“Again, you may not be aware of it, but people are constantly judging and assessing you by noticing many things about you.”
– Jay and Jeannie Levinson, Marketing Experts
What is the biggest influencing factor in every relationship? The first impression.
During the first few seconds of your relationship, your new friend will consciously or unconsciously form his first impression about you. Whatever happens afterward, this first impression will have a large and nearly always permanent impact on your relationship.
With this in mind, forming a good first impression is obviously an important skill to possess!
To do this, you need to consciously work to perfect your behavior, particularly in the areas in which you will be evaluated.
These are the forty primary things that new contacts will notice when forming their first impressions:
- Thoughtfulness – Are you selfish or caring?
- Neatness – Do you keep yourself neat? What about your surroundings?
- Punctuality – Did you get to the meeting on time?
- Availability – Are you willing to bend your schedule to help others?
- Enthusiasm – Do you exhibit energetic passion in life?
- Sincerity – Do you act like a “real” person?
- Encouraging – Do you help others succeed?
- Listening ability – Are you willing to listen to others, or do you simply wish to talk?
- Phone demeanor – What are you like on the phone?
- Email attitude – Are your emails professional?
- Laugh – Is your laughter kind and appropriate?
- Smile – Do you smile often and sincerely?
- Eye contact – Are you willing to look people in the eye?
- Gait – How do you walk?
- Posture – Do you stand with energy?
- Handshake – Is your handshake firm and welcoming?
- Nervous habits – What are your nervous habits?
- Tone of voice – Is your tone of voice kind and encouraging?
- Hair – Is you hair well groomed?
- Facial hair – What is the condition of your facial hair?
- Teeth – Are your teeth shining white?
- Weight – Are you at your healthy weight?
- Height – How tall are you?
- Smell – Have you taken a bath recently?
- Clothing – What style do you wear?
- Watch – What is your watch like?
- Glasses – Do you wear glasses? What type?
- Hat – What type of hat do you wear?
- Shoes – Are your shoes professional?
- Accessories (briefcase, etc.) – Are you accessories appropriate?
- Business card – Is your business card professional?
- Title – Does your job title sound important?
- Stationery – Is your stationary clean and simple?
- Car – What type of car do you drive?
- Office – What does your office look like?
- Home – What condition is your house in?
- Handwriting – Do you write like a doctor?
- Spelling – Can you write without a spell checker program?
- Writing ability – Can you form a grammatical, readable sentence?
- Computer ability – Can you find your way around online?
Obviously, you will not be evaluated on all forty of these points every time you meet someone, but, depending on the situation, these are the primary means by which people form first impressions.
Instead of simply reading and forgetting this list, take action to improve your first impressions:
- Go through the list and give a self-evaluation.
- Pick two or three of your weak areas and improve.
- Repeat with two or three others until you go through the entire list.
- Enjoy the resulting strong relationships.
Are you forming good first impressions today?