How essential is it to make a good first impression?
Well, according to research by the New York University, you make 11 decisions about a person in the first seven seconds of making contact with them.
Whoops, better smile!
These impressions cover a wide range of variables including a person’s education, economic situation, how trustworthy they are, their level of sophistication, and their social and professional desirability.
Your nonverbal communication makes such a major contribution to this overall impression.
Not surprisingly, if you are open and self-disclosing, you have a greater chance of being perceived as credible.
What drives this rapid judgment?
Why are we so judgmental?
What causes this to happen?
What adjustments need to be made?
Certain lightning judgments are made, well, in a second by your amygdala.
The amygdala is part of the mammalian brain, the middle brain.
It sits above the old brain and like the old brain is highly evolved.
Long before humans had the capacity for rational thought the amygdala played a key role is scanning the environment for danger.
It makes a snap judgment call and leaves the big brain, the new brain, the prefrontal cortex, way behind when it comes to those big, emotionally-based decisions.
This process is hardwired into the neurology, so it pays to be mindful and ever-ready to create a positive message from the get go.
So, Love Your Amygdala – they keep you safe!
If you are unaware of the speed someone judges you it is likely you will be ill prepared to make the very best impression.
This can be costly since the opportunity to correct this first impression is rarely afforded – judgment leads uncannily to prejudice.
In short, first impressions last.
Interestingly, many people are blissfully unaware of the impression they give to others at first contact, and even more curious is that so many people end up giving precisely the opposite impression to the one they wish to convey!
So, what should you focus on to make the first impression the best impression, and the lasting impression?
Impression, linguistically, is a nominalisation.
Well, you want to act, so let’s de-nominalise and decide how “to impress” somebody.
Remember, you’ve got all of 7 seconds to make your mark.
Perhaps it’s best to be forearmed with these few tips:
Look the part – this is essential.
Be well groomed,
Use positive gestures, and
When you approach a person make sure you are standing erect, with your shoulders back.
Every part of your body should be pointed directly at the person.
Maintain good eye contact and don’t forget to smile!
Remember a person’s name and use it.
Open and engaging body language, your nonverbal communication, accomplishes most of this.
If you project an engaging, friendly manner it will be a big step towards getting the response you want.
For the way you communicate to fully succeed these signals need to be understood, used and controlled, so you can communicate in the most positive and effective way.
In other words, send the messages you want to send and keep the amygdala happy!
Keep in mind you have many faces, let’s put them to use and begin to look, feel and behave in a manner that attracts people to you.
Watch how this can make a difference to your results.