Coordinating Your Killer Impressions

Early Judgments Matter and We Have Many Venues to Consider

first lasting impressionsCoaches will tell you that first impressions matter. This is backed up by psychological research which shows that we remember negative impressions far longer than positive ones. Neuroscience is adding to this understanding with research showing that the human brain is wired to focus on the ‘negative’ for survival. Negative here means anything that activates our survival instinct, the fearful, the anxiety producing, the hypervigilance, the avoidance response, etc.

The other big factor in first impressions is how our brain organizes information and experience. It immediately compares, catalogs and files. Once it labels and files, it takes effort to change it’s mind.

We want to insure our first impressions support openness and connection, not avoidance and rejection.

If people are failing, they look inept. If people are succeeding, they look strong and good and competent. That’s the ‘halo effect.’ Your first impression of a thing sets up your subsequent beliefs. If the company looks inept to you, you may assume everything else they do is inept. – Daniel Kahneman

In this day and age, it’s not just your first physical appearance impression that matters – it’s also your website, your Facebook page, your Tweets and so much more. Coordinating our branding serves to make a deeper first impression. Many potential clients will visit your website many times before they contact you. Others will follow you on Facebook or Twitter for days or weeks or months before they reach out. In today’s world of business first contact is more likely to be via email or Skype than in person.

So, we need to polish our look across the board and we need to listen more than talk regardless of the communication medium.