There is an interesting quotation “If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girlfriends.” The inner desire of a human being to impress others has got a history of several thousand years.
More often than not, the first impressions we form about people are wrong. Judging a person based on a single or brief interaction is both incorrect and unethical. However, we live in a busy world where people have got no time to observe you and make correct decisions. Since the people around you could be your prospective employers or clients or even life partners, it’s in your own interest to make a positive and lasting impression whenever possible.
There are several ways to impress people. One way is by possessing things. However, it’s an expensive method and the impression you create is usually temporary. You can fake qualities to impress people. Once again, it’s temporary and could also be counterproductive in long run. If you want to leave a positive and lasting impression always, the best way is to cultivate impressive habits. I hope the list given below would help you to impress people as well as lead to personal development.
Abstain from Bragging: I always advice people to actively promote themselves. However, it shouldn’t amount to bragging. The line between bragging and self-promotion could be very tricky. I recommend the book ‘Brag! – The Art of Tooting Your Horn without Blowing It’ by Peggy Klaus, if you want to learn to do self-promotion the right way.
Admit Your Mistakes: We all make mistakes. That’s how we learn things. Most people make mistakes but only few will dare to accept it. The best course of action is to admit it and come up with the best possible remedial action. People who take responsibility are generally appreciated by others.
Appreciate Differences in Opinion: You can stay firm in your beliefs. However, you should also appreciate and respect the right of others to stay firm in their own beliefs.
Be an Expert in Your Field: Whatever your field is, acquire highest level of expertise in it and always excel in your work. Nothing impresses people like a reputation for consistent excellence.
Be Approachable: Let people know that you are friendly and easy to talk to. Smiling, open hand gestures, friendly conversation style, tolerance, positive attitude etc. can help you to be perceived as more approachable.
Be Available: Let people know exactly how and when you can be contacted.
Be Content: A content life is the ultimate objective of any person. If you lead such a life, others are sure to admire you.
Be Interesting: Who doesn’t like interesting people. The golden rule for being an interesting person is that you should take interest in others. You also need to use a lot of common sense while talking. For example, men are least interested to know about a girl’s shoe collection.
Be Modest: I’m an advocate of self-promotion. Hence asking you to be modest is conflicts my own principle. However, in certain circumstances modesty will help you get noticed. I remember how fellow students used to notice and appreciate me for coming on a bicycle when most others drove their motor bikes or cars.
Be Proactive: Identify potential problems or loop holes and come up with potential solutions to prevent anything bad happening. It’s one the best ways to shine at work. Just make sure everybody (especially your boss) knows that you did it.
Be Relaxed: Keep a cool and relaxed mood rather than being a robot. Who don’t like cool people?
Be Self Sufficient: Dependence on self gives more freedom which is really impressive. This is the major reason why entrepreneurs are respected more than people with day jobs.
Communicate Clearly and Confidently: Talk slow, use proper words and make sure you communicated clearly. Take care to be clear in written communication as well.
Compliment People: Just like you, others love compliments as well. I jump with joy whenever somebody appreciates my blog. Hence appreciate people for their achievements and do it personally rather than by just clicking ‘LIKE’.
Create Your Signature Style: Anybody can make own style. I’ve a dear friend in our IT Department who regularly pulls out financial data for me. He formats the data with his signature fonts, colours and tables. Due to this, his excel sheets always stand out. Owning a unique style is always impressive.
Develop Authentic Personality: People love uniqueness. The best strategy to be unique is to become YOU, because nobody can be a better you than you. Also, just imagine, if you don’t like you, Why should I?
Fight for Your People: Fight for the rights and benefits of your people. In return they are sure to fight for you too. To care for own people is the mark of true leader.
Find Connections with Others: When meeting new people find common areas of interests and connections. This will break the ice when meeting new people.
Focus on Positives: Draw inspiration from success and learn lessons from failures. Take every incident in life positively and move forward. Positive attitude is contagious and it will definitely attract positive attention.
Give Respect to Others: Let job, age, money, gender etc. be a factor when it comes to respecting people. Respect everybody and treat them like equals.
