For as long as I can remember, I’ve wondered what people’s first impressions are of me. I wonder if I come across as who I really am… or if I project something that is more along the lines of who I want to be? Do I come across as a caring individual… or someone that doesn’t have time to care for those around her?
Then this weekend I had a meeting that brought these thoughts to the forefront of my mind once again. And actually played a pretty big role in the decision that I had with whether I wanted to associate myself with this firm in the future.
This is the scenario…
After driving for a few hours to this meeting, I arrived 5 minutes early. Impeccable timing on my part (especially since I tried to get myself lost at one point in the journey.) Because the doors to the office were locked – not a surprise since it was over the weekend – I called the individual that I was meeting with to let them know that I had arrived. The person said that he would be there in 5 minutes. No less than an additional 25 minutes later, he finally arrived… complete with a restaurant to-go cup in his hand. (Which pretty much told me that he stopped on his way to our meeting to get something to eat.)
What makes a person think that this is ok? To set up a meeting with someone that you want to contract with… only to show up 25-30 minutes late. It’s an extreme sign of disrespect. An extreme slap in the face. And tells me that the work that I do – and could do for them – is not important to them either.
From this I learned a very valuable thing about myself.
I want to be respected.
No, in fact, I deserve to be respected.
I know that I should not make a decision solely on the fact of this first impression – but it’s an awful hard thing to escape from. If we would choose to contract together, would this person find me important enough to return my phone calls about questions I have in the future? Would this person choose to take my advice on things that I believe should be changed? How smooth would this working relationship be?
We all make snap judgments about people with our first impressions of them. What they look like, how they act and whether they are on time are just a few examples. It’s always important to get beyond your first thoughts about a person… or thing… in order to get to know them and understand how and what makes them who they really are.
It’s only fair.
Because you would want them to do the same for you.
Have you ever wondered about the first impressions that you make to others? Or have you had a crazy first impression about someone that turned out to be completely wrong?!?