John Maxwell said that one communication expert he was familiar with offers this: “You’ve got just seven seconds to make the right first impression on others. As soon as you make your entrance, you broadcast verbal and nonverbal signals that determine how others see you.”
The question is, do you radiate confident, comfortable, sincere, glad to see you signals, or… ‘Or my! Are you here again; are you up? I’m really busy signals?’ Maxwell continued: “Whether people realize it or not, others respond immediately to your facial expressions, gestures, attitude, and liveliness. They react to your voice, and the tone and pitch of your voice. Audiences, whether one or one-hundred, instinctively size up your motives and attitudes. Your appearance, attitude, and approach make all the difference in the world.”
Last evening, a little after the Christmas lights on the house and yard, someone rang the front door bell of our home. I was the first to arrive at the door with Jeannie a few steps behind. As I opened the door the two of us looked ‘down’ at the broad smiling face of a very cute, little three-foot-black girl, wearing a bright pink top; hair in ‘braided pig-tails’ and tumbling down on both sides of her head. I recall saying words like, “Hi! What are you doing out this time of evening? Are you okay?” She responded, “I wanted to say thank you for the Christmas decorations you have on your home. They look very pretty!” I responded; “Thank you! Are you alone?” As she turned and pointed out toward the street she said, “No! That’s my daddy out there!” I said to him, “Hello, my name is Dale and this is Jeannie,” wherein he responded saying, “My name is John!” By now, he had approached us at our front door and our conversation continued on a warm friendly basis, wherein in a few minutes we asked if they would like to come in and see the other decorations?
By now you may be asking why we would feel comfortable doing what we did? My answer is that it all began because of a cute, polite, friendly little girl, with words and smile that would light up anyone’s life, by nonverbal communication, that everything is all right, and that I the Lord was the One who encouraged my little angel to come to your door. As Maxwell said, “Your appearance, attitude, and approach make all the difference in the world.” And this little 2 ½ foot smiling, cute-as-could-be little girl did all that in with her broad cute smile all in seven seconds!
People can tell a lot in seven seconds! They may decide they don’t want to hear anything you have to say, or they may be struck by how much they’re drawn to you. Henry War Beecher said, “There are persons so radiant, so pleasant, so kind, so pleasure-bearing, that you instinctively feel, in their presence, that they will do you good, whose coming into a room is like bringing a shining lamp in.”
On pastor says, “I never realized how many nonverbal mistakes I was making until I saw myself on video. Now it’s my regular practice to go back and watch myself to determine not only what I said, but also how I said it. The video doesn’t’ lie!” Great actors can tell a story without saying a word simply by using facial expressions, and whether you are aware of it or not, you convey a message by the expression on your face. Even people who pride themselves ‘playing with a poker face,’ and on their ability to not let other people know what they are really thinking, do convey an unspoken message of warmth or detachment.
Paul penned these words in 2 Cor. 3:18. (WWE version) “All of us have no cloth over our faces. People can see that we have some of the bright and wonderful light that the Lord has. And, we are becoming brighter and brighter, more and more like Him. It is the Lord, the Spirit, who does this.”
Why is it you suppose the enemy is using his “tools, pawns, along with every type of reasoning” to do everything he can to keep a person masked up rather than others seeing upon your face that “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Mt. 5:14).
Blessings, Psalm 20:7 Dale & Jeannie