Go an Extra Mile: Do a bit more than what is required. The rewards and return are sure to be disproportionately high. As the famous saying goes ‘There is no competition in the extra mile’
Have a Sense of Humour: Listen, observe and attempt humour. If it doesn’t work laugh at yourself. Lighten up and do not take things too seriously. Everything in life is not an intelligence test. Learn to take things lightly.
Have an Interesting Hobby and Be Really Good at It: Photography, Bird watching, rock climbing, cycling, painting, combat sports… the list of interesting hobbies are endless. Just pick one which you love and be really good at it. You will enjoy it and will get great attention too. I’ve taken writing and delivering humorous speeches as my hobby. I love it and others appreciate it even more.
Help People when Possible: Once I succeeded in making somebody change his job to do something which he really loves. It’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. Everyone loves the people who are willing to extend a helping hand.
Keep Proper Posture: Slouching is considered as a mark of insecurity. Try to keep a straight, strong and confident posture. People judge your mood and confidence level from your body language.
Keep Your Promises: Keeping promises is the mark of reliable person. It’s an outstanding quality which will earn you respect at both work place and at home.
Keep Yourself Fit: A healthy and fit person can easily make a strong positive impression. Keeping fit obviously has got other huge benefits too.
Dress Well: This doesn’t mean wearing expensive dress. Clean, neat and presentable dressing will do. If you can create personal style of dressing, that will be great.
Learn a New Language: A new language will open a whole new world to you. You will learn more, make new friends and of course will become more popular.
Listen to Others Intently
Live to Inspire: Focus on inspiring every person you meet through your work and a strong, positive and lasting impression is a guaranteed by product.
Love Mother Nature: Green people are cool. Aren’t they? Save power, print less, use less water, use less gas and of course, encourage others to do so.
Love Your Kids: I’m sure you do love your kids. Just show that too. Play with them, learn with them, enjoy with them.
Make Good Eye Contact: Proper eye contact brings closeness to human interaction. Eye contact is one of the most captivating forms of personal communication.
Keep things Organized: At work or at home or even on your smartphone or computer, try to keep things organized. It’ll also save you a lot of time making you more productive.
Practice What You Preach: ‘Lead by Example’ is the only way to lead effectively. You can’t both set rules and break them too. Every time you break your own rule, your personal power gets diluted. So always walk the talk!
Reach Places on Time: This means you are committed to what you say and also that you respect the value of other’s time.
Reciprocate: If people help you or try to keep in touch with you, reciprocate in the same way. Make them feel that you value them in the same way they value you.
Remain Faithful to Your Spouse: Infidelity is on rise and has become even a fashion statement. However people still appreciate, respect, trust and love those who are faithful their significant other. (I really wish my wife reads it. She will definitely be impressed! )
Remember Names: I love my name. I’m sure you too do. All other people are hardly different. While communicating, try to use their names in the way they like to be addressed. Some people are proud of their surnames while others prefer first names.
Respect Cultural Sentiments: Be aware of cultural differences. Handshake with women is not common in Middle East.
Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’: People hate demands but they fine with requests. A simple ‘Please’ can make a demand feel like a request. Both ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ are powerful words which gets things done while keeping relationships intact.
Share Your Knowledge with Others: Be a knowledge resource whenever possible. Of course, take care not to pass wrong and misleading information.
Smile and Laugh Lavishly: Happiness is contagious. Smile and laughter are associated with happiness which is an impressive quality. Additionally when you laugh at other’s jokes, they are sure be impressed even more.
Solve Problems: Problem solvers are always in demand. The tougher the problems, the better. Most of can be better problem solvers, if we just make an attempt.
Stay Energetic: I love energy in people. I’m sure you too.
Travel: Travel more, meet people and learn about cultures. Be a global person.
Use Good Hygiene: ‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ – not exactly, but your cleanliness is definitely very important for the people around you.
Use Technology Well: Technology is for all now. Learn how to properly work with devices. For example, printers, projectors, smart phones and other common devices. Learning it is simple, you will look a lot smarter.
Volunteer: Voluntarily come forward to take up leadership roles or help a friend or colleague in distress.