We are all aware about the saying- “First impression is the last impression. But did you know that for making the first impression all you have is a window of 7 seconds. The moment we enter the room, people start judging. They judge us and we judge them! It is something that comes naturally; we don’t even realize that we are doing it.
Don’t miss out on giving a smile to the people you meet. This will give them a feeling that you aren’t a snob and can be easily approached. People hesitate in talking if they find a person expressionless or frowning. Smile open heartedly and people would love to indulge in a conversation with you.
In the first 7 seconds people judge you based on the following parameters:
- Are they friendly/ approachable?
- Are they confident?
- Are they successful?
- Are they intelligent?
- Are they trustworthy?
- Are they credible?
- Are they immoral?
So to make the first impression the best, here are some things you need to do-
- Smile- Imagine entering a meeting and people look at you but don’t smile. Will you stay there willingly? Will you feel like working with them? No you won’t. This is what people expect from you too. A smile is the first indicator of positivity.
- Handshake- In ancient time handshake was a way to show the strangers that you have no weapons. In the present, a handshake is powerful enough to make or break the image. In a study, researcher Florin Dolcos suggests that a handshake increases a positive effect towards favorable conversation. A firm, friendly handshake has long been recommended in the business world as a way to make a good first impression.
- Body Language- Researchers at the University of Texas found that people can very accurately guess 9 different personality traits about you; just by the way you hold your body. The hand gestures and postures silently communicate all that is going on, in your mind. You are sitting with your arms folded and someone is sub consciously forming an image about you. This is the power of your body language. The ideal posture is standing straight with chin up and arms at your side. This suggests that a person is friendly and warm.
- Eye Contact- 12 different studies have found job candidates who made strong, lasting eye contact when meeting their interviewer were judged higher and offered jobs more often. People will trust you based on your eye contact with them; it is because eye contact triggers the brain’s trust response. Do not stare at people. Look into their eyes while greeting but avoid a constant eye contact, it may look aggressive.
- Appearance- It is always said- dress the way you want to be addressed. It does not work always in all scenarios. Always dress based on the occasion and the people you are going to meet. Wearing the best outfit you have is not the aim.
Imagine going to a formal meeting and meeting someone wearing a costly tattered jeans with expensive t-shirt and shoes. This must be the best and most expensive combination in his wardrobe, but is it appropriate? No, it is not. It is a natural human tendency to judge people based on their clothes right when they enter. Do you do it? Yes of course you do, you may not realize it but it keeps happening naturally. Everyone judges everyone. You too get judged when you enter a room. So dress appropriately.
- Congruence- Authenticity is the key to success. You never have to pretend who you’re not. You just have to project yourself, your thoughts, your beliefs in the right way, by doing things YOU believe in. You have to be congruent to yourself!
For an example we discussed about appearance earlier. If you do not believe in wearing the western wear then you can always look for Indo-western or Indian. But yes, suitable to the occasion and the setting. We have so many times seen people wearing things they are not used to, and the discomfort can always be seen on their face as well as in their body language. Don’t struggle wearing what makes you uncomfortable or doing what you don’t believe in.
Now you know how important these 7 seconds for your image are. Make sure you don’t miss out on creating that unforgettable first impression!