Keys To A Good First Impression

“You can’t judge a book by its cover”. “Don’t make assumptions about people”. Do these statements sound familiar to you?

I know they certainly do to me. I’ve heard these and countless other similar sayings about how we shouldn’t judge people until we get to know them throughout my whole life.

Here’s the reality; you, I and every other human being under the sun make all sorts of judgments about people within the first 5 seconds of laying eyes on them.

And here’s what’s even more interesting; we couldn’t stop even if we consciously tried. Wanna know why? Because we’re not doing it consciously. We’re doing it subconsciously.

You see, when you meet someone for the first time, millions of neurons in your brain begin firing and your brain begins the process of categorizing this person. It typically does it by cross-referencing this person with everyone else that you’ve met in the past. And it all happens on a subconscious level.

Once the initial comparison has been made, the brain moves to the category of status placement where it determines if this person has a high or low status in society. This is an important point to remember because both humans and animals seek and are attracted to those that are considered to have higher status and power.

Another category that the brain begins placing people into is based on their physical attractiveness and whether or not they pay attention to their physical appearance.

Ultimately, the brain wants to place the person into a “yes” or “no” category. But sometimes the brain gets mixed signals and experiences conflict when trying to categorize. For example, let’s say you meet someone who dresses really nicely but they have a tattoo on their face or perhaps they are very attractive but their clothes are dirty. This poses a challenge for the brain in terms of categorizing and ultimately leaves you thinking things like “there’s something about this person that I just can’t put my finger on”.

Men and women also decipher first impressions differently.

Men see the body of a woman first and then her face whereas women do the complete opposite.

Truth be told, it takes a huge amount of work to overcome these instant impressions that are formulated in the minds of others. And I know it may seem weird, unfair or politically incorrect that someone would pass judgment on you like that in virtually any situation including a date, job interview or friendship introduction. But the bottom line is that it is in fact happening so the best thing you can do as an effective influencer is prepare for it.

First is your physical appearance. Like it or not, your perceived physical attractiveness will play a crucial role in various aspects of your life so your best bet is to invest in it as it will change the thoughts and desires of everyone you come into contact with.

One of the best ways you can invest in your physical appearance is by keeping your weight down. One of the biggest evaluation factors for people is a small waist on another person. Obesity is very unhealthy and most people are aware of it’s risks like heart disease and cancer.

Since we have been wired to want to build relationships with health people (especially on intimate levels) you can imagine the types of subconscious thoughts that run through someone’s mind when they seem someone who is perceived as unhealthy.

Most researchers agree that body language and physical appearance make up anywhere from 50 – 80 percent communication between 2 people.

Your clothing, glasses, hairstyle, jewelry, coat, shoes and just about everything else about you can dictate the direction of a relationship between you and someone else before you utter one single word.

Here are 3 simple rules to follow to make sure that direction is favorable for you:

1.)    Make sure you are absolutely immaculate when meeting your target for the first time. Get a haircut, dry clean or press your clothes, have facial hair trimmed and smell clean.

2.)    Ask your target how he or she knows when their expectations for value have been met. When they tell you, ask them how they determine the value on that item.

3.)    Pay close attention to your target’s pace of speaking and listening. In most cases, they are identical. Once you’ve indentified both, match them as closely as you can.

18 Responses to “Keys To A Good First Impression”

  1. Christine Hepburn

    Apr 05. 2011

    You are absolutely right. First impressions are crucial in all aspects of our professional and personal lives and are so often underestimated.
    It is essential to have our verbal and body language aligned to avoid mixed messages.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Vicenta Galmore

    Apr 05. 2011

    WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …

    Reply to this comment
  3. Andreas Nickel

    Apr 06. 2011

    Well, when it comes to ourselfs i agree: Make sure to make that perfect 1st impression!
    However, we *can*train ourselfsto “not judge the book…” and gain huge rewards from that. It’s not easy but worth the effort!

    Reply to this comment
  4. James z

    Apr 06. 2011

    In my experience, dressing well does seem to create a better first impression but body confidence is even more important for gaining a position of leadership.

    Reply to this comment
  5. jessica

    Apr 09. 2011

    So true .. but it is a matter of perspective as well. The ´´good impression´´ rule is a human condition set forth among humans and therefore and because of it, one is taught ´´to be-act-dressed-etc´´ in a certain way in order to earn others approval for whether in friendship, work, love, etc.. This does not mean one has to ´´sparkled as a star´´ at all times, just means you can well be a ´´star that sparkles´´ at your own pace and shouldn´t stop yourself in being one in spite of what others may think/feel/see.. There will always be others out there who will accept you as you are, sparkled or not. It´s for you to decide if you want them or not to be with you. Not the other way around.

    Reply to this comment
  6. reaper

    Apr 13. 2011

    I got lost on the value question. Perhaps you could expound on that or was it written wrong?

    Reply to this comment
  7. Garth Rindels

    Apr 15. 2011

    I used to be very pleased to seek out this web-site.I wished to thanks to your time for this excellent read!! I undoubtedly enjoying every little little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Annemarie Beneuento

    Apr 19. 2011

    Really enjoyed this blog.Really thank you! Keep writing.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Shaz

    Apr 19. 2011

    Would also like some clarification on the value statement. At first glance seems to be connected with target’s value of your appearance, but assume value would pertain to what results or benefit they would expect from purchasing product/service you are selling?

    Reply to this comment
  10. I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Jim Zaccaria

    Apr 28. 2011

    EXACTLY. A Neat, Clean & Professional Look – Appropriate to one’s industry [prospect/target] is Always ‘in style’. Be certain you’ve ‘got the goods’ AND know what you’re saying while conveying it articulately too.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Abi Steve

    Apr 29. 2011

    You are absolutely correct.
    What you are now to your co-workers, colleagues, and boss is likely what they infer from the impressions you made in your first contact with them. Even though you later seem to be different from your first appearances (impressions ), the memory of that first impressions will still for a number of times linger on in their brain.
    Thank you for that write up. Kudos!

    Reply to this comment
  13. Barbar Grappo

    Jun 12. 2011

    It’s arduous to find knowledgeable individuals on this subject, however you sound like you realize what you’re speaking about! Thanks

    Reply to this comment
  14. Sosten

    Jun 18. 2011

    Paul, This is good write-up. I agree with you in all aspects of this educative message.

    Reply to this comment
  15. judith

    Jun 27. 2011

    you are right paul,the first impression determines how you will relate with the other person there after

    Reply to this comment
  16. David Adame

    Jul 20. 2011

    This article just confirmed my suspicions of how important first impressions are, whether its visual or in communicating. Thanks for the confirmation.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Patrick Howell

    Oct 09. 2011

    You are right on. As a former manager I have interviewed hundreds of people and it always amazed me how poorly dressed and groomed some applicants would be. I made instant decisions on whether the person would be considered for the job and more often than not the poorly groomed person wouldn’t get a second look. Excellent article. Thanks Patrick

    Reply to this comment
  18. Travis Acerno

    Feb 06. 2012

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Reply to this comment

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