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Importance of first impressions



Kirjoittanut: Lucas Pääkkönen Alvim - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

Importance of first impressions

Introduction

First impressions last, as everybody has already heard at some point in their life. When you are meeting a new person in an informal environment such as a café or in a formal environment like a job interview, the other person receive a first impression of you. There are different studies and surveys with different outcomes, but from what I have researched the average time to form a first impression is seven seconds. So, in those seven seconds, you unconsciously have started to judge that other person, making your opinion and conclusions about them, your brain tries to put the other person in categories from most obvious to less obvious. (Christison, 09.2019)

 

Why do first impressions last?

Have you ever heard about the anchoring effect and confirmation bias? The anchoring effect is to rely too heavily on the first piece of information received to make a decision. Confirmation bias is to favor in a way that confirms pre-existing beliefs and hypotheses.(Lau)

So when meeting new people we tend to rely on our intuition to form our perception of them, and then the anchoring effect makes us to attached to that perception because is our first conclusion about the other person, and the confirmation bias makes it hard to contradict that first perception because we unconsciously will be looking for information to confirm our pre-existing hypotheses.

 

Why is important to make a good first impression?

Because they last. If you start by making a bad impression it is going to take work to turn it around. It has been said that it takes double the effort to make up for a bad first impression than to make a good impression from the beginning. Building positive momentum, if you since the beginning have been building it up, it is going to be hard to break it, on another hand if you start with a bad impression it is easier to break the momentum (Schwartz).  You might only have one opportunity, like in a job interview, if you don’t make a good first impression most likely you will not be invited for a second interview. It is estimated that approximately thirty percent of interviewers make their decision about an interviewee within the first five minutes of the interview. (Zuloaga, 07.03.2019)

 

How to make a good first impression?

Have good posture and confidence. If you have your back straight and transmit confidence when you talk and move, the other person is going to pick on that and is going to feel good about you. If you want to make a good first impression you have to prepare beforehand.  You must know the context if you are going for a job interview in a bank you are expected to be wearing a suit unlike at a dinner with friends where you can wear casual clothes.

You have to be able to adjust your attitude, if you are having a good day, you probably will be looking happy, so people will most likely form a positive impression of you. But the same goes if you are having a bad day, you will be looking sad, so people most likely will be forming negative impressions of you. That’s why it is important to be able to adjust your attitude so you can look happy every time you have to cause a good impression.

Search for common ground, because we tend to like people who are a bit similar to us. If you are finding it hard to find something in common, you can mention the reason why you are reunited or a recent news story. Shift the focus from yourself to them. Experts say that taking the focus from yourself and put it on someone else, can make others perceive you in a better way.  People always remember how you made them feel, so if you make them feel appreciated and heard, they will not forget.

Be yourself. You have to be genuine, if you are constantly worried about doing or saying the right thing, that sense of worry will be transmitted to the other person, and it can make the other person feel that you are hiding something so it would be harder for them to trust you. (Shortsleeve, 28.08.2018)

 

Conclusion

First impressions are very important, so if you can use them for your advantage is better, but if you for some reason transmit a bad impression it is not the end of the world, it can be fixed but it will take work. You cannot forget that the other person is making an impression of what you are presenting, so it is in your hands to try and make a good first impression.

 

References

(Christison, 09.2019)The New 5 Second Rule: Redefining the First Impression | Quita Christison | TEDxPortsmouth – Bing video seen24.03.2022

(Lau)  You Only Have 7 Seconds To Leave A Good First Impression. Here’s How You Can Nail It. (lifehack.org) read24.03.2022

(Schwartz)5 Reasons Why First Impressions Are The Most Important – StartBlox  read24.03.2022

(Shortsleeve, 28.08.2018) How to Make a Good First Impression, According to Experts | Time read24.03.2022

(Zuloaga, 07.03.2019) The Impact of First Impressions on Hiring: A Data Science Perspective (hirevue.com) read24.03.2022

 

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