Whether you’re starting a new job or moving to a different department, first impressions count. Most people make a judgement within the first seconds of meeting you and that opinion rarely changes. Making an excellent first impression is important because you only get one chance.
Alex Todorov, a psychologist at Princeton University, had people look at a microsecond of video of a political candidate. Those research subjects were able to predict with 70 percent accuracy who would win the election. This highlights how snap judgements and opinions are formed.
We know how vital making a good first impression is. Here are a few tips to ensure you make the best one:
There are no exact figures on the influence body language has on a first impression, but some research indicated it is as high as 90 percent. Here’s a checklist:
Facial expression – keeping your face expressive and dynamic, avoid being locked into a single look.
Eye contact – make steady eye contact and avoid darting your eyes back and forth. Ensure that your eye contact matches your overall facial expression.
Body movement and position – walking with confidence, sitting upright, holding your head high with open hand gestures.
In most cases, just by being aware of your body language will create immediate improvements. If you are struggling, research suggests just filming yourself walking round a room will help to identify areas for improvement.
Ornaments refer to watches, make-up, jewellery, shoes and clothes and this is one of the first things you are likely to be judged on. We all have different styles for different occasions, which is why you should collate some of your favourite outfits and show trusted friends or relatives to get feedback.
Have a purpose
Have you been to a meeting and felt time slowly inching by while you listen to multiple opinions but feel like it’s going nowhere? Exactly! That’s because they failed to set a purpose or show intent for the topic. Enter your interview, conference, networking meeting or even after-hours social with an idea of who you would like to meet, the type of interactions you want to have and what kind of people you will be interacting with. It will help give focus and is a very grounding experience.
Tuesday Oct 24, 2017