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You Only Have 7 Seconds To Leave A Good First Impression. Here’s How You Can Nail It.

You Only Have 7 Seconds To Leave A Good First Impression. Here’s How You Can Nail It.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day. More than 30 million seconds in a year.

But it only takes 7 seconds to form a first impression.[1]

And these 7 seconds can change your coming years if not the entire life.

7 seconds to leave an impressive first impression on your future partner.

7 seconds to make your prospective employer think you’re trustworthy and bright in an interview.

If we know how to make the best out of these magical 7 second of time, it can be a pot of gold. We will be well ahead of the others.

If You Make A Bad First Impression, You Can Hardly Change It Afterwards…

Wait.. First impression isn’t that important. People can eventually understand who we are actually capable of through interaction afterwards. We can easily prove who we really are later on, can’t we?

Well… Of course we hope we can.

But science has revealed at least twice the effort is required to change the first impression.[2]

The die is cast at the very beginning.

First Impression Is A Trick The Brain Plays On Us

Ever heard of anchoring effect and confirmation bias?

Anchoring effect is the tendency to base too heavily on the first given piece of information to make decision.[3]

Confirmation bias is the tendency to favor in a way that confirms the preexisting beliefs and hypotheses. More importantly, disproportionately consideration is given to the alternative possibility.

What do they do with first impression?[4]

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First, with limited understanding of new friends we meet, we tend to instantly rely on our intuitive to form our perceptions of who they are.

Second, confirmation bias makes it difficult for us to change our biased perceptions. When we further interact with our new friends, we will keep collecting information to prove our judgement is right and ignore anything against our beliefs.

That means, first impression is the by-product of our biased minds.

Do I Need To Disguise Myself If I Want To Leave A Good Impression?

Nah. Not to be confused between ‘impressing others’ and ‘leaving a good impression’.

Impressing others means changing ourselves to fit in others’ expectations.

Leaving a good impression means showing your best self to the others. No changing is involved at all.

Don’t pretend. Don’t disguise. Don’t hide our true self.

The key is that we want the others feel good by our presence, as if the way we want to be treated when we meet new friends.

True. We should not judge a book by its cover. But who will bother picking up the book if its cover scares people off? In order for others to explore us further and deeper, we need to seek a way for them to be interested in us at the very first.

Be a book with rich content as well as an attractive cover.

How To 100% Make Sure I Leave A Great First Impression

Well, leaving a good impression can be done in a multitude of ways. From clothing to posture, from talking style to body language. Below are several tips for you to begin with:[5]

Physical Appearance Matters. We’re Visual Creatures After All.

Before actually knowing you deeper through interaction, physical appearance is the first clue one relies on to interpret who we are.

Besides, it is a way to show respect by choosing appropriate attire for different settings. It also means the person means something to us by dressing properly.

If it is a business setting, be aware of the dress code or culture. The requirement varies from culture to culture. A thumbs-up here does not mean the same elsewhere. Do the research!

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Grooming and dressing are the key here. Are you cleanly shaved? Is your hairstyle messy? Are the clothes neat and tidy? The neatness and tidiness from all these little areas affect much on the impression on the whole.

Don’t Fake A Smile. People Will Doubt Your Sincerity.

    ▲ (Left) A fake smile vs (Right) A genuine smile

    Don’t squeeze a fake smile. A fake smile looks unnatural and it may even creep people out. It can potentially do more harm than good in our attempts to leave a good impression.

    Then what makes a genuine smile?

    A genuine smile means a Duchenne smile. It means when you smile, you raise the muscles at the corner of your mouth, of your cheeks and of your eyebrows. Smile is only genuine when our brows are raising and more importantly. It is an involuntary action.[6]

    It is understandable that sometimes it is hard to suddenly crack a smile. Then at least try not to look intimidating and grumpy!

    Positivity plays a crucial part in shaping our first impression.

    Look Into People’s Eyes Until You See The Colors of Their Irises

    Maintaining a moderate amount of eye contact delivers a sense of intimacy to the one we interact with. Consequently, they feel more connected to us and tend to be more positive toward the interaction and our content.

    What makes a quality eye contact? Well, try to identify the color of the others’ irises. Get it? That makes a good eye contact example.

    Moreover, numerous studies have shown that eye contact is associated with the following traits:

    Attractive. Competent. Trustworthy. Sincere. Confident.

    Are these the impression we want to leave? Stop staring at the ground and look at people in the eye then!

    It’s Not About What You Speak But How You Speak

    The manner we talk also contributes to our success in leaving a good impression.

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    Dressing and grooming, check.

    Smile, check.

    Eye contact, check.

    We are confident about our qualification. Now, delivery is the key.

    Don’t rush your answer. Think thoroughly before any words come out of our mouth. Rapid answering gives an impression of insecurity and anxiety. Yet, don’t stay too long to answer or you appear hesitant. Try to ask ourselves whether the answer is complete and perfect. Fine? Then answer.

