Have you ever looked at a person or a building and thought immediately something not so nice about them or it? Have you made assumptions about the interior of the building or the personality of the person purely based off their appearance and the first impression they give from it? First impressions can be incredibly beneficial or damaging to our credibility as either an organisation or a person as a whole. The exterior of something doesn’t often tell the whole story of something, and yet, it’s incredibly difficult to overcome those assumptions once they have been made.
What’s In A First Impression?
In a word, everything. First impressions are incredibly important to not just our professional lives but also our personal lives. To businesses, first impressions can make or break relationships and whether or not people want to be affiliated with that business. Sometimes in the cases of businesses, it can be forgiven if their furniture at work and things aren’t top of the line, brand new or really ultra modern, especially if they are fairly new and just getting established.
Imagine walking in the door for a job interview or perhaps an important meeting with a business partner or client. The first impression their reception area gives off could be indicative of how they operate as a business. This could be both good and bad: if it’s sloppy and unkempt, they could be sloppy and unkempt to work with. If it’s really pristine and elaborate, they could be high maintenance or overly professional and really corporate, which could be bad if your business isn’t or that’s not the kind of role you’re looking for.
How Can You Make A Good First Impression?
Depending where you’re going or what you’re doing, or what you’re representing, the key is to do some research on the company or business you’re going to be interacting with. Dressing the part goes a long way to making the right impression: you wouldn’t show up at a job interview for a large, multinational corporation in jeans and a t-shirt, even if it was dress down Friday and your interviewer was (note: they probably won’t ever be unless the company is super casual). As with so many other things through life, the key to success is knowing your audience, or in the case of businesses, knowing your clients or affiliates.
Moving Forward – Handling First Impressions
Whether you’re the one getting or giving the first impression, one thing that’s important to remember is that for some people, they last a long time, if not forever. Preconceptions and beliefs about a person, organisation or business may be negative because of a negative experience with an employee or a poor introduction to a new person. It’s important to try and push our preconceptions aside and give people and businesses a second chance – it’s entirely possible that the person or business was having a bad moment, a bad day or you walked in at an awkward time.
So there you have a couple of great titbits of information on first impressions, how to be prepared and how you yourself, your business or other businesses can be affected by first impressions, whether positive or negative. It’s always important to make a good first impression, so hopefully this article has helped you prepare for your next one!