Today, whilst stuck on the M56, aka my second home these days (expect the new home cards through the post any day now notifying you of my new residence) with a colleague, he started spouting something or other about Psychology and how he'd be able to tell a lot about me by asking just three questions.
I sighed, rolled my eyes, and decided that this traffic jam might just warrant indulging him in this conversation. (don't worry, he knows he most probably was talking like a crazy man. I blame the M56.)
He asked three questions, I can't remember what they were, but they were nothing special, like 'where did you go on your last holiday?' (Dubai, for those bored enough to want to know. And, it was great.)
Anyway, I answered and he in return analysed what I said to him in a fairly accurate way in that he mentioned a couple of things that made me think that how we act with others in everyday life and with other lovely people is quite revealing.
I think I generally hold my cards quite close to my chest, but with close people in my life I let them in probably a bit too far.But in the past 6 months, in the job I've held, I am amazed at how much someone will reveal to a relative stranger without, for the most part, realising it.
With a background in sales, now fundraising- which is the softer, more cuddly cousin of sales, I've been trained into submission to pick up the language people use, and the body language they give to you in order to alter your pitch, and I've learnt how to effectively steer the conversation away from Great Aunt Betty's recent trip on a cruise back to something a little more profitable. And sometimes,you just can't help but employ the same tactics whilst talking to your nearest and dearest. If you suddenly find yourself agreeing to take me on a shopping spree round Selfridges for no apparent reason, I give you permission to point the finger of blame at me.. (Of course I'd never do that. That's just too obvious.)
It made me think, first impressions of a person are more often than not pretty accurate. I am way too willing to judge a book by its cover, but for good reason, I'm [usually] right.
For example: Harry Potter books- GREAT covers, GREAT books. An introduction to the Complete History of the Single Market: MUNDANE cover, MUNDANE content. It's a scientifically tested (by yours truly). Fact.
An old boss of mine once said that they make a decision about whether they'd hire the interviewee within 5 minutes of the person walking into their office. I like to think that it was a good decision made when they hired me.
But it makes me wonder how many graduates have missed out on their dream job simply on the wrong first impression of a candidate by a potential employer? One button not done up, the wrong tie with a shirt, or one flimsy handshake and you could be waving goodbye to that golden opportunity. That is kinda depressing when you think of the weeks of prep you put into that interview so that you try to make the 'right' impression isn't it? Just really emphasises the notion that every little helps. (Man, I hate Tesco for coining that cliche.)
Note to friends: watch out for those subliminal messages in forthcoming conversations. cough *selfridgesshoppingspree* cough..