Are you just “Good Enough” or are you “Awesome?”
x-tinymce/html In seven to ten seconds, the question above is usually answered. Not out loud, but subconsciously. Our brain is a wonderful instrument that really directs the decisions we make about people, products, places, you name it.
In that seven to ten seconds there are synapses firing off in our brain asking us- Is this person a Friend or Foe? Do I like them or not? Can I trust them or not? As well as other thoughts.
We don’t even consciously think about it, but we can tell when someone is not creating a great impression for us. That’s the good news. The bad news is that everyone else can make these same subconscious decisions about us.
So, when you are making these powerful impressions you are subconsciously being observed on the following traits. How do each of these measure up for you? Not just today, but every day.
1. Your appearance. Please don’t get the wrong thought here. Here’s what I mean- the wrinkles or tightness of your clothes, how scuffed your shoes are, how much makeup or cologne you are wearing, what your office or cubicle looks like. These soft skills (and others) are all tied into your appearance. And the better you present all of them, the more impressive you become subconsciously.
2. Your Communication– In person, on the phone, in emails, online. What words do you use? And how do you phrase them? “What’s up” and “hey dude” may work at the bar, but we all know they usually don’t work, at work. We have also all heard of “spell check”, but I wish there was a “Grammar and punctuation check” as well. If you have any doubts, please ask someone before you send your email.
3. Your Body Language– our Non-verbal signals are four times as powerful as our communication. So, if you have a weak handshake, you can’t look people in the eyes, you don’t have great posture, and you always stand staring into your phone, you are not making a great impression. On the other hand researchers have found that you can see a smile from 100 feet away!
5. Your ability to Listen- There is a difference between hearing and listening. Are we really paying attention to the name of the new person you just met? Do we truly listen in the meeting, or do people have to repeat things to you constantly? When you listen with intent, you are subconsciously telling the other person that I really care about what you have to say and it is important to me. Plus when you truly listen, you can pick up little things that are important to building a client relationship.
6. Your Ethics– Probably the most challenging to find out about someone, especially when you first meet them. But, there are clues to look for. How do they treat people they don’t know? Do they treat them with respect? Do they “cut the corners” when it comes to invoices, billing? Do they embarrass themselves or others in public? Do they under promise and over deliver or is it the opposite?