Thursday, 19 April 2012 03:17



First impression is the last  impression. Thus goes a well-known platitude. Many, doubting the veracity of the statement ignore its force and face difficulties in life. Others harm or damage their chances of success in interviews.

They are cocky about their merit. Hence, they think that they ignore the wisdom in this saying. In any case, making a first good impression is a sure personality asset, not a liability. Therefore, it must be put high on the list of personality plus points.

There are reasons for it. We have to interact with people. Man is a social animal. The impression we create and leave on people trails us. We cannot escape it.

Our attitude to other people is more important than attitude to us. People take us as they find us.

If we are friendly and outward looking, interested and zestful, people like us and accept us. If we lack these qualities, they tend to distance themselves from us. Positive approach makes it easy for us to get along with others. Also, we leave a nice impression.

This has other advantages, too. We create social opportunities for ourselves by going out, meeting and building bridges. Sharing activities forges chains of friendship.

It is we, ourselves, who put strain on human relations. A foul-mouthed man, however attractive his physical appearance, is bound to leave a bad impression. One who speaks a pleasant word obviously leaves behind a pleasant impression.

There is no need to be theatrical or over-dramatic. You are not a film star. In order to create a good impression, it’s necessary to be natural and at ease. Let others see and meet the real you!

There is no denying the vital fact that, at heart, we want recognition, acceptance and appreciation. We cannot isolate ourselves totally from others and lead a full and satisfying life. When we cut ourselves from others, we become an island of isolation.

However, this does not mean that we should become crawling cowards and each and every action of ours should be calculated to please others. When it is a question of self-respect or conviction, we should act differently. That is rightly whatever others may think.

Yet, a major portion of our life is linked with the life of others. This cannot be helped. This naturally concerns what they think of us and what they expect of us.

Les Giblin has put it: “A businessman wants business from other people. A husband and wife want love and affection from each other. A parent wants obedience. A child wants security and love. A salesman wants other people to sign their names on a dotted line. A boss wants loyalty, production, and cooperation. An employee wants recognition.”

The burden of this argument is that people from various walks of life play a big role in our life. Though we take this role for granted, yet, the fact remains that others do play a significant part in our success as well as well-being.

Ladder of Success

The inference is: the youngster striving to go up the ladder of success in life must do all he can to make a good impression upon them. That’s one way he gets their nod.

The impression that we first create on others may or may not matter but it counts. Opinions in the light of experiences may change, but the first impression does stick.

Thus, it is important to cultivate it. It is better to present a front which cannot be challenged, rather than a front which has to undergo a drastic change later, or at one stage after another. The front must be genuine. If it is a fake, it will be seen through. No one can put on an act for all times. No one can fool all the people, all the time.

It implies that we have to be natural otherwise the impression is blighted. This means that our real self must be winsome. This is what we must work on. Not the fake impression, which can be faulted.

Thus, we should strive for a face-lift of personality so that it has a winsome and magnetic influence on people we rub shoulders with. We should strive to build the sort of personality which makes up an instant and pleasant impact on those we come in contact with.

The first impression we make on others is of great consequence. Sometimes, we do have to revise our impression. Even then the importance of the first impression does not lose its validity totally.

Many youngsters nurse the notion that they can act smart; that they can put on a show and get away with it. One may say: “Today, I am meeting so-and-so. I will pull a fast one on him. How can he ever know it?” He may succeed but he is likely
to get into an act-pattern, which will eventually show him in poor light. Society holds and shows him the mirror!

What are the factors that go in making a pleasant and winsome impression? We pinpoint some. To this list, the reader is free to add his own recipes, if any.

Appearance. A lady came to solicit my vote for the University Senate. She was dressed in white-blouse and sari—matching her lily complexion, heightened by a dark pink lipstick. I was “stunned” by her appearance and presentation. She knew the art of making lasting impression. She was elected. No wonder!

A strikingly well-dressed woman or man has an edge over others; at least so far as physical appearance is concerned.

Now, think of the opposite and draw your own conclusion.

Not many have this edge because God has not bestowed on them the attributes of attractive physical appearance. But it is all the more reason that we should strive to create impact we can. This means extra care on neatness, grooming, cleanliness
and posture that speak loud in our favour.

Assets should not be concealed. They should be revealed. They should be highlighted. This shows self-respect. We cannot expect others to respect us if we count down our own selves.

Generate your own steam. It is one of the biggest assets we often ignore at much cost. Pleasant speech is the hallmark of a winsome personality as it makes a nice impression. Otherwise people say, “He is nice so long as he does not open his mouth.” A grating screeching voice spoils impression. Cultivation of voice pays dividends.

Charming people usually have a friendly and cheerful voice. They convey amiability and warmth. Those who have seen Raj Kapoor’s movies will concede that he had a magnetic voice, which contributed a lot to his charisma

Words link us to others. They are useful instruments. They work both ways: they can create pleasantness, and also cause offence. Sarcastic words, couched in acidic tones, go a long way in creating enemies. A colleague known for his foul-mouth was nicknamed “cobra” for he was always hissing with his words!
Words and meanings similarly matter a lot. Quite often we take words and their meanings for granted. A friend introducing me to a relative of his said: “Mr Soni is an upstart in writing.” What he meant was that I was upcoming as a writer.
The tone too is important. A rasping, harsh tone dispels others. A whining one creates gloom. A cheerful chuckle comes out as if pearls are falling out of a jar.

Genuine. Pretension of superiority or authority also repels people as no one likes to be made inferior. The bossy ones are usually disliked, if not hated. The pompous ones become laughable. If you are laughed at, you are making a scene not an impression.

In short, cultivate the art of speaking in tones calculated to attract rather than repel. Positives attract. Negatives repel. For example: courtesy attracts; curtness repels.
Similarly, bad and misfit words and vocabulary go a long way in creating a question mark against personality.

Pay a compliment. Don’t be niggardly in doing so. There is a good way to compensate for this lack: listen attentively to the person who is talking to you. He will be impressed. Listening attentively is also a compliment. Refusal to compliment amounts to criticism.