Monday, March 12, 2018

You Only Have Seven Seconds

By Andrea Merrell

We’ve all heard “you never have a second chance to make a good first impression” and “first impressions are lasting impressions.” But how long does it take for that first impression to happen?

One communication expert says it only takes seven seconds. In those first critical seconds, people have the opportunity to respond to our facial expressions, countenance, gestures, body language, and energy—or lack of. They can size us up by our appearance, the tone of our voice, and our attitude.

According to pastor and author Bob Gass:

What we say accounts for 7 percent of what people believe. How we say it accounts for 38 percent. What they see accounts for 55 percent. Amazingly, more than 90 percent of the nonverbal cues we give off have nothing to do with what we actually say.

As in all things, Jesus is our ultimate example. He said “I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11). We get the word good from the Greek word kalos, meaning winsome. The word winsome means pleasant, engaging, worthy, and honorable—a true picture of Jesus who drew people to him like a magnet.

According to Henry Ward Beecher:

There are persons so radiant, so genial, so kind, so pleasure-bearing, that you instinctively feel in their presence that they do you good, whose coming into a room is like bringing a shining lamp there.

Those first few seconds are critical. Let’s make the most of them.

(Photo courtesy of and digitalart.)