How Do You Make a Positive Impression?

leadership6A businessman is very knowledgeable about his profession. However, people don’t return his phone calls or invite him to work with them on projects. Why? He gossips. He tells people they are wrong in front of others. He mocks them when he doesn’t understand their point of view. The result? The negative impression he has created limits his ability to make a positive difference.

Many people today are in a big rush and rarely slow down when they communicate with others. Miscommunication occurs and can leave the impression that they are difficult to work with … one of the fastest ways to derail a career. Don’t let this happen to you. Understand that ALL of your actions, words, attitudes and behaviors impact others. While you cannot control everyone’s impression of you, being mindful of how you interact with co-workers, bosses and clients will allow you to create a positive impact.

Be Mindful in Your Communication

Texts and Emails. Slow down! Consider how your communication will be interpreted before sending that email or text. Your digital interaction is the #1 way to create an impression that you are able to communicate well with others.

Social Media Postings. When you post pictures or statements that may be considered offensive or spam, they will determine others’ willingness to work with you. While you may believe self-expression is your right, poorly thought-out postings can create an impression that you are difficult to work with. They can even impact your ability to get a job offer, receive a promotion, close a sale or receive funding for a product, idea or book.

Meetings. When working with a team, it’s important to outline and communicate expectations and group rules and provide training on how to handle team meetings. As the leader, a little planning goes a long way. It creates the impression that you respect your team’s time and are committed to their success and the intended results of a project.

Gossip. Gossip hurts others, and many times it’s based on fragments of information that are not the whole truth. It may even be considered harassment. Instead of participating in gossip, shift the conversation and be supportive of each and every team member to create a positive impression of the team.

Truth. Lying to others will diminish trust. Know that eventually the truth will surface and your excuses will only create an impression that you cannot be trusted. Tell the truth using the facts only, regardless of the situation. Remember, you may need to say you are unable to share the details of an issue due to confidentiality.

Feedback. While you want to hear great things about your efforts, your boss, co-worker or client may provide a different perspective. It’s important to listen to them and say thank you. Your ability to graciously receive feedback provides the impression that you are open to learning from your mistakes. It’s a great way to make a positive impression.

Transform Negative Impressions

Talk It Out. When you believe you’ve created a negative impression with one or two people, have a conversation. Do it now. Sit down one-on-one and ask, “What is your impression of me?” Listen nondefensively. Apologize for any misperceptions before talking further.

If it is with your team, conduct a 360-degree feedback process using a qualified assessment tool. After the results are back, sit down one-on-one and review it for additional insights.

Remember, you create a positive or negative impression each and every time you interact with someone. These impressions will determine others’ willingness to work with you in the future.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017

Need a speaker or facilitator for your company’s management group? Have issues to address or conflicts to resolve that you have been avoiding? Contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide confidential, laser-focused coaching that works! 

Jeannette Seibly is celebrating 25 years as a business coach, advisor and consultant. Do you need to learn how to work together as a team? Conduct effective meetings? Check out her website, or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

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