Boyden Executive Search

Published author and branding authority, Roger T. Duguay, shares distinctive tips about making a noticeable first impression, including advice from Mitch Garber, President and CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company.

By Roger T. Duguay
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The first impression —which we can break down into approximately fifty behavioral parameters— varies very little and remains unchanged 80% of the time after 30, 60, or 90 minutes of an interview. Do you find that surprising? I can tell you that this is quite normal.

You’ve no doubt come across people who exude energy, happiness, and light as soon as they walk into a room. It’s a phenomenon that is primarily felt, so it’s difficult to describe. Following these encounters, we are left with a noticeable impression. We are attracted like magnets to this kind of person. We are nourished by their energy, their positivity, and the way they seem to enjoy life. Their anecdotes are fascinating, and their very existence is thrilling. Of course, they have their share of problems like we all do, but their presence generates a transcendent effect. How can we explain this allure? It would be too easy to accuse them of being superficial, of playing games, and not being authentic. It could certainly be tempting to think this way, that these people are taking advantage of cleverly hidden strategies. Otherwise, life would simply be unfair for the rest of us! However, by taking a deeper look, we see how it is possible to likewise cultivate this kind of energy, and make a similar impact.

“Much has been written about success and about those who have achieved it, but few have understood the traits that make people stand out and make themselves noteworthy to those that matter most for them to further their careers. In today’s world, first impressions have taken on new meaning. The person you are meeting has already checked you out on Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Therefore, lesson number one is to make sure that impression is as good as it possibly can be. You have control over this first impression.”  Mitch Garber, President and CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company

It’s easy to get advice on how to make a good impression. Countless tips are available. The first impression is important. It largely determines our ability to create the impact required to get a new job, a promotion, a new customer, a new contract, or even a new life partner. The recipe is seemingly easy: Look the person straight in the eye, speak confidently but not too quickly, be well prepared, and don’t hesitate to discuss your winning points.

After all, isn’t our track record of success the single-most-important factor when landing a dream job? Not really. Times have changed. People are impressed differently. In my duties as a headhunter, I have the great privilege of meeting nearly a thousand executives, managers, and other professionals every year. Most of them occupy important and powerful positions. From the moment they arrive, walk down the hall to reach my office, shake my hand, present themselves, and finally take a seat, a full thirty seconds have elapsed. 

“At 5’7”, I am perhaps the least remarkable person in a room, so what are some of the things that can make you stand out? It’s a combination of things that almost everyone can develop: confidence, assertiveness, authenticity, self-awareness, humor, knowledge of your business and your competitors, and so much more.” — Mitch Garber, President and CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company

In our daily lives, we, unfortunately, spend too little time thinking about the impact we create, as well as our unconscious analysis of the people we meet. We act naturally, without paying much attention. However, by focusing on specific aspects of these things, it is possible to dissect and understand them, and above all, to shape them with the goal of optimizing our impact. Have you ever felt out of tune with the person you were speaking with, and felt unable to establish a real connection with them? Have you ever had the feeling of not being able to position yourself as you would truly like? If so, you’re not alone. This is by no means a necessarily insurmountable challenge because you can do something to change this situation. Most of us assume that others view us the same way we perceive ourselves. We also have the illusion that they can see our very way of being, our deep and profound selves. Unfortunately, this is not reality. Our daily interactions are tinted by hundreds of preconceived ideas that affect the way others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. It is therefore possible to improve the overall image that we project. To achieve this, however, we must know how to accurately define what influences how others view it. After understanding and assimilating the fundamentals of perception, you’ll be able to communicate more clearly, to send messages that are authentic, and to improve your relationships. The ability to self-evaluate correctly and to understand our surroundings are qualities that are rare and that senior leaders seek out. Yet, scientific studies clearly demonstrate the presence of bias when self-evaluating, and to some extent, an inability to do so. We all evolve in personal environments that are very complex. It is virtually impossible to maximize the impact we have on our personal and professional lives without first having a complete and clear understanding of what surrounds us. It would be too banal to try to make a good impression without ensuring, at the outset, that you are trying to impress with depth and substance. This is one of the key messages I want to share with you as an expert when it comes to image management, so I can help you create the best and most authentic impression possible while optimizing the person you are! If you want to unlock the keys of success and achieve your full potential while staying authentic to yourself, you can follow my social media and I will regularly post articles and content to help you STAND OUT! 

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Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend Mitch Garber who agreed to write the foreword to my book, Stand out. With his experience based on 25 years of professional success stories, he is in a prime position to share his many and brilliant advice for a successful career. 

First seen on LinkedIn 

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