First vs lasting impressions

Woman thinking: How do you think this was perceived?A couple weeks ago I shared a story about a woman attending a new networking group, it not being quite what she expected and her leaving. You can read it here.

This week let’s go over the second question: How do you think this was perceived by the two ladies remaining?

First impressions are an interesting thing, but not the only thing.

After all, the very first impression she made was a good one.

She walked in pleasant and smiling and very clear about what she did and who she served. She came prepared with not only business cards, but a brochure!

She was interested in the other women there and the group. She asked all the questions you’d expect someone new to ask and was conversational.

And then she said she had to leave, I have all those things to do back at the office — I’m so sorry. And left.

The women remaining looked at each other and shrugged after she left — apparently building a business relationship with the two of us wasn’t high on the agenda today…

The first impression was good, but the one they left with — well, I bet she won’t be coming to mind anytime soon for a referral from either of them.

And the lasting impression she left wasn’t probably what she was thinking about as she walked out the door.

Maybe the work on her desk was more important then the lasting impression she left or maybe it wasn’t. Or maybe she got caught up in the conversation in her head and the uncomfortableness she was feeling and found an escape route.

The maybe’s don’t really matter.

The fact is she left, and that wasn’t good or bad — it was an action that she decided to take.

And the remaining ladies reacted also isn’t good or bad — it’s their perception of that action.

The easy thing to do here is suggest you think about how you’ll be perceived before you make any decisions (staying, going or otherwise).

But that won’t server you. You’ll never be able to leave a 100% positive impression on 100% of the people you meet.

And trying to do that will drive you batty and you’ll always be stuck in your head.

Instead before you walk into events, think about how you want to be (set an intention). What do you want to feel (or embody)?

Then, if you’re at a meeting or event that isn’t a good fit, check back with yourself — if I were fully embodying the intention I set, what would that look like? Would I stay or would I go?

Have you ever left a bad impression on someone and was okay with it? Or maybe you didn’t realize it until later? Share in the comments here.

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