Yes, it’s true “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”. So, what do you do if you mess up? Mistakes do happen to the best of us. It doesn’t matter if the error was small or monumental. How are you going to fix it?
Take control of the situation by making your last impression a positive one.
“In God there is no recession. This is not the time to buy into the world as it is being shown to you.”
In this e-letter:
Bad Impressions- The Costly Career Limiting Mistake Make the FIFA 2010 World Cup Work for You!
- Impression Bandages
- Common turnoffs to avoid
Powerful First Impressions Presentations
Book Choice-The Power of Nice: How To Conquer the
Business World With Kindness
Speaking with Sensational Style In Cape Town
How to recover from a Bad Impression
Oh no it's happened! You have incorrectly copied someone on an email (about them), you have asked when is her due date
d she is not pregnant! You’ve messed up and have made an awful first impression. Don’t despair; use these damage control strategies which will allow you to show your face in public again.
The Costly Career Limiting Mistake
Example: You have a strategic client meeting that you have prepared a meeting pack for which contains crucial decision-making information. Minutes before starting the meeting you realize that there are missing pages and you are short of packs.
• Correcting the situation takes priority. Do whatever it takes to
fix what has occurred.
• Be accountable. People are often very forgiving when you
owe up to your mistake.
• Make a plan. Highlight how you have corrected the situation,
as well as procedures you have put into place to avoid a
• Follow through and deliver on your promises.
• NEVER pass the buck. You will alienate your colleagues and
serve only to label yourself as untrustworthy.
• Immediately apologise. The more time passes, the more
offended or angry others might get.
• Keep the apology short. Don’t grovel for forgiveness every
time you see the parties concerned-you will make them feel
uncomfortable after a while.
• Don’t assume. So, instead of saying, "You must think I'm a
complete idiot." rather say, "I'm embarrassed about what
happened, I hope I did not inconvenience you in any way.”
• DON’T make a joke of the situation as this gives the impression
that you don’t really care that you have messed up.
• Avoid repeating the same mistake again. Overcoming a bad
impression requires that your future actions are consistent with
how you want others to see you.
• Move on, rehashing the episode keeps your mistake upper most
in the minds of others and damages your reputation further.
Some situations may make you feel uncomfortable. Identifying these helps prepare you for them.
Example: Meeting new people, forgetting someone’s name or presenting to a group.
• Inform whom you are interacting
with, “Please excuse me I get a
little tongue tied when meeting new people”. This will certainly
ease yours and their discomfort.
• Focus on how others think and feel. Put the spotlight on them
and off you. E.g. use more “you” words rather than “I” or “me”
eg “How do YOU view the strategy plan?”
• Make sure that your body language is in sync with your
message, use open gestures, make good eye contact, nod and
lean towards the person.
• If there was no specific reason why the interaction didn’t go well
a general “My apologies our first meeting didn’t go smoothly” or
“I must be getting old-your name has just escaped me for a
Common Turnoffs to Avoid... • Forgetting other’s names
• Complaining about a hangover
• Conversing in front of others in a
language not understood by them
• Looking up at clock, checking watch
continuously during a meeting
• Fiddling with jewellery
• Clicking your pen repeatedly
• Examining or playing with your hair
• Chewing gum – makes you appear as
if you don’t take things seriously
• Eating- at your desk, whilst you are
walking or during a meeting
• Shouting, laughing loudly in open plan
• Telling racist, sexist jokes
Time is a great healer and as long as your subsequent behaviour and interactions are positive you may be able to outweigh your original negative impression. Showing respect and paying sincere attention will help in remedying a painful situation.
“Powerful First Impressions ” Presentations
Your success depends largely on the first impressions that you create. Our tailor-made programmes will guarantee that your first impression is a memorable and lasting one.
For more information contact us on
Tel: 011 467 5126 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.profimpressions.co.za