First impressions are important because they’re hard to undo, and a bad one will stick with you for a long time. But a good first impression isn’t about impressing at all. It’s all about engaging with someone and making a connection.
Photo by The Huntington.
Dorie Clark, the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, suggests that the interaction you have with someone is far more important than trying to prove yourself. Rebecca Knight at Harvard Business Review summarises:
“The most common mistake people make when trying to make a good impression is that they think they have to impress the other person with their vast knowledge,” says Clark. But the fact is, your aim is “not to wow and dazzle” but rather “to create a conversation that’s memorable” and engaging. So try to draw out the other person. And listen to what they have to say. “The better you make the other person feel, the more they will be inclined to have a positive impression of you,” says Clark.
Ask them thoughtful, open-ended questions, find out what they’re passionate about and look for things you have in common. People feel more comfortable around those they connect with, not those who show off their knowledge and ability.
How to Make a Great First Impression [Harvard Business Review]