Womenlines is delighted to welcome Anjalika, an IITTI (CANADA) certified professional Image Branding & Lifestyle Consultant, as an Influencer for Image Branding at Womenlines. Yes Womenfolk, gear up to learn the tips and tricks to carry yourself with excellence and make excellence your brand. In her sharing for this month, Anjalika is sharing incredible tips about ‘How to create the first impression?’-
‘The first impression lasts’ a three worded statement, simple yet so true. Do you know you only have a mere seven seconds to present a powerful professional or personal you when introduced to someone? Yes, a seven short seconds, that is all. I used to think how dare someone to deduce me within that short a time. Is that fair? We have so much to offer and seven seconds is a way too little for someone to size-us up and make an impression. However, if you ask me now, boy I am glad. Let me tell you more about impressing first.
First of all, just to back-track a little bit; my experience with first impressions started when I was 18 when I was interning for one of the major resort developments in Singapore and I have not looked back since.
Why is creating good impression such an integral part of life; most importantly, what is impression? When I looked up Cambridge dictionary, one of the first meanings for this word is said as ‘a mark made on the surface of something by pressing an object into it’. Similarly, whenever we meet someone, we actually make a mark of ourselves onto the other person. The initial seven seconds of meeting someone is when an impression of yourself is made on the other party’s mind. Please take note that making a good first impression has got nothing to do with insecurity or getting assurance from others. Creating a good impression has everything to do with securing a dream job, making good friends or even getting a lifelong partner. Having said that, the first impression is an initial contact point and what comes after is highly important too in securing and maintaining a relationship.
That said, summarising oneself in 7 seconds do require some skills; and these skills are what we are going to look at, going forward.
Everybody loves a good handshake; one that projects confidence and equality. Why are handshakes the important part of creating first impressions? Got to say one of my pet peeves is the dead fish; one that gives a very lacklustre reciprocation – the one with no energy and in turn, almost always takes away mine too – on impact. A handshake is an absolute tell-tale of a personality; too hard a handshake; domineering – one that turns down your hands and places his on top; superiority – a wet one; nervous – a dead fish; weakness. A good handshake is one that offers the whole hand and a non-crushing grip that lasts for about two to three seconds; all these while, keeping your left hands seen; not in the pocket – and unclenched.
The generous smile never fail to brighten my soul. Smile more; nothing is wasted from over-smiling except perhaps a jaw ache but in fact, you have lots more to gain. In the words of the Mother Theresa, “Peace begins with a smile” and I concur to that.
Words really have the ability to make or break us; in this instant, in a matter of seconds. Use positive words; avoid complains and negative nuances. Positive words are like music to the ears and flowers to the soul. You really want to be remembered as that person who nourishes one’s senses, not the opposite.
How important is eye contact in our day to day dealings? Highly important! The term eye contact was coined in the early 1960s from the West. For a start, it is an important sign of confidence and respect. It is also a form of non-verbal communication and has a large influence on social behaviour. Do you know that people who seek eye contact while speaking are regarded as believable and earnest? Good eye contact is one that gives focus on an imaginary triangle; across the eyebrows right down to the centre of the nose. Never ever stare at the mouth or worse, go southwards to the chest. That said and done, throw away those sunnies and start gazing!
If there is one thing I pay close attention to is posture; thank you, Mom and dance; they have has been my biggest influences and advocate since I was five! A good posture almost immediately makes you appear three notches more confident, not to mention few inches taller. Walk and sit erect, you will not regret and they will never forget.
Have you ever spoken to someone and notices his or her eyes wanders all over the room except on you? I call that downright rude and unfortunately, that kind of behaviour is quite rampant in the society we live in; where almost everyone is trying to multi-task and overdo at any given time and they forget this very basic rule. Pay attention to the person talking to you; refrain from cutting him off in the middle of the sentence. Listen to what is said and reply appropriately. Across every single culture and border, one thing remains true; people like to be heard. So why not project a listening ear and give them your fullest attention? One of my favourite quotes ever, ‘Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity’ – there you go, enough said!
Meeting new people is always exciting; faces, personalities, traits – not to mention the possibility of long term friendship, professional relationship even a romantic one. Before that can happen, projecting positive first impression is utmost importance for something more substantial to develop. So, what say, you bring your best foot and face forward.
After all, we will never get a second chance to make a great first impression.
–Zu Anjalika Kamis Gunnulfsen is the Editor (Singapore) for Marketing In Asia and certified Image Branding & Lifestyle Consultant. She was also crowned Mrs Singapore Globe 2017. Born in Singapore and blessed to have lived in a couple of other amazing cities in the world, Anjalika is currently expatriating in Kuala Lumpur. Follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram and blog