You know the old saying, “You only get one chance to make a great first impression?” Good first impressions are critical in your business and personal relationships, right? I disagree! First impressions are overvalued.
Sure, first impressions are important. But so are second and third impressions. And seventeenth impressions. If first impressions were so critical, why do so many people get divorced? Their first impressions certainly didn’t withstand the test of time! Over the span of a relationship, every individual impression you make accumulates to the overall sense of who you are to others.
This is great news! Maybe you blew it the first time you met someone. You made a mistake. You don’t have to base the future of your relationship on that first impression you made. First impressions are overvalued. You have opportunities with every encounter to modify a person’s view of you. So, act as if you were given a second chance to make that first impression.
Whether you are dealing with an employee, a business client, or your spouse, take opportunities to reestablish the impression you want them to have of you. Communicate it with your words, with the tone of your voice, and especially with your actions. Try these approaches:
- Listen to your colleagues with the interest you had when you first met them.
- Make a conscious effort not to take your employees for granted.
- Imagine you’re meeting a friend for the first time – how do you want them to see you?
- Watch your venting habits. Sometimes we unload on people we don’t really want to drag down.
- Put a little extra effort into your relationships – extra kindness goes a long way.
Thankfully, first impressions are overvalued. So, you still have a chance to create the impression you want others to have of you. Take that opportunity, because you haven’t peaked yet!
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