We create a first impression in the first 6 seconds of meeting someone. In this highly competitive age, every second is crucial during this introduction, as we all know we won’t get a second chance to make a good first impression and a bad one can be almost impossible to change.
So, what makes a good first impression in any business or social environment?
It’s the eye contact, a smile and a firm handshake, closely followed by the appearance, posture and speech. Everything we do during the initial introduction process provides meaningful insight into who we are and how we feel. A lack of eye-contact can translate to a lack of confidence. A weak or non-existent handshake can translate to bad manners and a lack of confidence. Finally, not smiling can be perceived as being somebody who is not so great at interacting with people; again translating to, yes you’ve guessed it – a lack of confidence.
Research shows that 95 percent of brain activity is beyond our conscious awareness. The unconscious mind absorbs millions of bits of sensory information through the nervous system in any one second, which could trigger unconscious first impression bias even if the conscious impression seems to be fine.
The aim is to generate an impression of social benefit, rather than a social burden, as the first impression is the lasting impression. If we demonstrate confidence, kindness, respect and positivity via positive eye-contact, a confident smile and good manners, people around us will be much more receptive and willing to establish a meaningful connection.