    Give ourselves a break of one to two seconds before answering. We need time to put it in the best possible way.

    The tempo matters too. Never speak too fast. It’s difficult to capture the gist in a machine-gun style of flow. It is lethal to any interaction. It is deadly to our impression.

    Instead, talk with ease. Have a steady and calm flow. Properly segment our sentences to ensure the others can follow us and get the idea.

    Tones play a role too. Moderate alternation of tones avoids us sounding too dull and monotonous. A slightly raise or dip of tone can hint on the important part of the message. Raise of volume also works.

    In the end, we will find ourselves sounding more appealing than we can imagine.

    Never Perform Your One-Man Show In Communication

    The notion ‘interaction’ implies the participation of everyone. None is solely responsible to do the talking part and neither is listening.

    Remember conversation is a turn-taking action. We talk. They listen. They respond. We listen.

    It is simply nonsense to constantly talking, depriving others of their opportunities to speak.

    I know we are eager to show our best self. I know we can’t wait to express our brilliant thoughts. Sometimes it is essential for others to respond to us.

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    Learning to be a good listener is often overlooked by gifted speakers.

    While listening, take notes of what the others are talking about. Attend to the others’ speaking by leaning slightly toward them.

    Don’t idle our minds away. Communication involves interaction. If we only concern our own content and never respond, this is called ‘turn-taking individual speaking’, which is definitely irrelevant to leaving a good impression.

    Do You Hate Compliments? I Don’t

    Look for something to praise the others. It can bring closer one another and connect with others more.

    If we are thinking about the physical appearance, be careful! It appears superficial to comment on the looks of other people.

    Try to turn to the dressing styles. Compliment on them.

    Are they well matched? Does the color bring about some enlightening power?

    Remember conversation is interactive. If we praise the others, they are more willing to praise us and BINGO! We get the desired remarks and impression.

    Remember that 7 seconds are enough to change your life!

    Lastly, there are two videos to give you some insights on how to leave a good impression at work and in the first date:[7] [8]

    Reference

    More by this author

    Jeffrey Lau

    Editor. Sport Lover. Animal Lover.

    A Dull Resume Can Kill Your Job Chances, Here’s How You Can Write an Appealing One The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach 20 Most Fun Jobs in the World (That Also Pay Well) How to Think Positive Every Day How Our Brains Trick Us into Believing the Wrong Things

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    Last Updated on July 23, 2019

    3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

    3 Keys to Success in Life (That Will Change You in 2019)

    Do you want to program your mind and hack your body to stay in a positive state, a state of action taking throughout the day? I suggest you read on.

    We will look at 3 keys to success that successful people are doing that you can model to program your mind to be in the state of succeeding from the moment upon waking, and make decisions throughout the day that will lead you towards your desires.

    The Biggest Obstacle to Success: Going on Autopilot

    One of the biggest pitfalls in the modern society is to fall into the trap of going on autopilot, to be walking dead and do what everyone else are doing. Most of us are too busy reacting and responding to the environment and what’s happening around us.

    While we should act and take charge of our own world and our own reality. We forget to stay focused and we forget about our goals.

    Learn to be conscious. Being more conscious in your day-to-day decisions will lead you to take the appropriate actions to reach your goals.

    Have a purpose with life, act according to your values, and don’t let people tell you what to do or how things should be.

    When you start to make more conscious decisions, you will start to think about if this is going to take you closer to your goals or drift you further away.

    Why are you doing what you’re doing right now? Why are you reading this? Nothing else to do? Or are you reading this site so you might pick up a thing or two to consciously incorporate in your life to improve yourself that will move you in the direction you want?

    What are your goals? Be healthy? Lose weight? Be fit? Get the dream job? Have the dream house? Live the dream life? Make a certain amount of money? Start a family?

    If you truly want to pursue these goals and actually see them come true, you need to start taking actions consciously.

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    3 Keys to Success in Life (That You Can Start Doing Now)

    There are 3 things we have to consciously start doing:

      Now I’ll show you how you can achieve each of them in details.

      1. Write down Your Goals

      The first thing you do in the morning will determine what your day is going to be like. Program your mind to be in a powerful state from the moment upon waking, and you are guaranteed to have a productive and great day.

      How you can do this is by writing your goals down, every morning. Then, once you’ve done that, circle the most important goal,  the goal that in the long-term will have the most impact on your life.

      Now ask yourself this question: “What actions can I make today that will change everything and take me closer to this goal?

      Write down all the actions you can think of, circle the two most important ones and start doing them. Don’t stop until it’s done.

      This is an extremely powerful method of getting in the right state first thing in the morning. Instead of wandering around half-dead and spending 30 minutes to wake up, you are hacking your mind to be productive.

