First Impressions (big deal) by Dwayne Castle
Amy Cuddy, a psychologist at the Harvard Business School, has been studying first impressions for more than a decade. She and her colleagues found that we make snap judgments about other people that answer two primary questions:
Can I trust this person?
Can I respect this person’s capabilities?
According to Cuddy’s research, 80% to 90% of a first impression is based on these two traits. Subconsciously, you and the people you meet are asking yourselves, “Can I trust that this person has good intentions toward me?” and “Is this person capable?”
I encourage you to read the article as it provides more information as well as some really good tips on how to provide that good first impression. Also, here is a post I wrote previously, with some tips as well.
Today I wanted to write about one of the key points- the idea that it takes just seconds to determine a person's character. It doesn't mean that the judgment is accurate, only that the judgment has been made.
We deem that someone is worthy of trust or they aren't, that they are kind or rude, humble or arrogant, marriage material or not. It is amazing to me how quickly we can make up our minds about people and determine superiority or inferiority (theirs or ours).
We judge books by their covers all the time, despite being warned against doing so. Because of that, we may sometimes dismiss people we should take seriously or give honor to the wrong people. We can see a person who appears to be off-putting and not be aware that they have been shaped by tragedy or are going through a crisis, or maybe they are just having a bad day.
There are tons of stories of wealthy people dressing down and walking into ritzy boutiques, only to be sneered at and shown directions to the stores where the "common people" shop.
There is even a popular story, true or not, on Facebook, where the poorly dressed street person enters the church only to be scorned and avoided and made to feel like an outcast. The twist comes when the congregation is asked to welcome the new pastor who turns out to be that poorly dressed street person, wearing a costume to make a point.
As people who engage with others on a daily basis, we can't prevent people from making snap judgments about us, although we can help control that first impression. And likewise, we may not be able to prevent ourselves from making a quick judgment about others, but we can control how we proceed after that first impression.
Let's learn to give people the benefit of the doubt, let's dig deeper into the books that present themselves to us before we cast them off as unworthy of reading, let's be for others what we hope they would be for us. With a little practice or training, we may find some very worthwhile relationships inside the covers of those books.
Do you have a poor first impressions experience to share? I'd love to read about it and what you learned. Thank you for taking the time to read my post today. If you enjoyed it, please like, comment, and/or share with others. Be blessed. Be a blessing. Dwayne.
PS. In case you weren't aware, I'm hosting a FREE SEMINAR at the Chamber of Commerce, "Improving Your Relational Ability". Seating is limited so registration is required. Click the link for details. Hope to see you there.