polo lounge menu First Impressions Count
Your clothes set the stage. Your words set the tone. And your actions set everything else in motion. If you looking for a job, selling to a new client, or motivating peers, your first impression speaks volumes about what will happen next.
People form impressions of you by looking at the outside and making an assumption about what’s on the inside. In fact, 90% of people form an opinion within 10 to 40 seconds upon meeting you. Once people draw conclusions, they are reluctant to change their minds, and negative first impressions may be formed quicker and are harder to overcome.
An effective first impression must show consistency between your words, actions, and how you look. If you walk into a room, bouncing with energy and a smile plastered across your face, and then announce you not feeling well and you taking the rest of the day off, do you think your boss will believe you? You must not only say what you mean but demonstrate it with your movements and nonverbal communication.
Visually speaking, when someone is dressed similarly to you, they feel you share similar beliefs and values, which builds trust. When deciding what to wear, ask yourself who am I seeing today, where are we meeting, and how do I want to be perceived.
If you are meeting a client at the local coffee shop, and you dressed in a powerful business suit,
it could be overwhelming. If the client is a small business owner you may be perceived as intimidating and way over their budget.
Clean well pressed clothing can make a huge difference. Ensure they fit properly and watch the shoes. Sales have been lost because of scuffed shoes.
A few years ago my son talked about getting a part time job. He was the typical teenager who wore baggy jeans hanging low with a huge T shirt and chains hanging from his pocket. I explained the importance of dressing for a job interview. I suggested his school uniform would be a good example of what to wear. Dress khaki pants and a button down white dress shirt. He looked at me like I had two heads.
A few days later, he announced he had the interview. I looked at him and the clothes he was wearing the oversized black jeans and a T shirt that depicted a music band I had no interest in ever hearing. A wasted opportunity I thought, but maybe I could turn this into a learning opportunity it proved to be just that.
I asked my son what the person conducting the interview wore. He described blue jeans, a T shirt, and artwork covering the man’s arm. My son was excited the company he had applied to sold music to teens. This was not a main stream business. In fact, I had never heard of it before but my son knew it well. I learned my lesson. If he had have shown up for the interview in the clothes I suggested, he would never have been considered for the job. He did the right thing. He dressed for the occasion. He knew the store and its clientele he was hired.
Know what impression you want to create and how to create it. Every colour you wear sends a message. It up to you to decide what you want that message to be. Successful? Wear darker gray. Dependable, practical, stable? Try brown, but brown can lend a perception of boring. Intuitive, imaginative, or spiritual? Wear purple. If you want to send a message that you powerful, dignified, and sophisticated, opt for black. But be careful with black, it can be too powerful and work against you.
By adding a suit jacket you can be one third more powerful than wearing just a simple shirt or blouse. And if you in a position to speak at a lecture hall, wear striking rich colours to hold attention. Light or dark neutrals will have you fading into the background.
One last important consideration when dressing for business is to be sure that if you are planning to advertise a brand make sure it is your brand. If you want to wear a logo on your golf shirt, make it your own!
If you wondering what first impressions you exude,
ask your clients or co workers. Find out how that impression changed once you began working together. It may be interesting to find out how aligned their opinion is with what you thinking. You may find you need to work on creating a better first impression.