Initial impressions – Nail your First Impression within seconds

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Be yourself

Being yourself is the best way to make a great, sustainable first impression within every kind of scenario. You are so good at what you do, others better take you the way you are. Just be yourself. Flash and brash, it’s who you are. Take it or leave it.

Never joined a business dinner before? Be yourself. You don’t have the slightest clue about a weird thing called dresscode? Be yourself and ‘come as you are no matter what’.

As you see, the principles of being yourself work in every kind of situation. Why? It works because you never have to worry about educating or selling yourself again. Any lacks of competence or capability can be easily pushed aside from now on. Obviously, being yourself even works if you suck ass. Rely on being yourself. First impressions are for those who need them.

Further tips for genius initial impressions

Give him that old vice grip handshake, pump it until he winces. Or either give him a handshake weak enough to substantiate your personal weakness. Additionally flash those pearly whites the sorority girls love, and start with your best dirty joke. Etiquette guides or handbooks of manners are meant to be ignored, that’s why savvy scientists spend years on research and development within that field.

Besides all that, it doesn’t matter if you suck at making a good first impression since you usually have enough time to correct yourself when making a solid second impression.

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The Psychology of that first impression

“There is no second chance for the first impression”

It’s been proven that people instantly judge each other within the first few seconds. Based on that impression they form their opinion. The following minutes are spend to confirm the opinion formed before. So once initial impressions are made, they tend to be confirmed. In cognitive psychology this is called confirmation bias. What? The information that is received right after the first impression is evaluated in a way that aligns/confirms the first impression. It’s a biased kind of information to validate the first impression.

As you see, making an outstandingly good impression is an essential skill to master when talking about becoming a badass in human interaction.

No one has to take you the way you are. In fact, if the situation calls for you to make the first impression, you are already at a slight disadvantage. When you interview for a job or meet a potential client, the burden is on you. Understanding and managing the psychology of that first impression levels the playing field.

Research supports three significant findings:

1. Initial impressions happen quickly. Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov claim, “all it takes is a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposures don’t significantly alter those impressions.”

2. Janice Wood of PsychCentral® writes, “first impressions are so powerful that they are more important than fact.”

3. Mark Rowh, writing for the American Psychological Association, says, “how you look and act can matter as much as your ideas.” And, he offers strategies to change your behavior for the better.

Initial impressions happen quickly

What’s new? Attractive people get treated well. Mature looks get more scrutiny than young faces. And, a smile gets you much further than a frown.

But, when you read those faces as attractive, likeable, competent, trustworthy, and aggressive, such quickly formed judgments become important and high impact.

Experiment participants were shown photographs of unfamiliar faces for different periods of time. Respondents consistently formed impressions in 1/10 of a second. Longer exposure to the test photographs reinforced confidence in the judgement.

First impressions override fact

Nicholas Rule, Ph.D., publishing for University of Toronto, found, “the less time we have to make our judgments, the more likely we are to go with our gut, even over fact.” First impressions happen so quickly that what is seen overrules what is known to be true.

For example, he found that people made judgements on sexual orientation contrary to what they knew to be true. Participants were given photographs of men and told the sexual orientation of each. The less time the participants had the pictures, the more likely they were to label the sexuality based on how the men appeared. The more time they had, the more likely they were to remember what they had been told.

Testing repeatedly indicates that people do, indeed, judge a book by its cover – whether or not that judgement has any validity in fact.

Managing your first impression

You want to improve your curb appeal, as it were. No one suggests that you be artificial or shallow. No one suggests you misrepresent yourself. Research seems to indicate that people see through that rather easily, uncomfortably, and permanently.

But, you do live out several scenarios a day. You behave differently with your teacher than you do with your butcher, differently with your waiter than you do with your minister. And, you would not consider this pretense.

A job interview is a behavioral situation. Meeting new clients is a behavioral situation. Each behavioral situation represents a psychological exchange and interplay, and each has its controls.

5 ways to improve your first impression:

1. Be early. Arriving early gives you some control of the logistics.

2. Dress appropriately. You should dress to a target above the minimal acceptable standards of that workplace of the job in that workplace.

3. Be Polite. Old-school manners still impress, and when manners seem natural, they confirm your rightness and readiness.

4. Watch the language. While you have to maintain eye contact, the listener very often focuses on your lips and appreciates the self-confidence revealed in your crisp articulate speaking voice.

5. Listen constructively. It’s not clear why, but silence is a powerful tool. So, you control the situation when you listen more than you talk.

The psychology of first impressions labels first impressions as a behavior that can be learned and changed. Research shows it very long lived after a very short event. It shows that initial impressions trump fact and alter future assessments. The researched psychology of the first impression can direct and improve your behavior.

