Seven seconds and you have been judged!

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We are pretty harsh critics when it comes to deciding what a person is like. No matter if it is a job interview, when we meet people socially or see them on the TV.  We all have an unconscious thought process that makes a judgement in the first seven seconds!

That’s fast. But don’t we think about it more in the following minutes and get to know them a little?

Well, we may do but it doesn’t change our opinion. Recent research used videos of people that were 30-40 minutes long. People were asked to watch them and rate them. Then others were asked to watch just the first 7 seconds of each video and were asked the same questions and came up with exactly the same ratings.

We often talk about our ‘gut feeling’ for something or someone, what we are actually doing is seeing the result of our fast thinking. Fast thinking is a term created by Daniel Kahneman, explained in his book ‘Thinking, fast and slow’. A fascinating man who really challenges if we have the balance right when we choose to rely on our fast or slow thinking.

From a leadership perspective it hammers home how critical first impacts are and in 7 seconds it is not about the words we say. Think about your 7 second impact, what does it say when you give a media interview, when you stand on a stage, when you walk into a board room for a negotiation?

If you don’t know you need to find out.

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