You’ve probably heard this saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” And it’s true. You can’t take back what you’ve said or done after it’s all said and done.
Here’s another, “Fake It Until You Can Do It,” which will help build your confidence until your skills or achievements match. If your first impression seems spurious or implies some power you don’t have, people can tell you are not being honest. You broke the most essential thing without ever seriously trying to build it – trust.
You need to build trust from the first impression
Trust is an essential part of communication, development, improvement, growth and business success. Remember, your leadership sets the tone for almost every aspect of the business. Fifty-one percent of workers experience emotional dissonance at work and negotiate the emotions they deem expected and appropriate for a professional environment or for the survival of work culture. It is important that you do not cultivate this element of negative work culture.
You may need to get past cheating syndrome or calm your ego to make a meaningful and memorable first impression. In any case, trust remains essential. Here are a few tips on how to make the best first impression as a leader.
1. Give us a warm welcome, but don’t smile creepily
Give us a warm welcome, however brief it may be, to show that you can find similarities and connections between different personalities and in different circumstances. Make eye contact. Give a confident but not too tight handshake.
No handshaker? Share a partially flipped smile for a great impression as most people think extreme V smiles or too many teeth are creepy unless you want to get your employees to believe that you are going to eat them for lunch. An asymmetrical or slightly crooked smile that shows a few teeth is fine as long as it’s your real smile.
- Get excited about something
Do you really care what you’re saying? Do all faces look the same to you now, regardless of which company you work for? Is your heart still racing and after all these years you will turn white as a sheet of paper?
If you lack energy, it will affect your audience. So if you want your employees to be excited about something, you should radiate it to your employees. If you are wondering why everyone else does not greet you so poorly when you arrive, your presence and expression probably cannot convey the energy that inspires passion and excitement. If you care, so will they. Find a detail – no matter how small – and use it.
- Attitude and work culture should inform clothing
Ask and check the setting before you show up. What is the clothing and work culture like? Do employees dress casually or in full suits? What about C-level employees? Is there a clear difference? What if you face customers? Do you meet with customers that day?
Define professional clothing according to the environment and work culture as well as your personality. Don’t be obsessed with these factors, but don’t forget about them either. If, in a relaxed work culture, you know in one day that you will not have any customer meetings, dress cleanly and professionally, instead of wearing a full business suit.
Accessories give personality and convey small details. For example, geometric details on a tie or jewelry can convey structure, innovation and personality.
Silence creates presence so you don’t have to communicate authority by speaking to fill space. It also shows that you are taking in your surroundings. Add a thoughtful smile and express your appreciation for the talent in the room. Everyone will feel welcome and valued, and you will appear approachable and open.
Breaks also emphasize important points and give them weight in conversations, presentations, and conversations. Taking a break also helps if you’re having trouble using too many verbal fillers, or if you’re a little nervous about making a great first impression as a leader.
5. Sound signals trustworthiness
Humans can base their impressions on their tone of voice in just 500 milliseconds because the human instincts to fight or flee are so finely tuned. If you waste time deciding whether to trust a voice or not, you are in danger of survival. While you are not in control of the length of your vocal apparatus, you are in control of your eyes, smile, and tone. Use a clear, confident voice with a warm tone to make a good first impression.
In the next step, focus carefully on the first impression you want to convey. What impressions have you left on previous shareholders, management colleagues, employees and customers? How does that affect your reputation today?
Is there anything you would like to change in the future? From body language to tone, your first impression is critical in building the trust that will help maintain a healthy work culture and morale, open communication, and productive staff.
Forget about faking it until you get it – you’re already there. Lead with authenticity, and these tips will help you communicate the rest to make the best first impression as a leader.