By Jenny DeRango, Account Executive, Spring 2019
The power of leaving a positive first impression is often overlooked. In the field of communication, a lasting impression just could be the reason you are offered an opportunity of a lifetime. Your first impression with an employer or colleague sets the bar for what he or she can expect from you in a work environment. Knowing how to represent yourself to someone new is key to paving the way to a positive relationship and bright opportunities for yourself in the future.
Listening is just as important as talking. The individual you are conversing with will take notice that you are being attentive and will, in turn, make their time and energy feel valued. Make eye contact, ask questions, show them you are engaged in the interaction and genuinely care about the topic. These actions will ultimately show any potential employer that you will be just as engaged in the workplace as you are in the conversation. Active listening creates space for mutual respect between you and your colleagues, which helps your team produce terrific work.
Don’t forget to smile. Leaving people with positive, friendly memories of you during your initial encounter with each other can only strengthen a relationship and the success of your networking skills. When you showcase an optimistic attitude, you are allowing others to give you a chance to lay their trust in your hands – it shows you aren’t afraid to work hard. A simple, genuine smile could be the secret ingredient to landing a wonderful opportunity with the right person because you will stand out among those who don’t. You will stand out as someone who cares.
While all these tips make sense to be used for professional work-related purposes, the power of positive first impressions should be considered when approaching any project, challenge, or decision you face throughout your life’s journey. The skills one acquires to give off a strong first impression can translate into a strong work ethic and a powerful mindset. Sending out optimism into the world will not only help create great relationships with new people, but it will also help you take on life’s challenges with more determination and flexibility. These tools of interaction yield an underestimated power to help people like us not only achieve success in the workplace, but overall happiness in our day-to-day lives.