“Impression: 2 :the effect produced by impressing: as a: a stamp, form, or figure resulting from physical Contact.
– Merriam-Webster Dictionary –
At first glance of the definition for the word impression, I see seven entries, the initial one of which is the familiar explanation referring to the indiscernible feeling or judgement one forms about a person upon a first meeting. Reading further, the definition highlighted above makes its own impression on me with the pointedness of a cigarette butt crushed beneath the sole of Sam Spade’s shoe.
When writing for business, every word we choose leaves its stamp upon the reader, its clear imprint. This imprint may have a positive impact on the reader, as we all hope and often assume it does. Sadly, because so often care is not taken in the choice of what we say (nor of how, when, or why), we far too often leave a negative imprint. Business Insider Magazine provides wonderful examples from their cache of cover-letters received from job-seekers who clearly assumed their individual letters were the best, the most memorable. Unfortunately, because the authors of the letters did not take care in composing their cover-letters, the impressions made were memorable for the negative stamp they made in the minds of those they hoped to impress (pun intended).
The bloggings to follow will bring to light pitfalls that heretofore have been hidden under the brush of our daily jog (or sprint as the case may be) down the path of corporate life and communications. The goal being to keep you from stumbling on your way along the journey. An added benefit of communicating more clearly with your collegues, clients, and potential clients is the sense of safety and security you will develop in their minds as to your professionalism and competence in solving their problems and getting the job done correctly the first time. Clearer communication nurtures healthy relationships and earns you the loyalty you seek.
You may never get a second chance to make a first impression according to popular wisdom, however, you always have a second chance to correct, improve, and clarify the impression you leave with every contact you make. Naturally, it is preferred to avoid the need for correction . Take heart. All is not lost. With a bit more attention paid to the words you choose and how you choose to use them, you will become adept at leaving the precise impression you intend to leave at every turn. May your journey to success be ever lighter, less burdensome, more enjoyable, and supremely gratifying.
P.S.: If you have a particular question or topic you would like me to cover, please either post it in the comments below or send me a note via the Contact Page.