit employees for multinationals say it’s mostly over in 30 seconds, after that it’s to reconfirm the primary opinion, as per research, the head of the first impression committee – is the heart and not the mind. Human beings are emotional than mental.
The vibrations heart are said to be 5000 times more powerful than the mind, the heart has a logic of its own.
First impression is ‘retained remembrance’, which could range from superficial impression, to a stamp to a deep tattoo, on the cerebral cortex of the brain. The more important a person is to us, more effort we take to make this assessment, otherwise its a passive process and things just loosely enter the mind and build their story. Do you know that a handshake can do the same as is required of 3 hours of person to person rapport building.
First impressions are crucial in business transactions and social and personal situations, while we cannot stop people from making snap decisions the human brain is wired in this way as a prehistoric survival mechanism. First impressions are more heavily influenced by non verbal clues than verbal clues. In fact non verbal clues are 4 times more stronger than the verbal ones.
7 Non-Verbal Ways To Make a Positive First Impression
1. Adjust Your Attitude
People pick up your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, or enter the boardroom, or step on-stage to make a presentation, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody.
2. Straighten Your Posture
Status and power are non-verbally conveyed by height and space. Standing tall, pulling your shoulders back, and holding your head straight are all signals of confidence and competence.
A smile is an invitation, a sign of welcome. It says, “I’m friendly and approachable.” A person’s smile, is the feature that elicits the most immediate and positive reaction from others, like “she seems happy,” or “he looks friendly.”
People who have a spontaneous and natural smile or whose lips instinctively turn upwards when their face is at rest tend to send an inviting message to others. It says, “come join me, talk to me”. But not all smiles mean the same thing. A stiff deliberate smile can imply that a person is simply being polite.
A forced smile, especially when accompanied by averting eyes, can communicate a lack of authenticity. An unsmiling face can say, “I’m not interested.” A frown says, “go away.”
4. Make Eye Contact
Looking at someone’s eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye colour of everyone you meet )
Eyes: The physical feature that is remembered most clearly following initial interactions are our eyes – especially their colour. Eyes that are bright and open send a message of curiosity, the desire to get to know someone and let others know you.
When people avert their eyes, we tend to see them as uncomfortable and insecure with themselves. Partially closed, narrowing or darting eyes can communicate shiftiness, insincerity and a lack of warmth. Remember, eyes are viewed as ‘the window into the soul’ – engage with them and you appear confident inviting others inside.
5. Raise Your Eyebrows
Open your eyes slightly more than normal to simulate the “eyebrow flash” that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement.
6. Shake Hands
This is the quickest way to establish rapport. It’s also the most effective. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake.
7. Lean in Slightly
Leaning forward shows you’re engaged and interested. But be respectful of the other person’s space. That means, in most business situations, staying about two feet away.
You’ve got just seven seconds – but if you handle it well, seven seconds are all you need! Be Prepared: Lastly, remember that first impressions can happen anywhere, even when you don’t expect it.
These rules don’t just apply to premeditated job interviews; they apply to everyone you meet, whether it be at a social gathering or just a trip to the grocery store. As such, make sure you always carry yourself as you would in those situations. Otherwise, you never know what you might miss out on. This is also a good point to make sure your internet personality matches the one you project
15 Smart Ways To Make Lasting First Impressions
1. Always Be On Time
Punctuality, says you are disciplined, have self-control and are dependable.. When meeting someone (for the first time, no less), arriving on time is as important as breathing. So if their first impression of you is an empty chair, you’re in serious trouble.
Yes, you may have a legitimate excuse, but that rarely matters to a higher-up who barely knows you. Their time is just as important as yours, so put yourself in their shoes. As a general rule, plan to arrive about 30 minutes early; it’s better to be hanging around the place than be stuck in traffic. In short, tardiness(habit of being late) is a sin you can’t afford to commit.
2. Dress For Success
Psychology studies reveal that first impressions are formed within 7-17 seconds and 55% of person’s opinion is determined by physical appearance. In fact what you wear is not a shallow consideration; it could make or break your first impression. It is always a good idea to dress conservatively, when you meet someone, for the first time .
you don’t want someone to remember your cloths, over your business skills. Remember if you shine too much, other’s may dim your light.
