Make That First Impression Last Longer Than the Blink of an Eye

From as far back as I can remember, I recall being told the importance of a first impression.  Back then, it was about being respectful to new teammates and portraying good sportsmanship to opposing teams.  As I grew older, and high school came around, it was the first impression you had on teachers and new classmates which firstwould affect how you were viewed in school.  Now, as I make my way through college at Bryant University and get ready to make it out in the business world, I find that first impressions have become immensely more important.  Whether it is new professors, networking events and career fairs or interviews, a first impression can go a long way.  The phenomenon of a first impression and the factors involved are so interesting in how they can manipulate someone’s outlook on you.  Even more intriguing is how one person’s view from a first impression of you could be entirely different from someone else’s first impression of you.  Making a good first impression on someone not only has profound benefits on your personal life, but is also beneficial in building your career.

As a student studying the field of Human Resource Management, I wanted to tailor my learning experience to tie together and help me understand HR even more.  To do so, I chose to double minor in Communications and Psychology, which I have found to be immensely beneficial in learning how people think and work   According to a 2014 study at the University of York, impressions of a person’s approachability and dominance can be made within the first 100 milliseconds.  Before you even have a chance to speak, the person you are meeting has already had the chance to analyze your posture and how you carry yourself, your facial expressions and how you are dressed at 6e842fbcd86c233bc4d17c5b27cefa99the time they are meeting you.  First impressions are quickly formed and long lasting, the longer amount of time for the first impression, the more confident and stable the impression will be.  An interviewer can have made their mind up within two seconds of seeing someone as to whether or not they want to hire them, possibly excelling their career forward or becoming another road block in the way.  What first impressions come down to can be instinctual and alter our outlook on people instantaneously and that is what makes them so important.  What is so interesting about these situations is that they are highly dependent on the various factors that could skew the accuracy of the impression.  Some factors include age, gender, physical appearance, posture, voice, number of people present, and time allowed to process.  These factors are deemed especially important within the business world especially when trying to find a job.

With a combination of learning Communications, Psychology and HR at school, I am also discovering more and more things about first impressions during my time here at MSI.  Learning the breakdown of a first impression has opened my eyes to be more aware of how I present myself in a first impression situation.  It is said that you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have.  This is directly related to establishing the first impression on your interviewer because even before you speak they will analyze you.  Non-verbal cues such as level of eye contact and firmness of the handshake upon greeting someone will be taken into consideration as well.  Posture and tone of voice during an interview are absolutely key, they depict the level of interest one may have for the interview/job.  Understanding tone of voice is important in a first impression because it will either enhance or diminish the impression someone has made already.  In addition to these non-verbal cues, researching the firstimpression_aloneorganization and interviewer beforehand, having prepared questions and portraying confidence can all go a long way in a first impression by showing the interviewer you care about this opportunity and will go the extra mile.  These extra things can help mend a sour first impression or just add onto an already positive outlook.
Being aware of these factors that come into play is so helpful, because it allows you to be able to control them and use them in your favor.

 

First impressions will always be important and will occur constantly throughout our lives, so what kind of first impression will you make?  Being able to understand
what is in a first impression can have countless benefits whether seen or unseen.  Whether you are going into an interview or one day will be conducting interviews, it is
important to be able to decipher and analyze people’s non-verbal cues in order to get the best impression you can on them.  Knowing these factors and the importance of a first impression will get you far, because you don’t want your first impression to be the only impression you make.

Alex Madoian

Bryant 2017

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4th and Goal With the Game on the Line: Will They Turn to YOU?

For the last 16 years of my life I haven’t experienced a fall without football.  With the end of my career in sight, and the New York Giants not knocking on my door, it is time for me to look back at what lessons and valuable tools this incredible game has taught me over time.  I believe football has shaped me to become who I am today and that I am better because of it.  The memories of incredible games and grueling practices will always be there, but it is the lessons and skills I learned that will stick with me for a lifetime.e1607536d7b86ef30acf6d74ef0e5be6  The skills and lessons that I found most prevalent in my years of football were in leadership.  Leadership, is something many people are naturally born with and it may come easy to them.  Now, there is a difference between a leader and a manager, but both need to be efficient and effective with their leadership skills.  I believe in some ways that I am a natural born leader, but football helped me to open my eyes as to what true leadership is about and what it takes to be a great leader.  Now you may ask, if I’ve never played football how does this relate to me?  Well, it is the principles of leadership and management in football that anyone and everyone can understand in the business world and that I took away from my experiences in the game.

As a Human Resources Management major, I strive to learn all that I can about leadership and team building and I believe that all managers should educate themselves as to what it takes to be a great leader.  One major connection between leadership and football, is that in order for you and the others around you to grow, you must be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  This is pushing yourself beyond your limits and breaking out of your comfort zone.  As a leader, helping your employees push past their comfort zone not only helps them to grow but can also propel your business forward.  A team that has shared adversity and can feel comfortable being uncomfortable together is a team that cannot be beat.  They have a stronger connection with each other due to the pressures they have faced together.  Taking that principle into the business world can only mean success in an extremely competitive global market.

