Understand How To Make a Good First Impression

Understand How To Make a Good First Impression

If you want to succeed in your career, you need to be able to make an excellent first impression. Every interaction is a chance to build up your reputation, and you never know when someone could be the key to a better job or a promotion. By making the right first impression, you can maximize all of your interactions. Find out what you can do to make a better impression on others around you.

Be Aware of the Timeframe

Believe it or not, a first impression doesn’t happen over the span of minutes. Rather, it happens in about one-tenth of a second. Someone who’s meeting you for the first time sees you and judges you immediately. While what comes after the first sighting matters, most of the judgment is made in that first fraction of a second.

At first sight, a person assumes your ability, likeability, and trustworthiness. Because people often handshake when they first meet, this could be your only chance at a first impression. You won’t get a chance to say anything before the other individuals make up their mind about you, so you should rely on your smile, outfit, and grooming to do the talking.

Dress for Success

This probably isn’t news to you. But there’s a reason people tell you to dress for the job you want. If you dress professionally, you’ll make a better first impression. Take your time to groom yourself and always dress for success.

You don’t need to buy expensive clothes to dress well. It comes down to having professional clothing and looking your best.  

Have a Firm Handshake

At times, a handshake occurs in that first tenth of a second. For this reason, you should spend time perfecting your handshake. You need both a firm and confident shake, one that shows the other person you have no doubts about yourself and your abilities.

According to one study from the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, people are better received when they have a firm handshake. If you haven’t spent time practicing your handshake, it’s time to do so. Think about your current handshake and then think about how it can improve. Then, find a friend and ask them if they’ll let you practice for a few minutes. Ask them to give you feedback on your new handshake.

If you’re not sure how to improve your handshake, you can think back to previous interactions. Was there a time when someone shook your hand and impressed you? Once you remember an exchange, try to think about how the handshake felt. Then, you can try to emulate it.

Don’t Dominate the Conversation

No one likes silence. To prevent silence from happening at the first interaction, people often dominate the conversation. They talk to fill the silence, which seems like the right thing to do at the time. You might make a joke or give your opinion on an issue.

Unfortunately, dominating the conversation comes across as aggressive. Ultimately, it can leave them with a negative opinion of you. You should take your time speaking and not rush to fill silence. After you give it some time, you can assess whether you should say something else.

It’s particularly harmful to brag about your achievements. While you might want to impress the CEO of your company, you shouldn’t bombard them with your accolades. For better results, let them do the talking. Your work may already speak for itself.

Don’t Attempt to Seem Busy and Hurried

Today, some people see busyness as a symbol of their status. When they meet someone, they act rushed or hurried to convey the impression that they’re busy. But doing so won’t impress the other party. In fact, it may only make them feel as if you have no interest in speaking with them.

When you’re speaking with someone new, keep a slow pace. Don’t stumble over your words or cut off the other speaker. As mentioned above, you should allow comfortable silence. The conversation will carry on better if you’re not in a hurry.

The same is true of scheduling. If the person you’re meeting tries to set up a time to meet, don’t pretend you have a full calendar. It’s fine to plan around meetings, but don’t be unavailable. You won’t impress anyone by not having time to meet them.

Make Eye Contact

According to a study from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, eye contact correlates with perceived intelligence. They found that people perceived individuals who had more eye contact as smarter, while people who had less eye contact were perceived as less intelligent.

This doesn’t mean that people who don’t make strong eye contact aren’t smart. However, it means that you need to master eye contact to make a positive first impression. Eye contact also makes you seem more confident, so it’s worth taking time to practice eye contact.

The next time you’re having a conversation with someone, focus on the amount of eye contact you’re making. It can be more uncomfortable to do this with someone you just met, so make an effort to try this with someone new. Over time, the eye contact will feel natural.

Mirror the Other Person

People like it when those around them share traits, and this isn’t news. For decades, sales and academic experts have known that people are more comfortable around individuals who have similar traits. Because of this, it’s useful to copy some of the habits of the person you’re meeting.

Without being a carbon copy of the other person, mirror some aspects of their behavior. Copy their posture, tones, and other details. Don’t parrot them, but try to showcase similar emotions. In the end, your actions could make them feel more connected to you.

Turn Your Actions Into Habit

If you practice the above tips every time you meet someone, you won’t need to think about making a positive impression. Every interaction will end with a favorable impression of you, and you can climb the career ladder.

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