Making a first impression can be a daunting task as a leader. Whether you’ve just been promoted, hired a new employee or you were appointed the head of an initiative, you will want to get started off on the right foot and earn the respect of your team. Follow these tips to help make a good first impression as a leader:
Watch Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
The way you communicate, both with words and mannerisms, can lay the foundation for your team’s impression of you as a leader. Speak and carry yourself with confidence, as it will help inspire your team, but be careful not come across as overconfident. On the flip side, if you come off as uncertain or timid, your team’s impression of you will be less than ideal. So choose your words carefully, and pay attention to how you’re standing or gesturing to lay the groundwork to earning your team’s trust.
Walk the Talk
Being a leader does not mean you’re exempt from rules, especially if you made them! As you’re setting expectations for the team, you need to live up to those expectations, as well. If you asked everyone to follow a certain schedule or dress code, you need to follow it, too. Nothing can diminish your credibility as a leader and ruin your team’s first impression of you quicker than not walking the talk.
Alongside walking the talk, you need to make sure you’re following through with promises to your team. For example, if you fail to give feedback when you say you will, especially the first go around, you will have quite the hole to dig out of when trying to build their trust.
Making a favorable first impression is not as difficult as it may seem, but it is definitely extremely important. As a leader, if you communicate well, follow your own expectations and keep promises, you will establish a favorable impression among your team and set the tone for success.