First impressions have been much written about. They have been much talked about. Much stressed and much taught. We even discuss first impressions in our competitive preparation courses at LL: How to walk into a room with the appropriate degree of swagger that judges view you as competent and confident.
First impressions matter.
First impressions last.
What is equally important yet too often overlooked is a last impression. A last impression is the most recent interaction someone has had with you. When a third party asks another person what they think of you, all too often the most recent interaction with you flashes in front of their eyes. This is due to largely to recency bias, or the phenomenon that we systematically overvalue more recent information when compared to older information.
If I interact with Bob 100 times in my life and the first is a terrible interaction but the sub-sequent 99 are fantastic, if someone asks me how I feel about Bob, I’m likely to say, “Bob is the best! You two should meet!”
On the other hand, if the first 99 times that Bob and I interact are fantastic, but the most recent interaction is terrible, I might be more likely to say, “Bob is a nice guy. I like him, but sometimes he loses his temper.”
In both situations, 99% of my interactions with Bob have been nothing less than great, but in the second situation I am valuing a more recent interaction much more highly than it is statically worth. There’s some great research on this and for those of you whose curiosity is piqued by this memo, I’d encourage you to learn more!
But simply, the takeaway is this: we are now entering the phase of the semester when you are going to be giving last impressions.
That’s right. You very well might see a student for the ‘last time,’ in 3-4 months this com- ing week. For parents, this is even more likely! As spring turns to summer, attendance inevitably wanes as travel and activities come up. Don’t count on having next week to ‘make up’ for your less-than-positive interaction this week.
Make it matter this week. This time. Every time. Accelerate through the finish line.
Your last impression changes every single time you interact with someone.
So why not leave an amazing last impression every time?
When our students and clients remember their interactions with all of us, that dictates their opinion of our experiences, of our people, and of our brand.
Last impressions matter.
Last impressions last.