The importance of being nice
Is a good first impression really that important when trying to build a relationship?
It is often said that others judge you by the first impression that you make, and that most people will judge you in the first second of meeting you. Making a good impression is therefore incredibly important, because you only get one chance, and that person’s opinion will most likely never change.
As a child, my parents moved myself, my sister and two brothers around a great deal due to the nature of their business. I am someone who has always taken a dislike to change – I am genuinely not sure if that stems from my childhood experience of moving from town to town or whether it is just inherent of my character. But what I do know is that the main reason I associate change with a negative is, when you are a teenager and only spending a maximum of two years in the same school, it is easy to feel excluded and like you don’t fit in.
However, before I ramble on and tell you my life story, this is the first instance that I came to realise the importance of first impressions, being nice, and ultimately building lasting relationships…
After a short period of being the ‘new girl’ at each school, I always managed to find a group of friends that I fitted in with, and can honestly say that I am now able to look back on my school years as some of the best of my life (although my parents and a select number of teachers may disagree). The reason that I was able to make friends relatively quickly and easily was due to the fact that quite early on, I realised the importance of the first impression.
I tend to be described by others as a warm and friendly person; and these characteristics stem from my experience of having to adapt to each school I attended. I realised very quickly that contrary to popular belief these days; if you sat back for a bit, acted kind and friendly to those you came across and were receptive to their behaviour, it didn’t take a lot before they began to like you, and before long, as the trust between you built, so would your relationship.
I am proud to say that I remain very close friends with girls I went to school with from the age of 15-17, some say that those are the most influential years as you grow up (once again, my parents may disagree!). But the point is, I may have only spent two years in school with those girls – but we have remained close for the past 15 years, seeing each other through engagement, marriage and children.
This friendly and open manner is something that has been moulded through experience and growth over the years, but I believe if it wasn’t for the foundation of my younger years; having had to adapt and build up these characteristics from a young age, I certainly wouldn’t have the personality I have today. This is something that has carried me through College, University, part of an Entertainment team on board a cruise ship, dance and singing auditions, managing a bar in South Wales, and that’s just to name a few!
I am now lucky enough to work in a role where first impressions are key and forming and building relationships is part of what I do. First impressions are the difference between winning or losing a client, and as silly as it sounds; by simply making them feel at ease, being friendly and engaging, you are building their trust without even realising; which I believe is the most important factor to maintaining a relationship with a client.
This shouldn’t just be important in work or when you are trying to win someone over either. Something my colleague Julie once told me has really stuck with me and made me realise just how important those little things we do can be to someone.
She told me that when she first came in for her interview, it was my manner in which I received and welcomed her in, and the way we instantly started chatting that confirmed that AlignandPull would be a place she would enjoy working. I can barely remember what I said or how I behaved – but it is something that made an impression on her, and that she still remembers today.
So even if you are reading this and thinking it doesn’t really make that much of a difference to someone else how you act, or that this post is a little clichéd or twee, don’t underestimate the notion of making someone feel good, happy or even just comfortable. You will find that it counts for a great first impression, and may stay with that person long after it has left you.