First impressions are kind of crucial in today’s world. When you’re constantly being judged on a first date, a job interview or even when you meet a potential new friend, you always want to put your best food forward. The only problem is, first impressions are made in mere seconds. So how do you get in front of the game and make sure that the first impression you’re giving is the one you want to give?
1. Dress to impress
“I always notice I make split second decisions based on what someone has chosen to wear or whether they look presentable. And I’m not saying I’m shallow or a fashion critic, but making yourself look put together is really important if you want to impress. Just simple things like choosing an outfit you know works, being well-groomed. It’s so true that the clothes you wear speak to people. And that message comes across loud and clear before you even say ‘Hello’ to them!” – Founder & Editor, Lucy O’Connor.
2. Be Open (in more ways than one!)
It’s really important to convey an open, welcoming feeling towards the person you’re meeting for the first time. If you’re wearing a jacket, unbutton it. Don’t cross your arms across your body or cross your legs. Face your heart towards the other person and just think about making your body language as open and approachable as possible.
One of the most important tactics is to simply smile. A smile is a warm, friendly and disarming gesture (as long as it’s genuine – if you’re thrilled about meeting this person, try imagining a loved one or your cat!). Research also suggests that meeting someone in a positive way (like with a smile) makes you more memorable in the long run – perfect for a job interview or a first date.
4. Say “Hello” and Have A Good Firm Handshake
You don’t want to break fingers here but everyone’s experienced one of those gross ‘cold fish’ handshakes. You don’t want to have one of those. Grip the other person’s hand firmly but not tightly and don’t shake it up and down maniacally! Also, don’t forget to say Hi! Don’t jump straight into telling them your name, even better lead off with a “Hi, how are you?”, let them see that you care about them.
Make sure you listen. Don’t be so caught up and worried about what you’re going to say next that you immediately forget their name or ask them where they work twice in one conversation!
Practice active listening by stopping yourself from thinking about what you’ll say next. Instead focus more intently on what the other person is saying – you’ll still be able to come up with a good reply, in fact, it might even be better because you’ve fully understood and comprehended what they’ve said to you.
6. Lean In
Don’t take this too literally but just simply move forwards, towards the other person. It’ll make them feel as if you think they’re important and worth listening to. It’ll show them that you’re open to what they’re saying and that you’re pickin’ up what they’re puttin’ down!