04 Nov How to Make the Best First Impression as a Leader
Good leadership hinges on your ability to motivate and support members of your team. If you’re starting a new leadership position, it’s important to make a good impression with employees to begin your role as a leader as effectively as possible. It’s said that it only takes seven seconds to form an impression of somebody. When the stakes are high for you to get your team on side, how do you form the best first impression as a good leader?
- Be Friendly
It seems obvious, but many leaders let nerves get the better of them and subsequently come across as cold and distant. Be sure to pay attention to seemingly small gestures that make a huge difference like smiling, making eye contact and small talk. Humanise yourself by finding common ground with members of your team; ask them about themselves and share your own interests and anecdotes in return.
- Be Polished
Appearing prepared and unflustered inspires confidence. This goes for what you look like, what you say and how you say it. Ensure you are well-groomed and have thought about what you are going to say so that you don’t have any moments of “err”s and searching for the right words under pressure.
- Gather Information
As important as appearing prepared and knowledgeable, it’s essential to actually know what you’re talking about. Don’t be caught off guard by a question you should know the answer to and be sure to gather all the information you need to know your business/department/team inside out.
Sometimes in an effort to radiate enthusiasm and expertise, we can have a tendency to monologue about ourselves. Make sure to invite others’ opinions to establish an open-door policy from the beginning and make your team feel valued and confident to share their opinions and concerns.
- Acknowledge Achievements
Nobody likes to feel unappreciated. Rather than focusing entirely on ways to improve performance and letting people’s achievements go unacknowledged, emphasise the positives of your team and situation and be quick to recognise efforts to move forward with you.
- Be Humble
It’s not necessary to dazzle people with surplus details and complex jargon. Keep things simple and encourage humour to create a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere and always be ready to roll up your sleeves and lead by example!