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Most People Fail to Leave a Good Impression Because They Focus on the Wrong Things

Most People Fail to Leave a Good Impression Because They Focus on the Wrong Things

Are you interested in a powerful lifehack that will change how your life unfolds? What if all it required was to change your posture for two minutes? If we simply focus on tweaking our posture, we change who we are. [1]

Our body language communicates who we are. In fact, we make sweeping judgements from body language. For example, associate psychology professor Joseph Tecce found that something crazy like a lower blink rate predicted presidential winners. [2]

We immediately size someone up when we first meet them, but what are judging them on? Harvard social psychologist and best-selling author of the book Presence, Amy Cuddy says that people seek to answer two important questions when they first meet you.

  1. Can I trust you?
  2. Can I respect you?

Our non-verbal actions reveal who we are and shape how we are perceived. We make quite a bit of mistakes that hold us back and provide people a negative perception of us.

Are you making these common mistakes?

Cuddy points out that people typically believe that competence is the most important trait in making a good first impression. Yet, while this trait is highly valued, this tends to backfire on people if trust has not yet been established. Let’s take a look at five common mistakes we make that fail to leave a good first impression.

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    1. Smartest person in the room. Don’t try to be the smartest person in the room (remember, we are first judged on our trustworthiness).
    2. Frightened animal. Essentially, don’t collapse your body.
    3. Hiding in your shell. People tend to contract when they should expand their body.
    4. Fidgeting. Don’t play with your jewelry or pick at yourself.
    5. Subordination. Stop subordinating yourself to people. If you find yourself doing this, mirror the body language of the other person.

    So, how can we use our body to change our mind?

    Power poses to boost power and confidence

    Cuddy points out in her famous Ted Talk that there are specific things we can do (and practice) to feel more powerful and confident. The first thing we should do when seeking to make a good first impression is to stop talking so much. It’s ironic that we try so hard to leave a good impression that we actually end up leaving a bad impression. [3]

    Additionally, there are specific things we can do through our body language to project power and confidence. Cuddy calls them power poses. Let’s take a look at them and see if they can help you in your quest to project a person who is respected and trustworthy.

    How to leave an impression of trustworthiness

    The best way to lose trust is for someone to catch your body doing something different than what you are saying. This is where fidgeting can hurt you. Try this power pose when you feel subordinate to another or you find you regularly fidget while interacting with people.

      The Wonder Woman. Puff out your chest, plant your hands on your hips, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Tilt your chin up for that extra sense of power.

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      How to show people they can respect you

      Use your posture to both intimidate and seduce! Practice the following two power poses.

        The Loomer. If you are looking to close a deal, plant your hands on the table and lean forward.

        The Performer. If you are looking to gain confidence before interacting with a person or group, plant your feet wide and stretch your arms overhead in a V shape. Be sure to do this before you interact and not during.

        How to become an active listener

        This is one of the most difficult skills to attain. We often fail to actively listen during a conversation. Instead, we find ourselves trying to formulate our response while the other person is speaking. Try the following power poses and become a better active listener.

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          The CEO. Lean in by leaning back during your next job interview. Rest your arm on the back of your chair, keep your knees apart, and recline.

            The Obama. Love him or hate him, President Obama has a cool aurora about him. Try this the next time you are pitching or receiving an idea. Rest your feet on the table, clasp your hands behind your head, and lean back. Just remember, you might not want to do this during a job interview!

            Let’s look at a few more tricks that will help you make a great first impression.

            Fake it ’till you make it!

            The following list provides tips and techniques from How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes.

            1. Sticky eyes. Pretend your eyes are glued to your partners with sticky taffy. Essentially, don’t break eye contact.

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            2. Epoxy eyes. Watch your target person even when speaking with someone else. No matter who is speaking, keep looking at your target person.

            3. Hang by your teeth. Visualize a circus iron-jaw bit hanging from a door fame you are walking through. Bite down and let it hang you by your teeth, with every muscle stretched into the perfect posture.

            4. Mood match. Before speaking, take a “psychic photograph” of the person you are interacting with. Match their mood and tone of voice.

            5. Parroting. Here is a trick so that you will never be left speechless again. Similar to a parrot, repeat the last few words your conversation partner says. This will place the conversation back in their court, where all you need to do is listen – specifically to those last few words.

