How Important Is a First Impression in the Workplace?
We’ve all heard that textbook saying of how you only get one chance to make a first impression. Well, according to various studies, this “chance” can be as short as just 3 to 7 seconds. What this means is you need to be on your A-game when putting your feet forward for an interview, your first day at work, or a meeting with a prospective client. Today, we’ll detail just how important these first impressions in the workplace are and how you can ace each one of them.
The Importance of First Impressions in the Workplace
In simple words, professionalism encapsulates all those things that one expects from a professional. Your personality, mannerism, clothing, hygiene, and the way you speak and approach situations will all dictate this professionalism.
You can leverage these tools to make a great first impression and pitch yourself as a professional. This means unironed shirts, crooked ties, unclipped nails, messy hair and beard, and stinky armpits should all be a big no.
Instead, you should dress to impress. Also, consider taking a breath mint before an important meeting if you suffer from bad breath. A mouth freshener should be integral if you’ve recently eaten too.
When you meet new people, always take the initiative and break the ice by introducing yourself. Smile when the other person tells you about themself and make sure to appear genuinely interested in what they have to say.
The modern world is all about building mutually-beneficial partnerships. And, people don’t really want to collaborate with someone unreliable and untrustworthy. Fortunately, you can use this to your advantage by creating a positive first impression by being punctual, dependable, and honest.
So, reach the meeting point before time and keep your phone away during the meeting. If you have to take a call, ask for the other person’s permission before taking it. Also, when you get up to receive the call, note down what was being talked about before you took the call. This will prevent that awkward, “so, what were we talking about” part.
Competence is all about expertise. The person you’re hoping to win over should be absolutely certain about your prowess in a specific field before your first meeting comes to an end.
Consider brushing up on industry developments so you can adequately answer each question the opposing party throws at you. Speaking of developments, you should also work towards developing your listening skills.
Trust us, no one likes repeating things. Carefully hear what the other individual is talking about, take note of their body language and try to decipher the answer they’re hoping to hear.
Your first impression in the workplace must also be one of openness and inquisitiveness. No one likes a know-it-all who can’t think beyond personal gain. So, make a habit of asking questions and acknowledging your shortcomings.
Also, consider involving yourself with other staff at the office. Whether it’s a simple water cooler chat or a coffee after work, push yourself to socialize with your peers. You’d be amazed at the things you’ll get to learn when sitting in the company of like-minded people.
We understand that making the right impression is hard. But, maintaining that notion of yourself is even harder. So, don’t oversell yourself during a first encounter. Be natural and pitch forth the best version of yourself. Trust us, you’ll be good to go!