When it comes to first impressions, no one gets it right first time all the time. Many people are incredibly interested in how to avoid a bad first impression. That is, of course, the ideal scenario. However, bad first impressions are inevitable. We are bound to social blunders from time to time.
Sometimes, and depending on the situation, it may not be entirely your fault. Therefore, understand that it is also possible to bounce back from a bad first impression and show who you really are.
Here are 6 ways to go about it:
This is the crucial first step immediately you realize that you just painted an ugly image of yourself. You may have run late for an important meeting or threw out a lame and offensive joke. Whatever it is, the speed of your apology is critical. You’ll want to offer a sincere apology immediately so that you can minimize the damage.
Instead of ignoring the mistake, apologizing can help fix up a bad impression almost immediately. Your genuineness is key in the apology. And even after you have apologized, don’t dwell on it. Move on quickly so that you can also show that you value the meeting as well as their time.
2. Own up to your mistake
If you dress up casually for a business meeting, own up and regain confidence in yourself. The moment you own up to your mistakes, they don’t appear as big or serious to the other person. Therefore, their negative first impression of you will be effectively lessened.
3. Adjust your body language
A simple adjustment on your body language can help fix a possible bad first impression. If you didn’t start out great, you can listen more, smile, and make more eye contact. Using your body language, you can show that you are attentive and present in the moment. That is likely to repair any damage that might have been incurred within the first few minutes.
4. Don’t avoid him or her
Rather than crawl up in a dark corner and beat yourself up after a bad first impression, be bold and get some more face time with your new contact. Avoiding him or her will only reinforce the bad first impression. That also means that you will not get a chance to try and repair it in any way. It is spilled milk.
Don’t turn away immediately you spot them. Instead, go up to them and seize the opportunity to have them rethink the first impression. It may not work immediately, but with consistency, you can reclaim the real you.
5. Ask for feedback
Get feedback from other colleagues who may have been with you during the interaction. This will help put the whole situation into perspective and help you figure out how to bounce back from the bad first impression. You could also request them to talk to the contact on your behalf and explain the true picture.
6. Ask yourself if it is worth the drama and effort
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Rather than obsess about the whole situation, accept the blunder and move on. We’d all want to make a good first impression, but instead of worrying about it, ask yourself if it is really worth the energy. Sometimes, even a bad first impression will not make a difference. You can’t please everyone and if you tried your best, sit back and focus on improving your next interactions.
How else would you bounce back from a bad first impression? Share with us in the comments section.