 

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3 Characteristics of the most powerful people – time, serenity & decisions

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So you want to act like the most powerful people in the world, like a true leader or a top excecutive? It’s easier than you think.

Decision making is not for you

Don’t get involved into challenges that require any kind of decision making. If you mistakenly happen to be in a position of making a decision, then better find another idiot to make the decision for you. True power comes from being able to find a nice way of outsourcing your own bullshit to people who are dumb enough to do this work for you.

And let’s be honest, isn’t it way more convenient to have another asshole to blame things for if anything goes wrong? That’s what all powerful people have in common, they are convenient and don’t care about personal growth or pushing their limits to further levels.

Some people might say that it’s bad if other people make the decisions for you because you have less influence about the outcome and less power. What a joke. Why should you act result or growth-oriented if you can act “I rather save my own ass, bitch” oriented?

Taking responsibility for yourself isn’t for you and has nothing to do with power. It’s rather for the naive ones who are after sustainable success and authentic power giving them indepenence and strength in every situation and that’s nothing you’re after right?

Move fast, move a lot

Every lack of comepetence can be masked by increasing your body movements. Fast and hectic arm movements express focus and capability. And let’s be honest, these human vibrators are so much fun to be around. They talk and you can’t really decide whether to listen, to stare or to punch them in the face. But being a little provocative is good in business anyway.

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Characteristics of the most powerful people
1. The most powerful people are in charge of time

What is the most valuable resource we all share up to a certain degree? It is time. Why? Time is limited for every single human being, that’s what we all have in common no matter if we’re rich, poor, black,white or purple. A person who is in charge of the most valuable resource is pretty powerful. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

The most powerful people are often the most skilled ones when it comes to managing their own, and even other people’s time.

You better educate yourself in the field of time management and learn how to manage your time wisely. Keep in mind: if you’re not able to manage your time, others, who know more about time management than you do, will take care of you. This is a bad position to be in, having other people controlling and managing your most valuable resource. You probably don’t want this to happen to your finances either, so why should you risk anything regarding to your time management. The most powerful people on this planet are way ahead of their competition when it comes to their time management.

  • They get shit done half the time others need for the same tasks.
  • They are the ones who schedule appointments and set up agendas for others
  • They steer how long a conversation lasts and when it ends

Who do you want to be? Do you want to be a pawn in the hands of the powerful? Or do you want to be a powerful person yourself? We assume the latter aspect seems to be more attractive, so start being the one who is in charge of the time, manage it wisely and steer your conversations by controlling the time aspect.

2. True leaders are calm & clear in their communication

If you take a closer look at the body language of the most powerful people, you will notice that their body movements back up their verbal communication. What? Their movements align with the words they say. They wouldn’t move more than necessary, that way, they massively increase relevance of the spoken word and their presence. Besides that, you would also notice that powerful people act quite calm when talking and moving. Why? A certain degree of calmness and serenity expresses confidence and the ability to comfortably fit into any surrounding. It’s a combination of serenity, calmness and still a high degree of certainty.

Your body movements should be efficient, limited to a minimum and perfectly timed. This is the way to reach badass level in natural authority and dominance. In this case, we like to give a little doggy example: If you compare the behaviour of small, tiny dogs to the behaviour of huge dogs, you clearly notice a difference between the two. Small dogs tend to be more active, louder and hectical.

Whereas huge dogs often seem to be quite calm and less active unless they really have to innervate their resources.dogs

Why is that? When it comes to a fight, smaller dogs are probably weaker, having less natural authority to come up with, because they are smaller and lighter. So they have to find another strategy in order to be perceived as a dominant player. As a compensation they increase their activity level, start barking, etc. In the end, they hopefully avoid the actual fight, as you know, barking dogs seldom bite.

So what? The ultimate goal should go in the direction of becoming a huge dog, having natural authority right away. No barking, no bullshit.

There is no need to be the loudest in the room, as long as you are the most relevant one.

3. The most powerful people are great decision makers

First of all, it doesn’t matter whether a decision is good or bad. Why? To be able to evaluate any decision, someone obviously has to make the decision. In best case, it should be you, it is a substantial aspect of being powerful and dominant. Powerful people are willing to take initiative because they know it’s the way to be in charge and control. They will do the things losers won’t do. Therefore, they enjoy a position of power, losers will never have.

The willingness to make a decision is the foundation of making a good, profitable and valuable decision. You probably start out making ‘bad’ decisions first, which is essential to get to a point of making great decisions, that’s just nature of the game. So take the challenge, get off your covenient ass and take initiative.

Seriously, move your ass now.

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So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

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To be a successful entrepreneur, all you have to do is get rid of creativity and flexibility. They just distract you from being a true wannabe business person. 

Micro-management and organization are your keys to success. Manage time, and you can do anything. Who needs focus or financial know-how? Once you open your business doors and hang up your shingle, your drive and personality will win the day.

