10 seconds to make an impression (unless you’re Usain Bolt)

London 2012 Olympic Park
London 2012 Olympic Park

Watching the Men’s 100 metres Olympic final it struck me that these highly-tuned athletes have only 10 seconds to make an impression, to stand out from the crowd and achieve their ultimate goal (or in the case of the legend Usain Bolt, 9.63 seconds!). Lose this opportunity and they have to wait another 4 years, assuming their fitness levels and abilities haven’t waned.

Fortunately, for us in business, the story is somewhat different: or is it?

Research states that if you create a negative impression then it can take another 20 positive situations to prove otherwise. Similarly, others often judge us in as little as 30 seconds – not quite in Usain Bolt’s league but, surprisingly, not far from it. How often do you need to show that you can make a positive personal impact and stand out from the crowd? Think of attending an interview or assessment centre, or meeting colleagues and clients for the first time.

In a business situation, consider what makes you identifiable, unique and stand out from the crowd, and ensure you’re remembered for all the right reasons!

P.S. Sometimes it’s fun to be part of a crowd – can you see me in the picture at the Olympic Park?