Only One Chance to Make a First Impression

Some years ago, I spent two years working in a Marketing role in in the company at which I worked. We were working on a new brand launch and reviewing the marketing campaign that were going to be used to introduce this innovative, cutting edge product to consumers.

Although he was silent through the material review, from his body language those who knew him well could sense that the President was not happy with the materials that were being considered. At the end of the discussion, he stood up to leave, and from the meeting room door, looked back at the group and said “remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression”.

Those words stay with me fifteen years later. They come to mind in all sorts of contexts – meetings, interviews, program briefing sessions, entering a doctor’s office, talking to a new cashier at the grocery store. When I read this article by Harvard University psychology researcher Amy Cuddy, it reminded me of the words of my former colleague. I wonder how many of us think about the impressions we make and take and how these might impact the effectiveness of our interactions, personal and professional. Thanks to my former colleague, this is a topic we’re always talking about in the Skagit Valley College BAS in Applied Management program.

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