They do. That is a fact. In just a few seconds a perfect stranger will analyze who you are, what you represent and whether you are generally likeable or not.
You can imagine my dismay when two new team members started and found me running around the office chasing my dog in my joggers. It was early and time had gotten away with me. I had finished writing a blog for Marketing Eye, and my dog was begging for my attention.
I was incredibly embarrassed as this is not the first impression I wanted them to have of me. They informed me that their expectation of me was a professional, old-school boss, and here I was with joggers on running around with my dog. I displayed a lot of energy and luckily they liked that. As for the casual attire, it was the end of the week, so they thought that 'casual Friday's' is a thing at this place of work.
One noted that she had watched me for almost 10 minutes before I noticed her, and she couldn't understand why I worked so hard and never stopped typing. Her impression of a 'big boss' is that they turn up late.
I got lucky this time, but I have to keep in mind that may not always be the case. What one person sees as positive, another might see completely different. If you have ever done the exercise around the table where you ask every person their first impression of someone, you will mostly find it to be different to the person sitting next to them.
From there, I had to run through a bunch of things quickly, then race off to a quick meeting. The meeting was super important and it was with one of my earlier mentors. He is intelligent, and his input into what I am building with Robotic Marketer is priceless.
I raced back to the office, so excited about my meeting and for what the future holds. Once again, this positive energy revealed a more youthful, excitable version of myself. The new members of the team were thrilled. Here they had a high energy leader who they could relate to. They thought I was much younger than I am (so they won me over with that - big time!), and the energy in the office just kept going all day. We had Vietnamese for lunch as a team, and we chatted about life. I spoke with each team member, rolling up my sleeves to teach them new things.
They didn't realize how important blogs, and in particular marketing blogs, are to the industry, nor the benefits of engagement on social media. They loved the culture of the company and said to me afterwards that they felt this is a business where they will be successful. And it is; a good culture leads to high productivity.
Overall, this first impression worked in my favor. Next time, however, I may try to be a little more professional. The critical lesson for the day was just how vital team lunches are, and energy is something everyone wants a piece of. If you show that you are a solid team who care about each other, and you display an active nature, everything else is accessible from there.
People leave feeling pumped. Now that's a great first day!
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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