By Mark Shannon
Have you ever wished you could do something over again? I think we all answer yes to this question. I believe that Albert Einstein defined the word insanity as doing the same things over and over again but expect a different result.
I have been thinking lately about the first impression people make. Within seconds of meeting someone you already form opinions of that person. What does the countenance on my face say about my mood? Am I glad to be here? Am I preoccupied with something else? How was my handshake – too firm, too fishy? Is my hair a mess? Do I have food between my teeth? Is there something dangling from my nose? What about my breath? Am I dressed appropriately? The person you are meeting will note any or all of these concerns within 5 seconds of meeting you formally
Within the next 3 minutes of meeting a new person, we can find out more about this person. What words we choose to use when we speak usually give this insight. Words such as “like”, “cool”, “I dunno”, “um”, “uh”, and “you know” may give someone an impression as to our education level, our self confidence, or performance ability.
How you speak tells more about you. Do you make eye contact? Do you look up and to the left frequently when you are speaking? Do you speak with confidence or do you speak softly? Do you look all around the room when you are talking?
According to a study at the University of California, Los Angeles, 93% of our communication is non-verbal. This means that we do more of our communicating by seeing, smelling and touching than we do by hearing.
I suggest that we spend more time on that first 5 seconds when we meet someone. What do they see, what do they smell, and what do they tell by your touch when they meet you? What does an interviewer find out about you in the first 5 seconds? What does a first time client find out about you in the first 5 seconds?
So I want to know, what’s the worst first impression you have ever made?