            6. Comm-YOU-nication. When you start every ‘appropriate’ conversation with “you” … you will grab the other persons attention. This will get a more positive response.

            Making a good first impression matters. First impressions are nearly impossible to undo, so make sure your first encounters are done right. Focus on eliminating the common mistakes and start practicing the power poses discussed earlier.

            And remember, trust takes years to build, but only seconds to break.

              Reference

              More by this author

              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

              Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

              What Is the Point of Life: The Reason Why You Exist 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory How Cognitive Learning Benefits Your Brain 10 Best Brain Power Supplements That Will Supercharge Your Mind How to Upgrade Your Critical Thinking Skills and Make Smart Choices

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              Last Updated on March 17, 2020

              4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

              4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting

              Are you bored at work right now?

              Sitting at your desk, wishing you could be anywhere other than here, doing anything else…?

              You’re not alone.

              Even when you have a job you love, it’s easy to get bored. And if your job isn’t something you’re passionate about, it’s even easier for boredom to creep in.

              Did you know it’s actually possible to make any job more interesting?

              That’s right.

              Whether it’s data entry or shelf stacking, even the most mind-numbing of jobs can be made more fun.

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              Understanding the science behind boredom is the first step to beating it.

              Read on to learn the truth about boredom, and what you can do to stop feeling bored at work for good.

              VIDEO SUMMARY

              I’m bored – as you’re watching the same film over and over again, even though it’s your favorite one

              When you experience something new, your brain releases opioids – chemicals which make you feel good. [1]

              It’s the feeling you might get when you taste a new food for the first time, watch a cool new film, or meet a new person.

              However, the next time you have the same experience, the brain processes it in a different way, without releasing so many feel-good chemicals.

              That’s why you won’t get the same thrill when you eat that delicious meal for the tenth time, rewatch that film again, or spend time with the same friend.

              So, in a nutshell, we get bored when we aren’t having any new experiences.

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              Now, new experiences don’t have to be huge life changes – they could be as simple as taking a different route to work, or picking a different sandwich shop for lunch.

              We’re going to apply this theory to your boring job.

              Keep reading find out how to make subtle changes to the way you work to defeat boredom and have more fun.

              Your work can be much more interesting if you learn these little tricks.

              Ready to learn how to stop feeling so bored at work?

              We’ve listed some simple suggestions below – you can start implementing these right now.

              Let’s do this.

              Make routine tasks more interesting by adding something new

              Sometimes one new element is all it takes to turn routine tasks from dull to interesting.

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              Maybe there’s a long drive you have to make every single week. You get so bored, going the same old route to make the same old deliveries.

              Why not make it a routine to create a playlist of new music each Sunday, to listen to on your boring drive during the week?

              Just like that, something you dread can be turned into the highlight of your day.

              For other routine tasks, you could try setting a timer and trying to beat your record, moving to a new location to complete the task, or trying out a new technique for getting the work done – you might even improve your productivity, too.

              Combine repetitive tasks to get them out of the way

              Certain tasks are difficult to make interesting, no matter how hard you try.

              Get these yawn-inducing chores out of the way ASAP by combining them into one quick, focused batch.

              For example, if you hate listening to meeting recordings, and dislike tidying your desk, do them both at the same time. You’ll halve the time you spend bored out of your mind, and can move onto more interesting tasks as soon as you’re done.

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              Break large tasks into small pieces and plan breaks between them

              Feeling overwhelmed can lead you to procrastinate and get bored. Try breaking up large tasks into lots of small pieces to keep things manageable and fun.

              Try breaking up a 10,000 word report into 1000-word sections. Reward yourself at the end of each section, and you’ll get 10 mini mood boosts, instead of just one at the end.

              You can also plan short breaks between each section, which will help to prevent boredom and keep you focused.

              Give yourself regular rewards, it can be anything that makes you feel good

              Make sure you reward yourself for achievements, even if they feel small.

              Rewards could include:

              • Eating your favourite snack.
              • Taking a walk in a natural area.
              • Spending a few minutes on a fun online game.
              • Buying yourself a small treat.
              • Visiting a new place.
              • Spending time on a favourite hobby.

              Your brain will come to associate work with fun rewards, and you’ll soon feel less bored and more motivated.

              Boredom doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

              Make your working life feel a thousand times more fun by following the simple tips above.

              Reference

              [1] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored

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