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2nd Glances And 2nd Chances

Have You Missed Something?

I recently had a change-of-heart about someone which got me to thinking about the way that I come across to people I meet and how I might improve the quality of my own interactions.

Quite often throughout my youth I would be asked the same question: “Why the long face?” In fact, it was more of a statement than a question. One that I often found insulting and it undermined my confidence in relating to new people. Especially when it was said by someone I barely knew. On most of those occasions I was in a perfectly good mood up until that point. My response was usually the same. “That’s just my face,” I would say, “I was born with it,” which would put an abrupt end to the questions. I would then part company with a somewhat degraded view of that person and a deflated opinion of myself.

Now, I’m no wallflower! I much prefer direct, straight-up candidness and I have grown to withstand such criticisms or negative observations with little damage to my ego but I needed to accept that I was probably projecting a different persona from who I really was. On the inside I was laid-back and open, but outwardly I appeared serious and shy which really wasn’t helping me. I was misunderstood and it was my responsibility to present a better image to the world. A happier facade that was warm and inviting. Well, that can be hard work or seem insincere if it doesn’t come naturally but it’s a necessary exercise for someone trying to overcome themself. Ultimately it does work to open doors and it get’s easier with practice so it’s worth doing!

What I’ve learnt is that it’s frequently necessary to give people a second opportunity to undo a bad first impression. The idea that you only get one bite at the apple is rather shallow and means we could be missing out by not chasing second chances. Busy lives make it way too tempting to just red-flag someone and move on which only perpetuates the superficial relationships so abundant in society today.

Personally, I take this thinking further. I revisit old work to ensure I didn’t miss anything and I reconsider past situations to try to see things from a different perspective. Of course, we all do this now and again, but the point is to disrupt your original thinking and take a new view.

Sadly, in business, you often only get one chance to make a good impression before being written off. The truth is that people rarely take time to listen to or understand your story which is why we should all spend a moment, now and again, being introspective to re-evaluate our own perceptions so that we can enter into new conversations better prepared to make a great first impression. Or second, or third ...

There is always something to discover, it only takes a fresh perspective.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of our clients or any parties who may be referenced in the content.

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