You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is a truth about human nature. We assess and judge within milliseconds, and those first assessments never truly disappear.
However, there are not likely to be fully accurate either, since people are deeper than their surface suggests.
Back a few years ago, before the age of the digital camera, there was the Polaroid camera, the first instant picture taker. After the shutter clicked, the photograph rolled itself out of the body of the camera and developed itself right before your eyes. People enjoyed flapping the photograph back and forth, thinking it would help speed up the developing process (which it never did), but the experience was fun: to look at a blank rectangle of vinyl and see the image appear, first in the faintest of shades and then within minutes to a full colour picture. The colours emerged before your eyes.
This same phenomenon occurs with people, too. Every person you meet has a story, has colour and depth. But do you have the time to discover it? Every person is a potential life-saver to you: someone who can refer business or opportunity your way, can provide help, advice, a future.
Is haste and the speed of life preventing you from getting to know people on this level? For example, would you rather work through lunch than have lunch with someone? Would you rather read your BlackBerry messages than engage in conversation? Do your assumptions about a person’s potential live up to their true potential?
People have passions. they have histories and they have advice. They love to be listened to, and what they reveal can be amazing and life fulfilling. All it takes is a little time invested to reap the dividends of true human connection.
(Excerpted and abridged from my book “Work Like a Wolf.” To purchase the book visit www.worklikeawolf.com)