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First impression blues

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th June 2010 03:00 AM

NORAH, a data entry officer in one of the Government ministries, is paying dearly for her mistakes. She had an attitude problem at the time she joined the ministry.

NORAH, a data entry officer in one of the Government ministries, is paying dearly for her mistakes. She had an attitude problem at the time she joined the ministry.

By Anthony Olwoch

NORAH, a data entry officer in one of the Government ministries, is paying dearly for her mistakes. She had an attitude problem at the time she joined the ministry.

Norah rarely greeted her co-workers or replied their greetings. Sooner than later, her colleagues wrote her off as a snob. Today, although she has tried to change, they still treat her the same way.

The first impression you make at your new job is critical. It can either work for or against you. This is the benchmark of the subsequent impressions you make.
Putting your best foot forward on your first day at work is of paramount importance.

Easter Kizito, a senior manager human resource at Housing Finance Bank, says new employees need to be inducted to understand the vision, mission and objectives of the organisation and their job descriptions.

“They should be taken through the organisation’s culture and code of conduct.

This will enable them know how to fit in and how to relate at an individual level and as a team,” she adds.
“Having a positive attitude to learn will help one make the necessary adjustments.”

Stella Kisakye, a human resource manager at Bank of Baroda, says making a bad first impression must never deter one from seeking to redeem their image.

The employee needs to be dynamic, flexible and open-minded to study the workplace environment for better adaptability since every organisation has its own policies, she argues.

“If one has been sloppy in their work, there is need to become result-oriented and open-minded towards positive criticism. It is the positive feedback that makes one a better employee. There should also be an eagerness to learn new skills,” adds Kisakye.

Kizito notes the need for a mentor or a coach to help one get back on track in case they go beyond the stipulated boundaries, or make a false start.

“In instances where you unintentionally or otherwise, speak offensive or insulting words to your co-workers or boss, take immediate action,” she advises.

Susan Fee, a counsellor, author, motivational speaker and coach, says one should apologise right away.
She adds on her website, susanfee.com, that time is instrumental when it comes to image damage control.

“Address the situation as soon as you realise you have offended someone. The longer you take to address it, the more it is blown out of proportion,” she explains.

When apologising, do not shift blame, acknowledge the effects of your words on the other person and make a commitment not to repeat the same mistake.

Kisakye says being as friendly as possible helps to repair your image in case you were once considered as a person that is hard to get along with.
Being positive and putting on a smile as you communicate with your boss and co-workers, impacts positively on team spirit.

“Avoid the conservative competition of not sharing information. Always try to support your colleagues and work together as a team,” notes Kisakye.
She counsels employees never to put money above career development.

“Respecting protocol and dressing professionally are a must for setting, repairing and maintaining a good image,” she says.

According to www.ehow.com, success in fixing a bad first impression depends on accurately calculating the reason why you left a bad impression in the first place and taking measures to fix it at the first opportunity.

Don’t act sheepish. Focus on the here and now and the second chance you have, it adds.

“Simple good etiquette and a positive attitude are important parts of this process. If an apology is necessary, be quick to offer it.”

First impression blues

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