Making Good First Impressions

Here are some tips to teach children about meeting someone for the first time:

--Say, “It’s nice to meet you.”

--Be yourself. Don’t try to imitate others.

--Smile.

--Be on time.

--Present yourself appropriately. Dress for the occasion and location. Be well groomed.

--Find something positive you have in common with the other person.

--Use good manners. Forget your phone and other distractions. Give the person you are meeting 100% of your attention.

--Show a positive attitude.

--Don’t expect the other person to be excited to meet you. Be excited to meet them anyway. --Show respect.

--Focus on the other person instead of yourself. Be other-centered. Bless rather than try to impress.

--Listen. Engage in what the other person is saying. Look the person in the eye and actively respond.

--Speak so you’re easily heard and understood.

--Repeat the person’s name. It makes them feel valued.

--Watch your tongue. Be sure what you’re going to share is appropriate in all settings. Don’t gossip. If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing.

--Remember that first impressions aren’t always accurate. We all have to be careful not to judge.

So, how do we teach our children the value of making a good first impression?

--Talk about people who have struggled after an unfortunate first meeting.

--Discuss different people you’ve met and how you’ve felt about them afterwards.

--Ask your children how they want people to think of them.

I think most of us hope to make a good first impression. But it’s easy to forget that we’re making first impressions every time we’re in a setting where we don’t know everyone. For many of us, that’s daily. So, we need to strive for having “first impression” behavior continually.

As for second chances, we all mess up. We’re more likely to get second chances when we’re willing to give them.

Remember to move past your first responses to people. Get to know them. Time will tell if they are who they appeared to be when you first met them. You may find you like them better once you get to know their hearts.