Everyone knows, or thinks they know, that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I don’t completely believe that. Many times you do get a second chance. You may have the opportunity to meet another time with that interviewer, your new supervisor or the prospective client. Of course, the goal is to make your first impression the best that you can. Why blow it to start out?
We all also know that things don’t always go well or as planned so if you make a faux pas during that initial encounter, don’t despair. You can make it right the next time or subsequent times that you meet. Just think about what you can do to right the situation immediately and grow that relationship.
- Apologize. When ever you can, offer an apology. Perhaps you forgot the person’s name or you arrived late for your appointment. Say that you are sorry.
- Don’t over apologize. Going on too long leads to groveling and begging. This will do nothing to enhance your image.
- Laugh at yourself. If you do something foolish, like the new salesman who got up to leave the meeting and walked into the closet, use your humor. Laugh at yourself. It shows a human side and puts others at ease.
- Don’t get flustered. Show your professionalism by keeping your cool. We all make mistakes such as thinking that cell phone was turned off when it was not. A bit of poise can go a long way.
- Learn from your mistakes. Make a note to self that says, “I will never do that again.” Look twice before you pick which knob to turn. Leave your cell phone in the car (shocking thought).
You will have more opportunities to blow that first impression, but don’t make the same mistake twice.
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.
Contact her via email at email@example.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.
My first impression of this article is “excellent!”
Especially the parts about phones and laughing at yourself.
I just witnessed my first bar mitzvah, and this very poised 13 year old young man stumbled on a couple of sections of the Torah. When he did, in front of 100+ people, he just chuckled and continued. Very charming.
I always value your comments. Thank you, Greg. Lydia