A good first impression is so important to any relationship and starts with an incredibly elementary behavior of communication; saying “Hello.”
When I meet someone for the first time I know that their manners, tone of voice, and eye contact will all have an effect on me, but, the initial greeting is what really sets the tone. I believe a genuine, confident, and friendly greeting has the ability to relax, reassure, and potentially even elevate someone’s mood. The single first word “Hello” combined with a smile, is just so positively powerful.
The impact of a first impression is really interesting and has so many different outcomes. It has the ability to humanize an idol, reveal vulnerabilities, or even inspire those around you.
As I was thinking about initial greetings my mind wandered into the incredible importance of the actions within a first impression, beyond the word “Hello.” I believe that your first impression should never be faked. Think about it, this is your initial opportunity to reveal who you are, what you represent, what you are capable of, and how you do what you do. I must admit, though, that statement sounds incredibly wide-eyed, because, regardless if they are true or false, assumptions and judgments are being formed almost immediately. Your clothing, posture, facial features, and even the strength of your handshake all play a role in how another person perceives you. Princeton University psychologist, Alex Todorov has found that people uncontrollably make very rash opinions of people merely based on appearance within milliseconds of meeting. Luckily for us, after spending more time with another person these immediate judgments can be revised.
I guess my takeaway from today’s post is to always be mindful of our initial actions towards others and understanding the power within a pleasant smile paired with an upbeat greeting, even if your greeting has no further action than simply acknowledging another human being and making their day a little better. Small things are sometimes big things.
To keep this post fun here are multiple ways to say “Hello” in different languages. You are going to seem so cultured this week and hopefully make a good first impression. 😉
United States: Hello
Germany: Guten Tag/Hallo
China: Ni Hao