First Impressions Are Powerful: In A Split Second They Establish the Existence or Absence of Executive Presence

By Diane Craig

StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay

First impressions are the building blocks of every connection we make. They impact our decisions about whether to proceed with the connection and ultimately have the potential to derail an impending relationship.

Developing the ability to read people and interpret your initial connections with them can guide you to manage how you are perceived; the impact you make, and the opinion people form of you in that very first encounter.

Foe or friend?

Experts agree that we have a genetic pre-disposition to form fast, accurate first impressions. This intuitive ability can be traced back to our cavemen ancestors. They were on high alert every time an outsider appeared on the horizon: “Foe or Friend? Am I in danger?” This is our primal instinct working. It’s in our DNA to jump to conclusions when we meet someone new.

Executive Presence is synonymous with creating a positive, charismatic First Impression

Analyzing your own First Impressions of people equips you to increase your awareness of their perception of you. This helps fine-tune behavior that leads to increased levels of engagement – and the ultimate goal of Executive Presence.

How are First Impressions created?

We make assumptions and judgments using hunches and intuition, not information.

There are 4 key factors that influence our First Impressions
These are:

  • Likeability
  • Credibility
  • Power
  • Appearance

As part of our intuitive process these are the entry points we use to make judgments:

Factor 1. Likeability

“Am I comfortable with this person?”
We respond to warmth and friendliness.
 We are at ease with extroverts; they are demonstrative and expressive.
“Am I confusing shyness with concealment?”
We often misjudge introverts for their soft speech patterns or limited eye contact.

Factor 2. Credibility

“Do I trust and believe this person?”
We have an irrepressible need is to feel at ease with people.

Factor 3. Power

Powerful people exercise influence. 
We recognize their authority and involuntarily feel the need to please them.

Factor 4. Appearance

“Do I like the look of this person?”
Yes, we do judge a book by its cover when it comes to first impressions.
The upshot is we generally consider ‘likeable’ people attractive. Attention-to-grooming is key to how we measure attractiveness and appearance.

Takeaway

The key to making a positive First Impression is to focus on how you make people feel about themselves. To achieve the right state of mindfulness:

  • Be conscious of how you’re feeling
  • Take control of your emotions and your energy level
  • Focus on positive thoughts

Experts have proven that our mind can change our body. When we’re happy, we walk more energetically; we lift our head and shoulders. When we sit up straight, the entire body “salutes” our surroundings. We appear attentive, open and receptive.

Finally, remember as we judge others, they judge us.

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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