Are You Seen to Others the Way You Want to be Seen?

When you look at this photo, what do you see? Does it remind you that you need to respond to that text you got? Do the pastries make you hungry for a snack? Or does the laptop get you thinking you need to place that online order? Whatever reaction you have to the photo, the photographer had something in mind of what they wanted it to convey based on how they shot it.

I was in a webinar today for my day job and for the most part, it was really good and I was thoroughly engaged. There were two guest speakers invited. One was very lively, not too overly excited in a phony way, but really seemed to be happy to be on the webinar. She shared her company story in a way that made me want to sit down and talk with her. The other guest speaker, however, gave me a completely different reaction.

He sounded so bland and typically didn’t talk like he wanted to be there. His answers to viewers’ questions was short, he didn’t have good answers at all, and it was his tone of voice that turned me off. Maybe he was having a bad day, I don’t know, but I do know this…if I see his name as a guest speaker for a future webinar, I probably won’t attend. And, then I remembered a similar story…one that involved me…

I was in a board meeting by teleconference last year and I don’t remember exactly what was going on in my life at the time, all I remember is I was in a really bad mood. I didn’t want to go this meeting and it showed. And because I was attending by phone, all anyone could know of me was the negative, funky tone of my voice and my 1-word answers. I thought about that today after the webinar and I wondered how many people came to that board meeting who never met me. What first impression did I give them? And you can’t always undo a bad first impression. I never got the chance to correct myself. All I could do was repent before The Lord and take care going forward.

We don’t always realize how we come across to other people. And I’m not suggesting we need to walk on egg shells throughout life, all I’m saying is it’s important to give the right impression, especially in business. You never know whose path you will cross in the future, even years later. That person may have forgotten your name, but they probably won’t forget the encounter they had with you. I want to make a positive impression even if I’m going through hard times. It’s not easy, it’s hard work (everyday in fact) and I realize that, but it’s worth doing. What if that is the first and last time you meet that person? I tell you, I’m thinking more and more about how I want to be seen by others.