3. Be Well Groomed
Always give yourself a quick once over glance in front of the mirror before you leave for that meeting Its imperative that you smell good, your cloths are stain free and ironed. Keep your finger nails and hair trimmed. Presenting yourself in a clean dignified manner speaks volumes for your professional behaviour and the way you carry yourself overall. A small oversight may end up costing you big-time.
4. Your Speech Tells of Your Culture and Class
In fact 7 % of what we think of other’s is based on what and how we speak.
Before you meet someone for the first time, think about how you want to come across: optimistic, confident, humble, aggressive , innovative?
Modulate your voice, for the right effects, an individual’s speaking style impacts the first impression, maybe more than we wish. Listeners judge our intelligence, our cultural level, our education, even our leadership ability by the words we select–and by how we say them.
5. Introduce Yourself Properly and Ask For Names
Always remember to stand up when greeting someone and be sure to introduce them to someone you are with. These are all subtle yet polite ways gesture’s that will make anyone feel special and more importantly place you in a favourable light.
Introduce yourself clearly and slowly and ask for names, with the intention to remember, not as a formality. Rather than mumble, speak so you’re easily heard. Enunciate clearly. Alter your pitch, to avoid the dullness of a monotone. Display animation in both voice and facial expression. Gesture naturally, without “canning” or finger pointing
6. Strike The Right Tone of Voice
tone of the voice speaks of your mental attitude.38 % of a person’s first impression is determined by the tone of voice. Start paying attention to your own tone of voice, then practice the way you want it to be perceived.
93% of people’s judgement of other’s is based on non- verbal inputs like body language. How you sit, body posture, how you shake hands communicates a lot more than what you say .
Avoid sitting too casually, crossing arms as it signals lack of care and boredom. we may be helping or harming our case as per our posture and body language.
There are two important things to bear in mind here: posture and eye contact. Maximize your height by lifting your head and keeping your shoulder’s up to suggest you are confident, assertive and determined- all admirable qualitie required of a good personality.
8. Use People’s Name
this has whopping 36% likely hood of a favourable response. people like it when they Are singled out, by the way they are known on this planet, it cater to their ego. Personalize and humanize, your relations with people. Always remember a person’s name, is his identity in the world
9. Focus More on Others Than on Yourself
Remember the saying..when other’s blow your horn, the sound goes far…Maturity demands we give judicious respect and attention to other’s.
10. Be a Good Listener
if you want to learn, listen. remember, very few have been removed from a job, who were good listener’s. Listening is a top skill needed for success in business. Unfortunately, most people only retain about 50 % of what they hear.
11. Make a Good Conversation
avoid the greed to monopolize often called conversational narcissism, which takes two, not just you..as a rule listen twice and speak one measure as you have two ear’s and one tongue . Spice up the conversation with questions and facial expressions..remember your mind is exposed by your tongue
12. Research and Familiarize Yourself
It will markedly help, if you do your home work and invest some time to know of the person or organization, whom you are to meet. we are all creature’s of emotions’ and not logic ..
13. Sense of Humour
this is a two edged sword, so be very careful, especially if the meeting is of great importance to you.While there is nothing wrong with a little banter, avoid controversial, racial or off colour jokes. A failed joke is like social suicide.Humour oils the wheels of social life.
14. Keep Your Visiting Cards and Printed Materials Handy
It gives an professional image and looks very classy. visiting card’s are small, but do convey your class in a big way. keep them simple and smart.
15. Relax and Be Yourself
At all times be yourself, no one is so miserable as one who pretends to be, what he is not,being yourself is a type of self honesty. A lie has speed, but honesty has stamina.
Also be relaxed, enjoy yourself and your found situation, celebrate life in these small meetings and encounters.
Don’t be afraid to show your flaws.It’s OK not to be too perfect. showing some of your flaws, will not only make you look honest but also more charming.
Although the first impression is important, the last impression can be equally or even more important. In a long discussion, what you say last can be remembered even more than what you said or did at the beginning.
About the Author
Dr. Kamal Murdia rewrites the magical laws of living and personality, based on 25 years of research , distillation of over 3000 books, videos and personal experience of over 20 self help courses and his years of experience as a thoughtful plastic surgeon.