The Power of 7 Seconds
By Sheila Anderson, Image Power Play
Ninety percent of information transmitted to our brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in our brains than words. Every moment of every day you are influencing others through your image in both your personal and professional life. You are always being judged, and it happens almost instantaneously, in just seven seconds. This plays a profound role on how others treat you and when the tables are turned, how you treat them.
When one thinks of image, appearance immediately comes to mind. Well, that’s only part of your image. Looking good is absolutely important, but it is not enough in today’s world. In addition to your appearance, your overall image is made up of how you behave, your communication skills both verbally and non-verbally, and even your social media imprint. Think about this: are you being perceived in the way you want to be? Are you showcasing your potential? Are you telling the true story of who you are? Maybe you have been getting passed up for job promotions or for a second interview. If you aren’t getting the results you want, it is time to take a look at your image.
So what does a person notice in the first seven seconds of meeting someone? First, it is true, you do look at their appearance: what they are wearing. Is it appropriate for the occasion? Is it clean and neatly pressed? How does it fit them? Are their shoes clean and polished or scuffed up? You also notice their grooming habits.
Next, you take note of how they communicate with you and their behavior. Do they smile when they speak to you? What is the level and tone of their voice? What words are they speaking? Did you know, the first twelve words a person speaks are the most important?
And in today’s world, sometimes your first impression of someone is not in person, but what you find out about them online or your experience with them through written correspondence such as email. All of this makes up one’s image — from appearance and attire to behavior and body language, spanning verbal and written communication.
You see, your image never sleeps. It is on 24/7.