Change-Leadership  I have found throughout my football life that talent is very valuable, the best players play and often help the team succeed to a certain extent.  While talent is needed to a degree, it is great leadership and teamwork that enable reliable performances at the highest level possible.  I have been on teams with one or two outstanding players but have lost every game; this goes to show that without a well led cohesive unit, great things cannot be accomplished.   Those individuals who can bring a team together while focusing on their employees best interests as well as the interests of their organizations will achieve a championship season.

The last lesson that I will surely take away with me after I leave football is one that I wish I knew a long time ago.  You don’t rise to the occasion, you fall back on your training.  As a great leader, one should help their employees to follow and understand such a motto because of what it does for their own personal performance.  When crunch time comes, and someone is on the big stage, (whatever it may be), they will not just suddenly be prepared, it is what they have been taught by their leader and how they have prepared that will make them successful.

6618fa80d350ebe3090faea447d04553By helping employees break past their comfort zone and showing them that you care for their personal growth, you will encourage them to want to work harder.  A strong team can accomplish anything they put their mind to if they are led by someone who knows how to maximize the talent that they have by pushing the team past their comfort zone and excelling them forward.  What will you do to become the most effective leader possible?  I know that when I do eventually lead that I will use the lessons and skills I have learned throughout my football career to most effectively bring my team to the next level.  Managers and leaders can be found everywhere, but great and effective leaders come scarce.

 

Alex Madoian

Bryant University Class of 2017

 

Changing The Suit of Armor

As my final season approaches and I look back and see how far I have come, I am amazed. I started as a boy who just wanted to have fun and slowly transformed into a man who loved the game of football and all it has done for me. Everyone says that football is a great comparison to the real world, it provides you the things necessary to excel in life. As I am here writing this blog, I begin to realize that those parents and coaches were right, it really is the small things that can put you ahead in life.

cleatsI was taught from a young age that some things do not require talent, these traits and habits just take effort and practice. A few of them can give you that great first impression or once you have that job or internship, allow you to stick out among the rest of the employees and interns. The things that I believe translate the most from wearing my shoulder pads to tightening a tie are, accountability, being able to work on a team, being on time, and work ethic.

Accountability, to me this is one of the most important things to take away from football and bring to the workplace. Being able to take responsibility for your actions is prized whether you do something wrong or right. When you are wrong on a decision you made, being able to say, “I did that wrong, but this is how I would fix it,” shows a high level of maturity. It also shows that you want to get better and learn from your mistakes. When you make a mistake you understand that it was unacceptable and you were already trying to figure out how to fix it before your boss or superior told you about it.minion Having accountability is something that in football was necessary because if you were the one player who did not do their assignment correctly on a play the other ten players suffered. Accountability is the beginning of being a good teammate and being able to work on a football team is very difficult. You have roughly one hundred and twenty kids on a football roster, filled with different egos (good and bad), cultures, and regions of the country. This also resembles the workplace, although you may have less employees than a football roster you still have to deal with and work with all kinds of people from different walks of life. What better practice for this than being an athlete where you are forced to work with people you do not know, (at the start) to achieve this goal of winning? Being a good teammate is more important than just being able to work with others though, being able to understand the needs of individuals from different backgrounds is also important to being successful in the workplace. It allows you to help the group move forward instead of holding them back, which allows you to stay focused on the task at hand.

At every level of football I was always punished for being late. My coaches always preached that, “15 minutes early is on time and being on time means you are late.” This saying did not mean much to me when I was playing youth football until it started translating to my work life. As this habit of being on time was burned into me by countless hours of extra wind sprints because a teammate was late while that individual watched, it became clear. Being late does not hurt you, it hurts your teammates, and it hurts the people who got there early because they wanted to get started earlier or get in an extra rep of one thing or another. Being on time and being early is a must for me and translates to the real world because it allows you to be the ideal teammate and employee.

Intern Shwoing upon time

The most important thing I learned through my athletic career is work ethic. Work ethic is something that is all on you. The amount of work you put in is exactly what you get out of it. When you get to the field early or you show up to the office early to get started on a project, people notice. They gain a respect for you that previously was not there. When asked who they want to work with on a certain project they will pick you because they now that you will work as hard as you can to get the project completed on time with a high level of satisfaction. Your work ethic screams that you want to be successful and it all started from a game. A game that just so happened to teach you how to be the best possible teammate you can be.Working hard'

When you look into the mirror, and see the man or woman, that the sport you love has made you, you finally understand why they pushed you so hard. Coaches are more than just teaching us the skills of the game, they also teach us the basics of being successful in life. As I tighten my tie on a daily basis instead of throwing on sweat pants after a long morning workout I realize that accountability, being able to work on a team, being on time, and work ethic, are the traits that will allow me to be successful in my transition to the real world.

Tie                           Football

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