A negative first impression can have a lasting impact by ProQuest


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A negative first impression can have a lasting impact
Question: Is it true that you never get a second     look and act like everyone else. But on the          enced by whether you smile. A natural, com-        know how to communicate effectively over the
chance to make a first impression?                   other hand, there’s a side of you that says, “I      fortable smile puts the other person at ease. It   telephone. They either talk too fast, garble
Adubato: Absolutely. Much of the communica-          can’t pretend to be somebody I’m not. They’ll        says that you are comfortable with yourself and    their words or speak so softly that you can’t
tion equation is based on how the receiver of        have to like me for who I am.”                       the situation you are in, and it makes much of     hear them. You should treat a telephone con-
your message feels about you. Do they like                                                                what you are saying easier to hear because a       versation the same way you would treat an
you? Trust you? Believe in you? It goes beyond        Question:So how does someone balance being          smile is seen as friendly and informal as          important face-to-face meeting. If you inter-
content to a more subjective and visceral reac-       him or herself without offending or turning off     opposed to adversarial and rigid. Are you aware    rupt, you give the impression that you are not
tion one has to another human being.                  other people?                                       of whether you smile when you meet people? If      interested in hearing what the other person
                                                                  Adubato: This is always a bit of a      not, it is something to think about.               has to say. If you talk too fast, you make it seem
Question: So, what are some of the                                dilemma. It’s one thing to encour-                                                         as if you do not have time to engage in a con-
keys to making a positive first                                   age people to speak from the heart      Question: Where does eye contact fit into          versation. If you make a bad first impression
impression?                                                       by being true to themselves. But,       the equation?                                      over the phone, oftentimes you miss an
Adubato: First impressions can                                    what if being yourself means act-       Adubato: Relaxed but focused eye contact is        opportunity for a face-to-face meeting, which
have a lasting impact on the type                                 ing obnoxious or exceedingly shy?       key, as is a firm handshake. The reason I tie      ultimately results in losing a deal.
of relationships we have with oth-                                What about wearing ratty clothes,       these two powerful nonverbal communication
ers. Whether you are on a job                                     flashy jewelry, or having purple        items together is that when you shake some-        The Bottom Line: Think about what kind of first
interview, a sales call, first date or                            hair? If you want to make a good        one’s hand you should be able to make solid        impression you make on most people. What
meeting your co-workers for the                                   first impression, think about           eye contact. Is your handshake firm, or fish-      will you do to increase the odds that the first
first time, we often communicate             Steve Adubato        where you are going, who your           like? Do you make direct eye contact, or does      impression you make is a positive one? Like I
powerful messages before we say a                                 audience is, and then about how         it make you uncomfortable? When you don’t          said, you may not get a second chance. ◆
single word. Especially at work, we want to           you can best feel good in your own skin in that     shake someone’s hand with a firm grip (no
make a good first impression, yet those               environment and with those people.                  squeezing necessary) and look him in the eye,          T h e      B o t t o m         L i n e
impressions sometimes are not rational.                                                                   you can be pretty sure you are making a less-
                                                                                                                                                               Steve Adubato wrote “Speak from the
They’re made quickly (in five seconds or less)        Ques
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