I have many different articles on my blog revolving around the subject of first impressions. Just by the number of times I reference the power of first impressions will hopefully emphasise just how important they can be and in business it can be make or break.
Some things are simply out of our control and it seems that a certain amount of how we immediately perceive someone is one of them. The name for this is rapid cognition – it’s the snap-decision process that we go through when forming our initial opinions. We have to make immediate decisions as part of our everyday lives, sifting through huge amounts of information at a rapid rate to decide what is of importance and value. Quite mind-blowing to think about.
The decisions that we make and the opinions that we form in these few short seconds could take the rational parts of our brain months or in some cases years to evaluate. It is still very much a grey area when it comes to the how of us making these snap-decisions when we first meet new people but it creates a lasting impression.
When we first meet someone we have very little information to go on, we may know a few scarce facts about them and we make our judgments based on this as well as their physical appearance. When we are learning more about the individual we use all of the information that we gain to reassure ourselves of the decision that we have already made. Talk about an unfair trial! We are literally using new material to reconfirm a decision that we made before we knew anything at all about the person.
According to research carried out by the university of York last year, it is possible to determine first impressions by using measurements of facial features. These predictions can even occur by looking at images, such as profile pictures on social media profiles. We judge people’s faces by how friendly or trust-worthy they look, and it makes sense – of course we want to form a bond with people that look approachable!
So now you know some of the science behind first impressions how are you going to make yours more appealing? If you want to come across well on your social media sites, your website or even in your emails get in touch and see how I can help.