149: The Power of a First Impression

Research shows that it can take up to 6 months of regular contact for someone to change their original opinion of you. Insane right?!

Malcolm Gladwell talks about the concept of “thin-slicing” and how we have been evolutionarily be trained to judge our surroundings within seconds of coming in contact with something or someone. We evolved this way to be able to protect ourselves quickly when needed.

Malcolm Gladwell Blink First ImpressionHere’s what he shares:

“It is a central part of what it means to be human. We thin-slice whenever we meet a new person or have to make sense of something quickly or encounter a novel situation. We thin-slice because we have to and we come to rely on that ability because there are lots of situations where careful attention to the details of a very thin slice even for no more than one or two seconds can tell us an awful lot.”

– Malcolm Gladwell from his book Blink

How to upgrade the first impression you’re leaving on others

Great resource for behavioral advice: The Art of Charm Podcast on iTunes or on their website.

Jordan Harbinger is the host of this podcast and he has an exercise that I wanted to share with you called the doorway drill.

Essentially you take a bright colored sticky note and put it at eye level of every doorway in your home. You then use the sticky note as a trigger to remind yourself to stand straight, with shoulders back, chest up, chin up and smile on your face.

By training your body to use open, positive, confident body language when entering a room you’ll start to develop a habit that will contribute volumes to your first impression.

Remember that your first impression is always non verbal. 

Why worry about a first impression

The way that we show up in our body language changes the way others perceive us. Therefore it influences how they respond to us!

But in addition we perceive ourselves on some level according to how we’re treated by other people. So as others treat you better this can lead to a core level identity shift in your level of confidence and happiness. 

Remember that the mind follows the body and the body follows the mind!

Matt Hall