3 DIMENSIONS OF THE FIRST INTERACTION
PROJECTING AN IMAGE
Packaging of a product cannot be over-emphasized in the present day world. Resume writing, writing LinkedIn profiles, development of soft skills are services, which people try to sell to you, practically every day of the week.
Yet, we look in the mirror every morning, and miss the fact, that your reflection offers the first glimpse of the package. It is the first and easiest step towards expression of your personality. Each of us has this avenue of expression available to us from an early age. Parents will testify to the wilful choices made by young people, and differences of opinion in families and educational institutions, on the appropriate projection of their personalities.
THE FIRST DIMENSION
How you feel, and how do you wish to project yourself ? The internal conversation in your head goes on :
- “I want to break the ice today, and find a solution to this problem”.
- “ How the hell can the team not follow instructions ? The task needs to be completed today”.
- “Oh, boy! I am meeting Karan Johar today. Must bag this coveted role in his forthcoming movie”.
How do I wish to appear to others, and what do I need to convey ?
- Need to look approachable.
- Need to look authoritative.
- Need to look attractive and appropriate.
THE SECOND DIMENSION
What does the other person really see in you, at first glance ? And what does it convey ?
- Face and expression :
The kind of person you are – pleasant, affable, aloof, serious, curious or approachable.
- Clothes :
Your age, nationality, profession, temperament, mood, aesthetic, social and political values.
- Appropriateness :
Your level of comfort with the surroundings, whether you are a native or a tourist, sophistication quotient, social or professional savvy and social sensibility.
The first and second dimension may not always match. Your internal thoughts and the required external expressions may not be the same. But you need to synchronize it to create the desired effect.
THE THIRD DIMENSION
What happens beyond the first impression ?
There is an internal conversation going on in the mind of the viewer.
- “She appears to be in a good mood. Let me ask if I can do something for her ?”
- “ Looks arrogant. I don’t need to give him any workable ideas. Let him issue instructions, and take the consequences.”
- “ Wow! What a dress sense ! Just right for the role that I have in mind. Let me seek further confirmations by talking to him”.
The other person decides on his or her strategy to respond.
CAN YOU INFLUENCE THIS RESPONSE ?
An emphatic YES.
- By knowing the art and science of dressing.
- By awareness of the messages that you convey.
- By dressing in line with your schedule for the day, and the purpose of your meetings.
- By an easy transition from one look to another, if needed.
The impact of your personality is further strengthened by body language, verbal and vocal communication, and social media projections, all of which are soft skills.
We will continue this in a series of articles. Meanwhile, views and suggestions are welcome.