The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and a key focus is Career Discussions. In the professional world, making good impressions early is critical. They can make the difference between you getting the job or closing the deal. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Ways to Make a Good First Impression.
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Do you have an important event, meeting or interview coming up and want to make a good impression? Maybe it’s in your daily life, meeting your partner’s parents or attending a big family wedding for example? Either way, if you’re going to be meeting and speaking to other people and want to make sure you’re coming across in the best way possible, here are a few ways to go about it.
Turn up on time
When it comes to making a good impression, punctuality is everything. In the cases of things like interviews, even being a few minutes late can be make or break, but timekeeping is always something to be aware of when you’re trying to present yourself in the best way. Being late tends to give the impression ‘I value my own time more than yours’ and can either look arrogant or sloppy. If you have a big interview, meeting or event coming up, set your alarm early, plan your route and be aware of anything that might crop up that could delay you and then work around this.
Dressing well and looking the part isn’t about being shallow. Subconsciously, we tend to judge others on the way they look outwardly even if we don’t mean to. It’s not to say you need to be the most attractive person in the world but definitely work with what you have. Ensure you’re well groomed and tidy, your clothes should be clean and fit well. Look at mens custom suits, or spend some time trying on different fits and styles off the rack to find what suits your body best. These sorts of things send a message that you care about and respect yourself and can make it easier for others to respect you too.
We tend to naturally gravitate towards people that feel confident, when people look as though they’re feeling shy and awkward it can make others feel the same way. So stand tall, you’ll look confident even if you don’t feel it and it’s another thing you can do to help people build a positive impression of you. Maintain an open stance, this means avoid crossing your arms or if you’re socialising, avoid holding a drink across your chest as this can give quite a closed impression. Keep your shoulders relaxed, head straight (without putting your chin in the air as this can give a cocky/ arrogant appearance). It can actually be worth doing some research into body language and bringing some of these tips into your daily actions so you can be sure you’re presenting yourself in the best way possible. Even things like eye contact and a firm handshake especially when you’re first meeting someone can be extremely important, go into the encounter with a positive mindset and it should reflect in the way you come across.
Smile and be friendly
Coming across and friendly and personable can most definitely help people to warm to you. You don’t want to be fake, bearing teeth and over the top laughing at the jokes that are made, but do smile as it shows people that you’re friendly and worth getting to know.
Listen and be responsive
It’s not all about promoting yourself, you need to be a keen listener in the conversation with whoever you’re talking to. Show that you’re listening and engaging to the other person by using body language, respond in the right way to what they’ve said and pause- many people don’t let others get a word in edgeways! If you show the other person that you’re listening and valuing what they’re saying then chances are they’re going to want to engage with you back. You’ll be more likeable and generally give off a more positive impression.