First Impressions

December 4, 2019
BY: Adam Kent
Have you ever heard that there are three truths in every situation? There is mine, yours, and then there is the truth itself… Humans are naturally judgemental creatures walking around with preconceived notions based upon a variety of factors from upbringing, culture, surroundings, expectations, and experiences. We have these ‘filters’ and we each have our own “reality” that we view the world through. While it is healthy to trust our intuition, it can also work against us as well. There are numerous studies that show how little time we have to create a first impression. Most of the information out there suggests we only have a seven-second window to create an effective first impression. If that doesn’t get your head spinning, it is also suggested that around 7% is based on your verbal cues, 38% from your vocal cues, and 55% from non-verbal cues such as appearance and body language. Here, we break down simple, practical ways to increase your effectiveness in making a great first impression!

Based on this research. We follow the THREE-7’s model, that is;

The first 7 steps -What they see
The first 7 words -What they hear
The first 7 seconds -What they feel

What They See
Have you ever been “people watching” while you’re out and about? It’s incredibly interesting when you are sitting in a coffee shop for example, watching many people open the door and walk in… Without so much as a “hey!”, we’ve already sized that poor person up. Decided whether they are friendly or unapproachable, grumpy or nice etc… Hate to break it to you but people do that to you too! If you are going to an establishment whether its for business or personal reasons, the moment you step out of your car, its game time! Be aware of how you are walking, if your shirt is half untucked, whether you have a smile on your face and look approachable, or if you have ten things going through your mind that is making you look serious. Whoever you are meeting may see you before you see them. It’s up to you to have them see you in the best way possible, whether that is as a professional, or sloppy. Stand up straight, walk tall, smile, and be conscious in having open body language. What they see in this small window will make a difference to the way the rest of your interaction is about to go. 

What They Hear
We’ve all experienced that moment where we just met someone and walk away saying, yup… won’t be speaking to them again! Or, we’ve had that moment after the fact where we thought, “wow, I can’t believe I just said that!”. A successful first impression with a strong smile, solid handshake, and a confident, “hey, it’s so great to finally meet you {name}.” goes a long way… Making a conscious effort here shows. Being uninterested, unenthusiastic, or emotionless stamps a perception on you that may be hard to overcome. Alternatively, committing to that seven second window where you smile and confidently go through the “official” introduction can save you a whole lot of time from having to reframe who they already decided you are. 

What They Feel
Have you ever figuratively tried to nudge a person to take a step back, stop talking for a second, ask you a question, engage you, or to somehow realise that you are well and truly not interested? Sometimes, we just don’t get it. AND… You and I can both guilty of this too. There is a difference between listening to respond and hearing what someone says. Be interested over interesting, enthusiastic, and genuinely happy to meet them. Pay attention to the non-verbal and verbal cues and if you aren’t sure what to look for and listen for, pay attention to your intuition that is telling you something is off… Not only will you have more fun, but you will enjoy far more success when you stop trying to get what you want across and start helping other people get what they want instead. 


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