Resources

Success at First Sight: First Impression Crucial for Job Skills

Studies Find First Impressions are Crucial to Success

First impressions for special education kids are key for long-term educational and career success. Developing great social skills and “soft skills” as they prepare for the workforce is a great way to help special needs students reach independence.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow, Scotland found that hearing the simple word, “hello” can completely alter the recipient’s opinion. What does this mean for your child? The development of long terms social skills, life skills, and a positive attitude are essential at a first greeting, and in the future. These lead to a positive first impression, and, in turn, a positive impression can open doors to a job or help to forge new social bonds.

“You Had Me at ‘Hello’!”

The University of Glasgow study took 64 different recorded “hello’s” and played them for 320 participants. The participants then rated just how trustworthy the person talking sounded, just from hearing one word. Lower pitches (typically associated with male voices) proved less trustworthy.

While the people behind the voices weren’t necessarily less trustworthy in real life, their tone struck a chord with the listener—it made him or her feel that the speaker shouldn’t be trusted or was aggressive. On the other side, female and high-pitched male voices rated as more trustworthy and friendlier.

The study found that these individual judgments happen extremely fast. In general, people don’t need more than a few seconds to form an opinion. The brain processes responsible for these judgments have evolved over time to help humans know what type of people to avoid in order to stay out of danger. Even though someone with an unfriendly sounding voice might not be dangerous, the tone evokes an unpleasant or negative feel. In essence, turns a listener away.

Finding the Right First Impression

Imagine going into a job interview and not knowing to shake the hiring manager’s hand or not being aware that looking away when someone speaks to you appears disrespectful. Some students, especially those on the autism spectrum or those who find building social skills a challenge, may have a more difficult time recognizing the impact of a first impression. As the study reports, not only does this include the sound of the voice, but it also includes aspects of presentation such as proper hygiene, good grooming, appropriate attire/dress and attitude all influence other people’s views.

By stressing its importance in everyday situations, teachers and parents can help their students/children to better understand how voice and presentation are long-term work skills. Role-playing sessions and discussions are great ways to demonstrate how people can make snap judgments based on first impressions. Additional lessons in proper personal hygiene and acceptable attire would be extremely helpful as well. No one is born knowing that you need to wear a freshly pressed pair of pants and a tie to a corporate job interview—this knowledge is learned through the guidance of adults (such as teachers and parents) who already have an understanding of social norms and what is expected in different situations.

At James Stanfield We Think You Should Know:

Students with special needs may need extra social prompting to understand the significance of these traits when meeting someone new for the first time. Stressing the importance of initial impressions can make a difference in the child’s peer relationships, education, and future employment possibilities. We believe that students with special needs should receive training for social skills, soft skills, and transitions to help them achieve independence. That’s why our Job Skills training programs and First Impressions Curriculum are so successful in helping students with social acceptance, job placement, and self-esteem.

The Stanfield Way

The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.

Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.

Stanfield Special Education Curriculum

VideoModeling® Programs

VideoModeling® is a ground-breaking teaching concept originated by the James Stanfield Company that’s used in thousands of public and private schools across America and Canada for special education needs.

Read More
Journaling, mediation, and intentional talk aren’t just for adults. 5 ways we can facilitate healthy management of mental health in our children.

James Stanfield Co.
@JSTANFIELDCO

Stanfield Special Education Curriculum

My students were glued to the screen. Love Stanfield’s humor. This is the way to teach social skills.

Susan Simon, Principal

Using Humor to Teach Social Skills

Humor = Retention

We believe you learn best when you laugh. By making the classroom experience more comfortable and enjoyable, humor can make teaching and learning more effective, especially for the K12 segment. At Stanfield, we use humor as an integral part of our curricula.

If you as a speaker don’t help your audience to remember your lessons, then you’re wasting everyone’s time. Humor… can help accomplish that needed retention…

Gean Perret, Screenwriter
Learn more
Newsletter Image
Newsletter Image
Sign Up to receive news alerts, special offers & promotions.
Sign up now!

As a thank you for signing up for emails, you’ll have advance notification of exclusive offers, new offerings, and more.