Create a Great First Impression with the Attraction Factor

 By: Dale Kathryn Grove
Personality eventually trumps looks if we are given the time to display what we have to offer. People who maybe were less attractive to begin with, become more attractive as you get to know them. In reality the "attraction factor" depends on two things; a great first impression and a winning personality as the relationship deepens.

Personality is important but unless we make the most of our first impression with new people we meet, often we won't get a second chance. The tag line in an ad on TV, featuring Ellen DeGeneres, was something like, "inner beauty is nice but outer beauty is what is really important". This being the total opposite of what we have always been told growing up. I loved the commercial because in addition to being funny, it really is so true. We still are drawn to attractive people first.

At a jam session I attended with a friend recently, a man came in who looked like he was down and out and could have been homeless. With an unkempt, long beard and hair, crooked teeth, baggy clothes, (it was dark so I couldn't tell how clean they were), I probably would not have even looked at him, had it not been for my friend's enthusiastic reception of him. Then he jumped up on the stage and began to play the guitar and sing. Amazed at his talent but shocked at the first impression he made, I did take the time to talk with him after the set. He was a wonderful, intelligent man.

In most cases, especially in a business situation, you would not have that second chance. Taking the time to present yourself in the best possible light, utilizing dress, grooming and language, is always worth the effort. Prospective employers, future friends or mates will be drawn to you rather than repelled.

I've heard people say that "If they don't like me the way I am naturally, I don't need them in my life". That may be true in a perfect world. However, I am sure you will agree that we all have some prejudices where appearance is concerned. It does matter if we want that new client, that new job or a promotion.

Realistically, who would you choose if you were deciding to spend your hard earned money or were hiring for a position in your company. Think about the people you have met recently and what your first impression of them was. How did they look? Were they well groomed, just presentable or scruffy. How did they speak? Did they use correct grammar, slang or were they vulgar. Did they arrive early, just barely on time or were they late?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that "Who you are speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying". I believe no truer words were ever spoken. If we want to move up in our careers, set an example for our children, show our friends and family how important they are to us, then we owe it to ourselves to take the time to present ourselves in the best possible light.
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