Dressed to impress? We know we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but fact is, first impressions are sticky! Have you heard of the 7 11 rule? Within the first seven seconds of contact, we form 11 impressions about the other party!
Whether it's a job interview, networking session, a social event or a first date; we instinctively put in more effort in how we will be perceived. So, aside from practising basic hygiene and dressing for the occasion, how else can you be less "awkward turtle" and more confident? How can you break down barriers and begin establishing trust with one another?
Have you been kept waiting by others before? Especially for a date - every agonising minute that your date is late, you come closer to thinking that you're gonna be stood up. Anxious? Frustrated? Not fun at all!
How to stay on time? Plan your outfit and fitness attire the day before. Shoes? Socks? Sports Bra? If you're coming from work, make sure you stay productive so you can leave on time. If you tend to lose track of time, set an alarm for getting ready and one just before you need to leave. Plan to be a little early. You never know when traffic or break downs decide to put a dent in your plans.
Watch your body language
Smile! It's the key to leaving a positive impression. Smiling triggers the reward center of the brain so we feel better about ourselves, and anyone who sees us smiling at them will feel better about themselves too.
Keep your body language open. This means no crossed arms or legs - that you are comfortable and relaxed, and have nothing to hide. Leaning forward during conversations also shows that you are interested in what the other parties have to say. Don't be a creep and cross their personal space though, especially if aren't familiar with each other yet.
When at the gym and working out together, it does not hurt to cheer one another on and give your SweatBuddy a high five when one round of circuit has been completed!
Put your phone away, please. Nobody enjoys having a conversation interrupted by a phone call or the constant text message notifications. Worse still, if you're expecting one, and keep looking at your phone instead of paying attention to your new friend or date!
As the old saying goes “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything”. Follow it and avoid gossip too. Remember to keep things positive and non-judgemental to start creating trust!
You only get one opportunity to leave a great first impression, so make it count :)
Ps. Some parting words we'd leave you with - Brené Brown's wisdom and her definition of trust ("BRAVING").
B : Boundaries
R : Reliability
A : Accountability
V : Vault
I : Integrity
N : Non-Judgement
G : Generosity
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