The effect of first impressions

Have you ever considered why you like or dislike someone? Everyone at least once in a lifetime has asked such a question with reference to relations with another person. If you, dear reader, haven't asked yet I am pretty sure you will, especially when you meet your mother-in-law.

Every day we communicate with countless group of people. One of them remain in our lives for longer, other proceed so imperceptibly like people who travel with you by bus or train. Together you create surrounding reality no matter if you want this or not. Each day somebody passes you on the street, somebody pays attention to you so simply incidentally, and that's the way we discover the world. From my own experience, after couple of seconds of staying with newly met person, thanks to some wonderful and inexplicable trick, I can determine if I like someone or not. Strange and completely irrational, isn't it?

But that's the way it is. And I want to tell you about my experience related to this, because in my job the effect of first impressions may be perceived as a invaluable support or treacherous ally 🙂

Once I had an appointment with a lady director. There were rumors the woman was very precise, demanding and strict. I thought it was just great , in the end I was surrounded by strong women but also deep water with the high probability of sinking. When I got there and entered her office, I felt totally confused under her imperious gaze. In a panic looking for a foothold, even a lifeline or a topic that could unite us, horror of horrors, I have not found anything. Each of us had in the life such a situation when even the most sincere prayer or Providence do not help. You can only say “Come hell or high water” and have a hope.

But in this case, my wife came with help in the most unusual way. Deviating a little from the main subject, my wife is a woman of a good nature, though with a very nasty habit - to spend money on things and items which are simply beautiful (but not always worth their price). A thing I have noticed in the office was the handbag. However, I must explain that I am not a connoisseur of handbags. But I still have one model in my mind, the one my dear wife once dreamed of, the same one I intended to buy for her birthday. Returning to the point, there's nothing out of the ordinary, just simple dark blue handbag made of a beautiful tanned skin.

But why am I writing about it? Because exactly the same one I have bought my wife for her birthday. If only you could imagine how long I was looking for it, and how long I was saving money for it! Returning to my memories, without thinking I started immediately to talk about my wife's handbag - as you probably know, a drowning man will clutch at a straw. I was talking about the shop in which I had bought it and the colors that had been available. Second by second, the smile on the face of the lady director was getting wider and wider until the Grinch smile turned into a cat’s from Alice in Wonderland smile. After nearly 30 minutes, we had a thread of understanding. Afterwards, without any problems we continued our business talks. Thanks to Ariadne's thread, I have made a great impression and today our relationship is on a super great level.

But you are not always so lucky. Sometimes the effect of the first impression can close the door for good. I have always thought that sport is an universal topic among men. There’s even slogan "Sport equals health". After meeting with some directors this saying has been extended by additional words - "sport is healthy if you know who to cheer on". What is all about it? Basically to start a business conversation by summarizing the results of the Spanish league 🙂 You know how it is, meeting on Monday at 10:00 am, a day before the match between two best teams in this league, finished more than half a dozen goals and extremely controversial referee decisions. It seems that you do not really need anything more on a lazy Monday morning to effectively increase the blood pressure of one another. Although, personally I prefer a cup of hot coffee, it's innate hunter’s instinct which does not allow me stay calm if my favorite football team is insulted. Remnants of common sense, I am trying to think of a business meeting and my goals. But in the end the Pole’s instinct manifests itself and incidentally found myself caught up in reaching a wrong direction discussion.

And what to do, man? You want to be nice, you just want to bring up a good topic but instead of it you are digging yourself a business grave. This question cannot be answered correctly. You can never be sure if your efforts will cause a measurable effect. This is precisely the effect of first impressions. No matter how hard you pretend to be someone you are not or how good you are in acting your role, you won’t manage to cope with the simplest things. Therefore, it is always important to be yourself and emanate positive energy and then you have a big chance to succeed even if your customer supports the opposing team. Then, dear reader, use your words and your language carefully and try not to repeat my mistakes. In the end, the value of a man are his weaknesses, especially the ones he loves. So it is better not to engage in such discussions if you have such hot blood as mine. Remember to be yourself and please nail it to your brain because everyone will sense the false and the effect of the first impressions, you will never be able to do it again. In business, the worst thing is the syndrome of eternal seller, but more on this topic later...

Written by Nikola Gołębiewska


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