How to Make a Lasting First Impression in the Workplace
You only get one chance to make a first impression. In fact, a recent survey by Vistaprint found that a first impression is made within 24 seconds of meeting someone in a business setting, so time is of the essence when it comes to making your mark.
A first impression is built up of many different characteristics, the most common being physical appearance and tone of voice. But other factors that are considered include posture, language, accent, and speed.
Although it sounds simple, leaving a positive lasting impression requires a strategic approach. But once you’ve got the basics down, the rest will come naturally, and you will be nailing it every time.
- Set Your Intentions
How do you want to be perceived by your colleagues? Are you speaking in a big meeting or is it your first day in a flexible workspace? If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, keep conversation professional. If you are at a networking event, this would be a more suitable occasion to include humour.
- Eye Contact
The right amount of physical contact goes a long way when it comes to first impressions. A good, firm handshake and direct eye contact as opposed to checking your phone or glancing round the room shows that you are engaged and interested in what the other person has to say.
- Ask Questions
Asking open-ended, thoughtful questions is a great way to divert the attention over to your peers, inviting them into the conversation and allowing them to to engage more with you, resulting in a much more relaxed conversation. When people feel relaxed around you, they are more likely to enjoy being in your company and working with you.
One of the key lasting impressions you can leave someone with is humour. It’s a great way to ‘break the ice’. Making someone genuinely laugh is also a brilliant way to make yourself memorable out of a group of people.
- Keep It Real
Be yourself! As we mentioned earlier, humans are quick to make judgements of others, which means it’s easy to spot someone who isn’t genuine. Dress professionally but comfortably, stand proud and speak about subjects you are passionate about.