What first impression do you give?


This beautiful image is on my birthday card from my daughter. The caption reads, “With piles, wrinkles, and stiff joints to look forward to, Chris was just happy he’d kept his sense of humour and dashing good looks intact!”

As you can see from my picture, my natural expression isn’t bright and warm. Look at my passport photo and you’d expect to see me holding up a board of numbers. Many times in the past, when I’ve been concentrating, colleagues have asked what was wrong. Nothing, it’s just my natural face.

Apparently, what I do have is a warm smile which transforms my face from that of a nightclub bouncer to a friendly, sensitive soul. As you know, impressions and opinions are made within seconds of meeting and it’s vital to get it right first time. I therefore know to change my expression from one that can make babies cry to one that can make them smile.

Great leaders are open and inviting, warm and friendly; they can put people at ease and build relationships. They can bring out the best in their people, forge strong links with partners and customers and project a positive aura that influences all around them. And it all starts with a friendly face.

Be aware of the impression you project and if your natural expression is anything like mine, or my friend here, then smile … and avoid eating bananas in public.