How Important Is A First Impression?

How Important Is A First Impression?

Society teaches us that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. From personal relationships to business meetings, we are taught that people are forming opinions of us in the first few moments.

Because of this we need to be ready to be at our best at all times. On the flip side of this there is that other well known adage of never judging a book by it’s cover. Are first impressions worth the time and energy we put into cultivating them? Or are they wildly limiting, and something we should teach people to avoid? It appears we are equally passionate about both sentiments. But what does the research say?

Many studies have been undertaken on this topic and largely they conclude that first impressions can be very accurate and seem to stand the test of time. Fair or not, you only have moments to make an initial impression on customers and clientele. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follow. So, whether they are in your career or social life, it’s important to know how to create a good first impression. The importance of projecting an image of professionalism in those first moments cannot be overstated. How you come across in the first five minutes or less will set the tone for much of your future interactions.

First impressions in the Early Childhood sector can be the difference between having a full roll or not and are therefore very important from a business point of view.
Here are some ways to ensure that you are communicating the right level of professionalism.

Your standard of dress and personal grooming will be the first statement you make about yourself and your business standards. Dressing well communicates a certain level of respect for your own business as well as for your potential client. Appropriate attire allows the attention to remain focused on your business rather than on your person. Up to 55% of someone’s first impression of you will be based on your appearance. So a lot can be said for ‘Dress to impress’.

Personal posture is one way to express confidence and create a strong business atmosphere. Standing tall says that you are engaged with the world around you and are ready to handle things. Poor posture communicates disinterest to others. Keeping your head up and your eyes fixed on others lets them know that you are interested and attentive to those around you.

Being genuinely interested, asking questions and listening are great ways to make a positive first impression. People are more likely to form positive opinions of someone if they feel understood and that their needs are being heard.

What about the environment? Is it tidy, well presented, engaging? Or is the first impression that people get of a tired, messy, cluttered space? How does your centre invoke positive first impressions?

Introducing yourself and your business for the first time……….. what first impressions are you portraying?

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