Success follows invention. Flowcharts and process rule. You don’t need a partner or management team. All you need are customers, and they are waiting for your innovation.

And, customers? They will be there when the time comes. You have gotten this far on insight, vision, and sheer force of personality. Everyone understands what you are trying to do, and they only need to join or lose big time!

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So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

Starting and running a business does not make you an entrepreneur. Dry cleaners, barbers, and car mechanics are rarely entrepreneurs. They may be successful or unsuccessful in their business management, but success does not equal entrepreneurship. So, you want to be an entrepreneur?

The media have spun definition of “entrepreneur” so much; it has little or no meaning. The best Harvard Business School’s Howard Stevenson owns the best definition: Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”

There’s nothing new or local in entrepreneurship.

Without minimizing the courage or risk taken by any business owner, entrepreneurship is a more comprehensive concept involving passion, vision, motivation, inputs, outcomes, metrics, and more.

  • Although some economies support more entrepreneurs than others at one time or another, no culture has a monopoly on creativity and innovation.
  • Although some economies can support the education and risk, no culture has a monopoly on drive and desire.
  • Although some economies are positioned to reach and share markets globally, no culture has a monopoly on the desire to profit and to serve its community.

Where business owners manage, entrepreneurs lead a process.

Entrepreneurs succeed as long as they proceed. Self-satisfaction and task-completion are their enemies. They launch, lead, and lift – often by sheer force of will power.

They teach entrepreneurship, but students do not always learn. You can study it and research models, but you won’t find evidence of entrepreneurial DNA.

In his Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peter F. Drucker identified three elements necessary to the building of new organizations.

  • having a clear market focus
  • depth in financial foresight and best financial practices
  • ability to assemble and develop a top management team

But, Peter’s typical direct clarity may dilute the concept. After all, entrepreneurship has not been patented and bottled for sale. Tens of thousands graduate every year from thousands of schools with majors in entrepreneurship, but few really get it.

Time governs managers, but entrepreneurs design and frame their time. They understand that time is a limited and pricey resource. They have a different sense of time. It’s not something you consume; rather, it offers space during which they can create value.

Meetings and lunch do not create value. Standard operating procedures, correspondence, and data reports do not create value. Phone calls, video conferences, and legal conferences do not create value.

    • Entrepreneurs delegate or pocket these functions in controlled segments in favor of opening time for high value activities like listening, reading, and developing. They value meaningful time over productive time.
    • Entrepreneurs know that time is opportunity, and it needs to be spent well. In addition to this meaningful time, they allocate time with room for others: customers, employees, and investors. This social time, aligned with meaningful time, uses feedback to create community and market.
    • Entrepreneurs build futures with time well spent. Their passion works long hours, but if they schedule only two hours in an eight-hour day on meaningful and social time, they give 35% of their work to transformational time.

Managers monitor processes – entrepreneurs focus on outcomes. Entrepreneurs have a vision that defies words. The vision has the dimensions of a hologram they can see and almost grasp. But, the vision itself creates a disconnect with others for whom the vision is less vibrant and “real.”

This is where need enters. The disconnect is where the entrepreneur discovers dependence on others: the engineers, researchers, craftspeople, and others who deliver the product or service. They realize the entrepreneur’s vision, transformed into customer satisfaction. Unless their talent is managed and performance rewarded, both suffer. If the need for others is not felt, the vision moves farther away.

Managers organize, but entrepreneurs capitalize. Managers apply learned and past principles to expedite work processes. Entrepreneurs coerce the future, directing people to take a quantum leap into a future that is defining itself. Where managers build, entrepreneurs destroy anything in their way. They are disruptive and transformational, trans-disciplinary talents who lead from the front.

Managers are tasked with producing quality work on time. Entrepreneurs find themselves pushing for products that managers cannot produce at the moment and, then, giving them time and opportunity to do so.

According to a definition from BusinessDictionary.com, an entrepreneur is “Someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how, and how much of a good or service will be produced.

An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker, and monitors and controls the business activities. The entrepreneur is usually a sole proprietor, a partner, or the one who owns the majority of shares in an incorporated venture”.

You can conclude, that even a successful business owner is not an entrepreneur in this sense. So, if you want to be an entrepreneur, you must assume this exceptional transformational drive and achievement. For example, Mark Fields leads Ford Motors, but Elon Musk of Tesla Motors is the entrepreneur. John Donahoe runs eBay, but Jeff Bezos has done wonders at Amazon. Mark Zuckerberg has done a lot with Facebook, but look to at Sergey Bryn and Larry Page of Google to see the future.

Models are important to understanding entrepreneurship, and the United States holds no monopoly on entrepreneurial opportunity or success. It’s those models we want to explore in a series of biographies of lives lived in admirable and coveted ways.

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