      Another powerful reason for writing down your goals is that by reading them it makes us feel good, write them as if they’re already accomplished. You’re already there.

      Re-reading and re-writing them every morning will ensure you to be in a resourceful state where you act based on your goals. You will make conscious decisions throughout the day that will support your goals and take you closer to them.

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      Goals that are not written down are merely wishes. Learn how to set great goals here: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

      The power of writing goals as if you’re already there takes us to point number 2.

      2. Create a Powerful Belief System

      Ask any successful person what their number one rule for succeeding is. They all have this in common:

      They believe in themselves and what they’re doing, and they are not afraid to say it.

      If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else?

      When people ask you about your goals in life, don’t be afraid to say it out loud. If you have high goals, they might laugh and look at you funny. But if you’re insecure about your goals, you will make insecure decisions that will lead you nowhere.

      Go against the grain, stand out. After all, how many people in the world today are actually living the dream? Now, how many of these people will respond something in the likes of “I don’t know” if you ask what their goals are?

      Be determined and believe in yourself. People will respect you for having the guts for going after what you truly desire.

      I once heard a story about a guy that worked in a video store. Every day he would bring two magazines to work, one was an entrepreneur magazine and the other was a magazine loaded with expensive and fast-riding cars. His boss would ask him why he was bringing these magazines to work every day and his answer was: “I’m picking out the car I’m going to buy.”

      The response from the boss was like most average minds saying he was killing himself thinking like that, he would never ever get that car and would just end up disappointed when it never happened.

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      Turned out, the guy later quit the job at the video store and followed his dream. Some years later he return to the video store to return a video, and he did so in the car he picked out from the magazine.

      The same people were working in the store as the day he used to work there. Now can you imagine the looks on their faces when he turned up in the car they said he never ever would get?

      Priceless. And it all started by creating a powerful belief system.

      The first step to living and achieving your dream is to believe it and imagine it. When you believe in your mind that you’ve already achieved your goals, you will develop a sense of certainty. That certainty will lead to action steps, when you know what the outcome is going to be it’s much easier to pick out the actions that are necessary to get there.

      You are certain you will live in the body you want.

      You are certain you will live in the dream house with the dream family.

      You are certain you will have the job you want, and earn the money you believe you’re worth.

      By constantly repeating in your mind the images of yourself succeeding, you create neural pathways in the brain. Your mind can’t tell the difference between what you vividly imagine and the reality.

      Go out and day dream. Go out and believe, imagine already living your dreams and goals. With enough repetition, you become certain that this is the only outcome and you work backwards to find ways for making it happen.

      The next step in personal success that will lead to life success and happiness is to..

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      3. Invest in Yourself

      A wise man was once asked what the best possible investment someone could make. His answer was short, sweet and simple: “Invest In Yourself.”

      The man’s name is Warren Buffett. He is known as the world’s greatest investor. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $53.5 Billion.

      Hiring a personal coach, getting a membership at a gym, buying healthy foods, books and education are not expenses. They are investments: investments in yourself.

      Some things you can do today to invest in yourself are:

      • Go to the gym and train. Physical training releases endorphins and makes you feel great. It increases productivity and energy levels. By investing time in the gym, you’ll be better able to handle daily tasks and what life throws at you. Forty-five to fifty minutes is all you need, it’s actually the best time to shoot for in a workout.
      • Eat good food. When you go to the grocery store after work, ask yourself: “What foods will nourish my mind and body to feel and perform better?” You are setting yourself up for greatness and consciously making yourself aware of what foods will empower you, therefore make better decisions.
      • Start reading books. Everyone buys books, but very few actually reads them cover to cover.
      • Stop reading books and start studying them. Few read the books they buy, but even fewer remembers what they read. Stop reading books and start studying books.
      • Study at least one hour a day. “One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.” – Brian Tracy
      • Take notes. Never leave home without a pen and a piece of paper. The best ideas often comes in the least appropriate times, write them down. Don’t trust your mind to remember them—it won’t. Writing it down right away will also allow your mind to store and come up with more ideas. Nowadays, you can use plenty of notes-taking apps like Evernote.
      • Learn a new skill. Learn something new every day, a new skill or a new word. One new skill every day equals 365 new skills a year. Now imagine where you could be a year from now if you start doing it today?
      • Do something for yourself. Yes, hard work is a major factor for succeeding, but at least once per month do something fun, something outrageous and spontaneous that makes you feel alive. Have fun and enjoy yourself.

      The Crucial Rule to Follow

      The last piece of advice and rule to follow: Keep on, keeping on.

      Sometimes, things get hard and the road seems too long. You just have to keep on, keeping on.

      Revisit your goals and start imagining, all of the sudden you’ve changed your state and you’re on the right track again. The track that will take you to greatness.

      Use these 3 keys to create your destiny and achieve what you want in life.

      Go get it.

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      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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