Being half Irish, I love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day I may not be a big fan of corned beef and cabbage, but bring on a pint of green brewsky and a good rendition of “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” and I’m in the zone!
Have you ever thought about what your eyes—what your countenance in general, really—say about you? When I first meet someone, I look at their eyes (are they kind?) and their mouth (are they joyful?). Sound crazy? Actually, these cues are often spot on, indicators of a person’s level of engagement. If the eyes and mouth don’t make a great first impression, it’s likely the rest of the person won’t either.
What impression do you give other people when they meet you for the first time? Your countenance matters! After all, the person you just met could become a new friend, future spouse, future in-law, potential employment reference, employer, manager, industry contact, mentor, or client. The fact is, life is a series of chance moments with others, and you never know what might become of the people you meet and the role they could play in your life.
There’s a wise saying: “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” In fact, most employment recruiters will say that the first 30 seconds of an interview will make or break your chances! Yes, that’s 30 seconds! For some, it only takes five!
In order to foster successful new relationships, it’s essential to make a great first impression with everyone you meet. Here’s all it takes:
- Demonstrate through your countenance, words, and body language that you’re happy to meet them
- Give a firm, confident handshake and look them in the eye
- Smile and be positive and enthusiastic
- Be inquisitive. Show an interest in them and in what they say. Focus more on listening to them than talking about yourself.
- Remain engaged in the conversation and avoid distractions like calls and texts
- Use good manners and be gracious
Surprisingly, many people just don’t get it. They allow negative thoughts, cynicism, suspicion, self-focus, and indifference to cloud their countenance. They may not realize it, but it shows—and it can be a real turnoff. They may say all the right things, do all the right things, yet wonder why others aren’t warming up. Many times, it all comes down to countenance. Your smile can make all the difference!
Just for fun, here are a few of my favorite smiles—people who are revered by their fan bases:
Magic Johnson after the famous Lakers Win May 16, 1980
How are your eyes and smile looking these days? What do they reveal about you? Try asking a few trusted friends about what your countenance is saying. Be sure you’re making a terrific first impression—there’s more at stake than you think!
Think about the people you are drawn to—and those you aren’t. Then think about their eyes and smiles (or lack thereof). Does their countenance play into your impression of them? What type of impression do YOU make on others? Please share your thoughts and feedback with us; we’d love to hear from you.