Lisa Smith writes to back our earlier update on first impressions.First impressions are long-lasting and hence it can be tough to shift someone’s view after you’ve made a negative first impression. Sometimes, first impressions are so bad that it becomes nearly impossible to recover from those. When you are the leader of a team, then it becomes essential for you to create a positive impression on the minds of others.
Great leaders are aware of the importance of building and maintain good working relationships.
Can you get out of the hole of negative first impression? Is there any chance for you to maintain good relationship with someone by removing the image you crated at first place? The answer to these questions is yes, you surely can undo the damage once done. Have a look at the most effective ways to reverse a negative first impression –
1. Decide Whether It’s Worth Fixing
Before deciding to address a negative first impression, make a decision whether it is necessary to respond or not. This depends upon the situation and importance of the person. Will you really take time to please every single person you meet on the street? If the relationship is not important for your personal and business life, then it will be better to let it go. For example, if you created a negative impression on a stranger whom you met at a random party, don’t try fixing it. On the other hand, if you created a negative impression on your new boss or your new in-laws then try your level best to fix it.
2. Admit It and Reach Out Immediately
First impressions are formed so quickly that the other person might like or dislike you within a few seconds. It is not wise to turn a blind eye to your behaviour. Be humble enough to admit it to the person if you made a negative first impression and politely ask for a second chance. Do not wait for another meeting to work on undoing your deed. Reaching out immediately means there are larger chances of reversing the impression than avoiding or running away from your mistake.
3. Apologize Immediately
The first step to reversing the damage done by a negative first impression is to apologize right away. Sometimes people see it as a sign of embarrassment or weakness to apologize right after meeting someone new, but bear in mind that simple and honest apology is the key to extend and maintain a good relationship. If you feel awkward while apologizing, then simply cite ahonest and logical reason responsible for your negative act to the person. Negative impressions are often created by genuine mistakes, so it will be best to feel sorry. But, do not ever over-apologize otherwise the situation might become uncomfortable. Never go over board and keep it light. In other words, admit your mistake but do not dwell on it.
This one is considered as the best approach to reverse a negative first impression. Always turn around and show a different side of your personality. Like, if you have offended someone by cracking a joke then demonstrate sincerity. Pivoting to concentrate on a unique and totally different aspect of your personality helps in reshaping the original image created by the same person about your character and value. Keep a balance between your various personality aspects. If your first impression came out as a shy one; keep a smile on your face and crack some jokes. This will help in making your real personality understandable to the person while helping in creating a different impression.
5. Be Persistent and Consistent
If you are really willing to change a person’s negative opinion of you, be patient. Changes don’t happen overnight. If you had a really rough start with someone, it might take some weeks or months to show your real personality. This approach may take time, but it will definitely help in maintaining stronger relationships. What you did once or twice doesn’t matter in the long run; but what you do consistently over time makes the difference.
Be mindful of the ultimate truth that ‘First Impressions are Not Last Impressions.’ You will get enough chances to show your real side, so don’t worry much about your bad first impression. Always spend your energy in making a good long-term impression instead.
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