You probably already know about body language, but what other languages is your body speaking? To make a truly good first impression you must make use of all the senses.
Make a good first impression: make use of all of the five senses
The human brain processes an incredible amount of information fed in from our sensory organs every second of every day. Most of this information processing isn’t conscious, but it’s all used to create our impression of the world we see around us.
You probably already know about body language. Body language is the information we communicate to others via the movement and position of our own bodies. Body language is arguably the most powerful of all communication devices (it certainly seems to outrank speech), and if used correctly can be used to convey all sorts of positive messages about ourselves to the people around us.
However, body language isn’t the only non-verbal language that you are speaking every day. To make a truly good impression you must take control of all of the information that you are sending out about yourself. Flawless body language is essentially useless if the rest of your body is sending out conflicting signals. Tackling all five senses is the only guaranteed way to ensure that other people are seeing only good things from you.
Aside from body language, we also give away visual clues about our personality by the way we dress. Could you take a businessman seriously if he was wearing jeans and t-shirt?
- Loose clothing shows creativity and open-mindedness, but in a high powered corporate environment could also be a sign of laxity.
- Oddly enough, wearing warm colors will give you the impression of being a warm person. Cold colors, while perhaps showing a more cold personality can also be linked with efficiency and a greater dedication to your work.
- Most women understand the importance of shoes, however many men do not. Make sure you are always wearing a good pair of shoes, and that they are clean. If you are not taking care of your shoes, then how can you convince someone that you are ‘going places’.
- A watch is a must. Preferably analogue (digital watches, unless especially stylish, convey an air of laziness). Wearing a watch every day is a sign of organization, and of steadfastness in good habits.
- Chewed nails are usually a sign of nervousness. If you are not in a very high powered job then you should be taking care of your nails. Nails should be short, clean and smooth (long nails will usually get in the way of work). Painted nails are out.
Your sense of smell is more important than you think. Don’t go overboard with aftershaves or perfumes, but give yourself a distinct fragrance (perhaps changing some of the tones subtly from time to time) that people can learn to recognize and trust. Your sense of smell is deeply linked to the emotional pathways in your brain. It has been shown that a single smell unique to a certain place can bring back vivid memories of an event to those familiar with it.