Seven seconds (2)
One of the most annoying things about making a bad first impression is how unfair it seems. ‘Why should people judge me based on my first seven seconds?’ Sadly, it’s one of those truths that’s hard to shift – people make impressions and stubbornly stick to them, even when they’re wrong. But we can grow into making better first impressions. And it’s a great way to grow in putting others first: showing them that you’re available and vulnerable to them in the first few seconds of meeting them, even before you’ve got to know them. So how can we do that? One communications expert has this to say: ‘We remember 85 to 90 per cent of what we see, but less than 15 per cent of what we hear… If you’re wise you’ll ask your family and friends if you’re inclined to display nonverbal cues that capture their attention and take the focus off what you’re trying to communicate.’ Get a second opinion or two. And try to make changes to take their comments on board. If we want to make it our life’s goal to share God’s love with people, they’ll see it first on our faces and in our posture (and maybe even see it mostly there). One of the biggest things people pick up on is detachment, particularly in people who’ve learned to guard their emotions. If your face and body are going to talk – and they are – you can work to make sure they’re saying the right things.
Find a (not too weird) way of asking some friends and family if you’re sending out some mixed messages. And today try to counter them.