You meet a person for the first time. The first impression is great. All shining, all bright. Then, with the time the golden surface flakes off. Underdeath you discover only rust and disappointment.
It could be a butterflying love affair that turns into another chapter of the bestseller “Lost Love”. It could be a promising business relationship that ends up in lost time and frustration.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Then there is the other case. You meet a person for the first time and you think, well… Then, with the time the gray surface peels off. Underneath you discover only gold and enrichment.
This is your perception. Obviously, others think of you just the same way. Some discover gold, some discover rust.
How can we make sure that other people’s first impression of us turns into a lasting golden impression?
That was exactly the question Rose asked me in the car yesterday on our way to a wonderful lunch at the wonderful Taverna del Mar at the Spanish Costa Brava.
How can we create a great first impression in business? How can me make sure it’s a lasting great impression among colleagues and clients?
We brainstormed… and came up with six sustainers of great impression.
Whether we like it or not, our looks have a great impact. For business women, for instance, a pigtail will always look more professional than wearing the hair open. For business men a dark suit (not black) combined with a white or blue shirt and tie will always be correct.
Online you will find many tips regarding the correct business attire. Like this one…
How can you improve your looks?
Your positive attitude is contagious and motivating. When you enter a room at your company show a big fat smile!
Never say, “This is impossible”, or “We cannot do this!” Be positive and constructive at all times. Your colleagues and clients will love this.
How can you be more positive?
Your voice is a weapon of attention. Whispering like a mouse won’t give you any credit. Train your voice under the shower and speak up in meetings. Make the others know you are there.
How can you put more power into your voice?
I have only two incisors. My father had three. It looks like I’m a victim of genetic manipulation. Having only two incisors means that my upper row of teeth shows two gaps. You might call it an imperfection.
My friend Marcus Johst, a PR guru from Berlin, calls it a trademark. He even advised me to create a personal logo showing the gaps.
A personal trademark could be the color of your tie that never changes. A standard greeting you use on the phone. Something you can easily repeat in periodic events in your professional life.
Rose might say in the future, “Good moning everyone! Rose Chong is my name and I do have thorns!”
How do you develop your trademark?
This is super common sense. If you help others, others will help you. Others will like you. Never ask for favors, do them favors. Think of JFK, think of Mother Teresa, think of the motto of the W hotel chain: Whatever/Whenever.
How do you help your colleagues?
According to my mom (who I quote quite often these days) it’s very simple. Those people whose pillars of ego you raise will love you. Those people whose pillars of ego you lower will dislike you. Recognizing the work of your peers in front of other colleagues or – even better – your boss is concrete for their pillars of ego.
In the competitive business world we live in your peers will not expect any public acknowledgment. Public recognition of others is your most robust brick to build a lasting golden impression.
How do you publicly acknowledge the work of your peers?
Interpersonal relationships are complex, interpersonal communication is a neverending challenge. Just ask yourself, who are the people in your life – colleagues, family, friends, others – who have made a great lasting impact? Who are the people who have a golden lasting impression of you?
The goal should always be to make a great first impression and to maintain that impression. Shouldn’t it?