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Myth about First Impressions

“Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.”

- Cynthia Ozick

Our changing pace of life, shrinking attention spans and fast depleting levels of patience is more than well documented. Expanding time is not an option and hence, squeezing more into what’s available seems the only feasible alternative. The obvious fallout is our tendency to form split second impressions about everything – from dogs, books, movies, food, to people! Does this impede one’s ability to make the right choices? Maybe. But, I’m not wasting energies trying to change the way the world forms their first impressions. Instead, I acknowledge it and leverage it, to my advantage!!

The framework to making a first impression is as simple as A, B, C, D & E! Appearance, behaviour, Communication, Digital Presence and Etiquette. Don’t take my word for it. Evaluate for yourself the elements that influence your judgement and you would have the answer. Having said that, here’s a revelation. I’ve been an image consultant for about a decade now and if there’s one thing that summarises my learning, it would be to refrain from a formula that guarantees a ‘Good’ first impression. An impression is made by others and one has limited influence over it. However, what one does have control over is to present a best version of themselves. Who is to define what this version should conform to.

“Almost everyone can make a good first impression but only a few can make a good lasting impression.”

- Sonya Parker

As they say, a good start is half the job done. Yet, the other half still remains. This other half is largely driven by one’s authenticity. Image management essentially equips one with tools that help present your best version. The intention is only to ensure that one is not robbed of opportunities, falling victim to the human tendency to form an instant impression. So, next time someone shares proven ways to make a good impression, you know better!!

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