Creating First Impression



People are way more critical than you think - don't give them fuel for the fire!

Back in the early 70’s, a friend asked me what my long-term career goal was. When I answered that I would like to eventually become the president of a large university, my friend chuckled and replied, "Tony, there's no way!" I took offense at this and demanded to know why he would react that way. He said, "Don't misunderstand me, Tony. You're certainly intelligent and ambitious enough. But can you imagine yourself addressing the student body with your Brooklyn accent?" I realized that he was right. My accent was so heavy (lots of 'dees' and 'dose') that it would have had a negative impact on my credibility and my career. I resolved to change that aspect of myself and eventually became a professional speaker.

The old adage is true: "First impressions are lasting impressions." But if you're like most people, you probably can't see the first impressions you're making. In that case, here's some simple advice you can take from the story above: Take the risk of asking one or more of your close friends if you are guilty of any of the following image deficiencies below. If so, first thank your friends for their honesty, and then immediately do something to correct them! Try creating an impression you want to last.

Common first-impression killers & what to do about them:

A heavy accent - The Brooklyn accent is just one of many... Bostonians and Southerners beware!!! Some people read this as a sign of intellectual inferiority, others just won't understand what you're saying. Consult a speech coach if you must, but don't let this habit get in your way!

A limp handshake - For a man, a sign of weakness...for a woman, a sign that she lacks confidence! Don't squeeze the hand or hold it like a dead mouse, just give it a firm grip, a couple of pumps, and let go. Along with making consistent eye contact, this is one of the easiest first-impression blunders to correct!

Sloppy grooming (long hair, sideburns, three-day stubble, bad makeup job, un-tucked shirt or blouse, unpolished shoes) - Says to hiring manager: "Can't be left alone for a second with prospective clients" - also a sign of intellectual sloppiness!

Poor hygiene (foul body odor, dirty fingernails, chronic bad breath) - One of those things you want to ask your most trusted best friend about because (1) chances are, you can't notice it, and (2) some people won't want to hurt your feelings.

Weak vocabulary -Beside "like" "ah" and "um" try to avoid weak words ("awesome" "cool" and "super") that make you sound like you just graduated from Sweet Valley High.

Poor posture - People notice the way you enter a room, the way you carry yourself. Take a few deep breaths to collect yourself. Stand tall and hold your head up high. Walk with purpose and direction.

Ill-fitting clothing - Even if your body is in perfect shape, the clothes you wear can make you look ridiculous if they are too big and bulky, or one size too small and reveal too much (stomach, hairy shins). Nothing screams "success" like a well-tailored yourself a favor and make a serious investment in clothes that fit!

Another key element to making the best first impression: CHARISMA.

The truth is that everyone has the potential to be a charismatic individual. Those who are charismatic have found a way to unleash that potential. Don't be folled for a single second that you're just one of the unlucky ones who is stuck with a bland, average personality.

Once you fully engage your charisma, you'll


- Get far more respect than the average person does.

- Be admired and adored, often without effort.

- Exude huge amounts of self-confidence and self-esteem.

- Appear extremely powerful without being intimidating.

- Easily get what you want, because people will instinctively want to help you.




Coaching to Win


Coaching to win

Increasingly major hotels and hotel companies & other corporations in both the public and private sectors, as well as in the not-for profit sector, are integrating coaching and mentoring

into their development programmes for senior and other executives.

These programmes will also typically include work based development, formal training and self learning.  The terms‘coach’ and ‘mentor’ have tended to merge as if into one but, in fact, there are critical differences between being a coach and being a mentor.

If we think about the great sports coaches acclaimed by fans and media - and indeed by the

boards of the companies that run football, cricket, basketball, ice hockey - it becomes clear

that a coach is focused on improving performance.  The coach has a single goal.  The

relationship between coach and executive is tied up in the organisations structure and the

coach exercises influence because of the position he has been given.  As the recipient of

coaching, the executive hopes to benefit from improved personal performance as an

individual and as a member of the various teams in which the executive plays.  The arena in

which the coach and the executive interact is limited to the task in hand – the task that is to be


Compare this to the role of a mentor. The mentor is charged with facilitating an individual as

they self-select how to learn for any or all of life’s challenges. Generally, the mentee selects

the mentor; the relationship is not forced upon the mentee by the shape of the organisation.

The mentee reacts to the mentor’s words and actions not because of any organisational

power play but because the mentee perceives the mentor’s advice to have value.

A mentor is biased in favour of the mentee – a coach is impartial, focused on improvement in

behaviour. The coach develops specific skills for the task, challenge and performance

expectations at work.

A mentor is a power-free two-way mutually beneficial relationship.  Mentors are teachers and

facilitators, allowing the protégé to discover their own direction.  They let their mentees find

their own solutions.  A coach has a set agenda to reinforce or change skills and behaviours.

Even in formal mentoring programmes, the protégé and the mentor have choices – to

continue, to stop, to change focus. If I’m your mentor you probably chose me. Coaching is

much more likely to be imposed as part of an agreed organisational programme Indeed your

coach probably hired you.

A coach is strategically assessing and monitoring progress and giving advice for effectiveness

and efficiency. A mentor is much more like a sounding board.

So coaching and mentoring are not the same thing.  If I am your coach, then you probably

work for me and my concern is your performance and your ability to change and I want to

enrol you in the vision and direction of the hotel or hotel company that we are both part of.

In realising my organisational requirement as a coach, I may need to add competence, inject

elements provided by external resources, change my own behaviour, to better achieve the

coaching responsibilities that my position places on me.

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