Making a Winning Impression

Whether it’s in the board room, a situation with a peer, or in addressing a group, the turn of a shoulder, a down-cast look to the eyes, a sullen stare all give off messages and these messages play an important role, especially in negotiations.

Winning impressions are derived from many different factors. The way you dress and carry yourself, your speech and vocabulary, your fitness and energy level all matter, however it’s your ability to fit in when necessary and stir up a rumble when that’s called for.

Don’t be a yes person. It sometimes is important to play the devil’s advocate because it can fuel a needed discussion. People respect you when your opinion is worthwhile. That’s why it’s so important to make sure when you open your mouth, you’ve something important to say.

A winning impression often means being known as a member of the team who backs her teammates and goes out on a limb for them, and it also means standing up for one’s own beliefs when necessary, even if they’re different from the majority. To make a winning impression, you must have convictions as well as charisma, vision as well as vitality and persistence as well as their ability to react quickly.

These qualities also describe a leader. To lead, there must be someone who will follow, and people will only follow if they have someone they admire and respect as well as someone who has the ability to win. People do like being on the winning side.

When people see you anywhere–eating in a restaurant, running through the airport, stopped at a red light–do you look like a winner? When you make a presentation at your company, turn in an assignment, attend an association meeting, suggest an idea–do you look like a winner?

Do you play to win, or play not to lose? There is a difference.