“You’ve Made A Bad Impression? Be Like X Factor’s Kitty: 6 Ideas On How To Turn That Around”

Things are looking up for Kitty from the X Factor (see my last blog entry). She sailed through to the next round this week. The voters seem to have forgiven her even if the newspapers and Twitter have not. She has inspired respect from the judges. Gary Barlow, from ‘Take That’ (as if you didn’t know, leader of one of the most successful of the boy bands of the 90’s) commented how much he loved her for her fierce ambition and hard work.

Why am I interested to write about it? Well, this blog is about how to generate influence for yourself. So I have a question for you – how do you turn around others’ opinion when you’ve made a bad impression?

You’ll have read that it takes 6 seconds for people to form their view of you. And it takes 20 encounters to change that unfortunate first view. That impression may even be formed when people catch you in their peripheral vision. And it lasts.

So what are the things you can do to erase that?

  1. Well, Kitty Brucknell’s a useful case to follow. Firstly she hasn’t given up. In fact, it seems to have inspired her to fight to change public perception. So hang on in there. If you have good intentions, then it may just be a matter of time before the penny drops. Keep on keeping on.
  2. Kitty has certainly impressed the judges. It’s very helpful to get influential people to talk favourably about you. Testimonials help too. Encourage your fans  to spread the word.
  3. Kitty works very hard to improve her performance. Show people how serious and committed you are.
  4. Kitty is creative and is full of ideas to engage her audience (to the extent of spinning upside down on a wheel on Saturday!). Find innovative ways to attract positive attention.
  5. Kitty cares passionately about what she does. She is open to learning and changing. This takes humility. Demonstrate that you are keen to learn new things – and show that you have taken them on board.
  6. Kitty is now (thank goodness!) starting to engage with her audience. She is learning to relax. She has stopped the scary act and is ready to show how vulnerable she is. So do the same – relax and listen. And actively listen. Be responsive without being slavish. You don’t have to agree – just show that you have really listened to what is said.

Kitty is turning the tide of opinion her way. Can you?


About anrah

Anrah is a business development consultancy specialising in helping senior women in engineering and science, their teams and doctoral students increase 'presence', improve communication and generate impact to win stakeholder buy-in at the highest level.
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