We are evaluated and classified by these four things:
what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it.
– Dale Carnegie
Like it or not, other people begin to evaluate “who we are” in the first moment that they meet us. They then go about the business of looking for evidence to support their initial assessment. Our appearance is the first thing that is judged and if we fail that test, it’s pretty much game over. If we do pass that test, the minute that we open our mouths, they’ll instantly make a final decision about who they believe us to be.
One of the most awkward conversations that I have ever had to endure was with a woman whose mother had referred her to me for a sales position on my Real Estate Team. This young lady arrived at my office for an interview in tattered blue jeans, flip-flops, and a halter top. The minute she opened her mouth to speak, it confirmed my initial impression of her. I decided “who she was” within seconds! I didn’t judge her in any way as a person, but I did judge whether she would be able to meet my standards, and of course, the answer was a resounding “NO!”
Our ability to effectively communicate with others, especially in business, begins at first contact. We must be hyper-vigilant about our appearance, the way in which we greet someone, how we behave initially, and especially what we say, and how we say it. We NEVER get a second chance, after having made a bad first impression.
I have often stated that “I’m an old school guy.” I believe that there is literally no excuse for a sloppy, slovenly appearance, and a lack of communication skills, especially in the world of business! There are volumes of information written about these subjects, and today all that one needs to do is “Google it!” Sadly, there are unfortunate people, good people, for whom this standard does not, and cannot apply. And they deserve our deepest compassion and understanding. The rest of us have no excuse, especially here in America!
Am I hyper-vigilant, at all times, about the initial impression that
I am communicating to others?
© John G. 2021