How to Make a Great First Impression and Improve Every Area of Your Life 111

How to Make a Great First Impression and Improve Every Area of Your Life

This is a guest post by Luke Doyle.

Interpersonal relationships still matter! In fact, our meat-space encounters carry a ton more weight now that so many aspects of our lives are dealt with online.

From greeting guests to your Airbnb digs to being introduced to potential clients at work, to the dreaded meeting of the in-laws, face-to-face meetings can land anywhere on the spectrum between disaster and delight. Unfortunately, first impressions are so important that a disaster can take an awful lot of work to put right.

In fact, we seem to judge each other at an almost subliminal level when we first meet new people.

It takes just a tenth of a second to decide if someone’s trustworthy, and 100 milliseconds to form an initial impression.

If you’re hoping for a positive review from your Airbnb guest, a long and fruitful relationship with your client, and an easy time with your partner’s parents, you’ll want to make sure they get the right signals from the instant they set eyes on you.

Good eye contact is a principle that will stand you well in each of those scenarios.

It can be nerve-wracking, but it’s worth the effort since staring at your shoes or over your mother-in-law’s shoulders will make you look untrustworthy or insincere. Looking from eye to eye and to the mouth can be a good way of staying focused while not appearing to stare. Eye contact also makes it easier to generate an authentic smile – which is good news, since smiling helps but a fake smile can really turn people off!

There are plenty of other body language hacks you can use to create goodwill.

A handshake should be firm but not overbearing. Never try to prove anything with that shake – they’ll see right through you.

Instead, use it for what it truly means, which is an extension of human warmth and trust. Keep your arms unfolded while you listen, so you look engaged and not defensive. And while it can be reassuring to lean in to listen more closely, be wary of invading personal space, which is usually around the length of your forearm and hand between strangers.

But thankfully it’s not all about how you look and what you do with your hands. You can create a good first impression simply by being interested in the people that you meet. By asking questions and not lingering too much on your own story. When you do talk, avoid filler words – ums and ahs – if you want to come across confidently.

This new infographic from OnStride provides more details on all the behaviors you can tweak to give an awesome first impression.

With practice, they can become second nature. Which means making easy, warm introductions to all the people in your life. Whether it’s someone you’ll pass the time with just once or a meaningful relationship that will last you the long haul.

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The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

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While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.