As was discussed last week in the blog about creating a favorable first impression, the power and value of a good first impression is paramount in any given situation. Creating a good first impression can lead to new opportunities, new connections and help to propel you forward, at whatever stage you’re at in your career.
In addition, as mentioned last week, typically first impressions are made with confidence, and tend to be solidified over time. However, that is not to say that you cannot recover from making a bad first impression.
According to an article in Forbes Magazine written by Dorie Clark, there are a few ways one can overcome a bad first impression. Clark interviewed Grant Halvorson, author of the book “No One Understands You and What to Do About It”, who gives readers some insight on steps they can take to overcome a bad first impression.
- Overload them with contrary evidence
Say, for instance, you make a bad first impression, and the root of that bad first impression is that you came across as perhaps slightly more opinionated than you truly are (often in stressful situations, such as a first interview, we sometimes act outside of our normal behaviors). Next time you meet with the person in question, be cognizant of your faults from your first meeting and try to counteract them with opposite behaviors. In this situation, take a step back and refrain from offering your opinion at any given moment; simply offer it if it’s asked of you. Also, you could go out of your way to ask the other person about their opinion on matters in question.
- Arrange a joint work project
Granted, this may not be possible in all situations, however arranging a project with the person with whom you made an initial bad first impression may help to patch things up. The project should be something that requires the skills of both people and an atmosphere of teamwork. When you work with another person on a project, you want to have faith in that person and believe in their capabilities, if at least for the success of the project. This will give you the chance to help repair that negative first impression you gave when the project is a success.
There are many other ways to recover from a bad first impression. Showing up to work early for a few weeks, treating colleagues to coffee after lunch, or simply being kind and friendly are all ways you can begin to repair the negative first impression you gave. These may sound cheesy or that you’re “sucking up”, however how others perceive you is extremely important, and you should take any necessary steps towards fixing that lackluster first impression.
Clark, Dorie. “How to Recover From a Bad First Impression.” Forbes Magazine. Forbes. 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.