What Impression Are You Making?

Have you ever driven, either a short distance or a long distance, and arrived at your destination safely but not remembering any of it?

This is an all too common theme, driving in particular, where a monotonous routine takes us below the conscious level. The only time you can recall the drive in detail is if something out of the ordinary happens.

The reality of this is, we aren’t paying attention to the things we’ve done a thousand times over. They’ve become so ingrained in us we don’t even need to think when doing them.

That begs the question, what impression are you making?

What happens about the things that are outside of the vehicle, the everyday interactions with people, through various mediums or communication touch points? What is the impression your are making when you come across people; your friends, family or coworkers? Are you on autopilot going through the motions and not paying attention, or are you actually aware and present?

Here are three everyday scenarios that you most likely, myself included, might find yourself in autopilot.

So, what impression are you making…

… when you speak with people?

Face-to-face communications can either strengthen or ruin relationships. When you are having a conversation with someone are you giving them your full attention?

In the work setting, something I need to work on is when someone comes to my desk to ask a question, instead of looking up giving them my full attention, I continue looking at my screen clicking and typing around nodding my head as if I am entirely focused on them.

I hear them sure, but I am not fully attentive to their dialogue. This is unfair to them and it gives the impression that I don’t care or that I am just so busy that I must multi-task.

Additionally, with today’s mobile connectivity, seeing two people speak to each other with their heads buried in their own phones is a common scene. The opportunities the device presents is undeniable, but at the same time we need to retrain ourselves to not loose such an intimate connection that occurs when face-to-face.

Give them their full attention, make them the only thing that matters to you at that moment. Most importantly, listen wholeheartedly. Lean in and let them know you are comprehending what is being said. Your non-verbal cues will say it all.

… when you talk on the phone?

Have you every called someone needing to ask a question, or maybe even just wanting to catch up, and you can sense they don’t want to be having that conversation with you at the moment? Maybe it’s a sigh on the other end, or they’re talking to others in the room, or they’re rushing through their responses.

I’m sure you have. I know I have. In fact, I’ve been on both ends. If you answer the phone give them your full attention. If you don’t have the time to speak, let them know right away so you can both find a time where you’re able to give them your undivided attention.

The more you linger on the conversation trying to drop subtle hints that you don’t want to be on the phone the more the other person’s mind starts to wonder. Be honest, be transparent, and let them in on what it is you need or are doing in that moment. They deserve your attention.

… when you send email or text messages?

Sending messages via email and text are tricking. What you intend to mean may come off as something completely different to the other person. Especially through text message where we tend to keep it as short as possible.

I am guilty of this 100 percent. I’m not so much the text message person, so when responding I keep it brief and to the point. But sometimes being too brief and too much to the point leaves out the signals to the other person resulting in a misunderstanding.

Take the time to respond wholeheartedly. Don’t try and rush through as if the recipient is a task in which you simply want to cross off to get onto something else. If that’s how you feel in that moment, don’t respond, wait. Wait until you have enough time to give your full attention to a response. They deserve it from you.

Every touch point you have with someone is showcasing who you are. Regardless of the experience, people have an impression. Learning to live an intentional life is becoming more aware of your actions and behaviors in everything that you do.

The everyday interactions you have with people are opportunities for you to make a difference in their life. Tweet this

The impression you give is hard to erase in an individuals memory. It becomes the thing they think of when they think of you. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s sticks with them.

Think about all of the touch points you have throughout the day and think about how you can become more mindful during these everyday, often times, monotonous occurrences. Bring yourself above the conscious level and give them your best self.

Photo Credit: Luis Hernandez

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About Eric Ungs

Eric Ungs writes about a journey of intentional self growth, nudging you to let go; to give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with yourself so you can give your best self to others. Author of 10 Incredible Ways to Live a Fulfilling and Joyful Life ebook.


  1. Noel

    Thanks for the reminder about paying full attention. A friend stopped by recently to visit for a few minutes and pick up some items I was donating to her. During that short time she took two phone calls. It made me sad. Aren’t I important enough to give full attention to?

    1. Eric Ungs

      I am guilty of this, especially, in the workplace. You are absolutely right, you and everyone in which we encounter are the most important thing at the moment and deserve undivided attention. thanks Noel : )

  2. mary agnus

    I teach an 8 week Mindfulness Course and it is always packed with a waiting list, so it just shows the need for people today to quieten their minds. I also teach courses on Living with Anxiety and those are packed too….we are living with stone age brains in a world of fast technology and multitasking every step of our journey and paying the toll….love your articles…keep up the great work.

    1. Eric Ungs

      I completely agree. Since committing to this project and practicing mindfulness, it’s changed my life. Our society today is built on busyness as if it’s a measuring stick for life’s success. Thanks for the kind words and for the comment : )

  3. Excellent post, Eric. I could not agree more. Taking the time to focus on the people with whom I am interacting adds a lot of quality to my life and, I hope, their’s. I certainly feel and enjoy when people are present for me, too. It might be the single most important thing we can do to build meaningful connections in life (including the workplace, but even more importantly, in our personal lives). Take care!

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