In our culture, we place a lot of pressure on first impressions — job interviews, first days at school or at work, and first dates. We all have been there, in the position of having to impress someone – our boss, teacher or the boy/girl we like. We take time preparing ourselves for these important first meetings - reading articles, creating elevation pitches, choosing our best outfit and practicing in front of the mirror our brightest smile. Because we know that a good first impression is strongly related with our personal charisma and character.
On the other hand, for sure we have also been on the other side, judging our new colleague or the new girlfriend of our brother. They are countless studies proving how, when we meet someone, we analyze this person unintentionally in just a few seconds. Most of us like to think that we're a good judge of character, but we are subject to all kinds of cognitive biases and it’s still possible for us to misread someone the first time we meet them. As we mentioned before we evaluate the person involuntarily and in a very short time. When talking about a possible new hire, a friend or a partner, we may want to take some time to really figure out the person first.
From superficially impression to real relationship or where transformation happens.
Let's imagine you get that job, you start that relationship and now you need to keep it. Once that happens, people evaluate your likability level and they look for a connection, the person's value and empathy. Being attentive to someone else's needs or interests takes the relationship to the next level. The golden rule of being a good conversationalist is to pay attention to the details. Give your full attention and respect to the person you are talking to. The most important information to remember are the names, they will help you start your next conversation and create a relationship with the person.
On a second meeting try not to repeat yourself.
Everyone has his or her greatest stories and jokes. In many situations, this arsenal of entertainment produces a great first meeting, but if the same person hears the same jokes every time he/she sees you, he/she will start to ignore you. Convert yourself in a great storyteller, be creative and prepare new content from time to time.
Take it to the next level.
In business, move from getting-to-know-you to let's-make-something-happen-now. In personal situations, move from getting-to-know you to some kind of real progress in the relationship. Give particular weight to the relationships you’ve been developing, and find ways to take them deeper. When you do this, people notice. It matters to them, even if they don’t say so.
People love talking about themselves and nine-times-out-of-ten they will return the favor and ask about you. Ask how they are doing, how was their weekend and other open-ended questions. Than relate to the answers. Learn to communicate not only with words, but also with body language. Smiles and nods confirms you are actively listening, eye contact and mirroring shows sympathy.
You can’t be friend with everyone.
People can tell when you’re nervous. A lot of times, they don’t like it. When you’re uncomfortable, so are they. Be confident and don´t fear rejection. People will meet you, and some will like you right away. Others will decide that they don't like you. There's very little you can do about that. That's life. If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, it isn’t the end of the world. People get rejected every day all over the place but if you don’t get out there and try again you’re just hurting yourself.
First impressions are all similar and forgettable. As long as it’s new, it’s not memorable.
What defines you is what takes place after the ritual greetings, when the other person begins to assess who you really are.
Writen by Artemis Spiridou