Carlin Flora, writing for Psychology Today, points out that our brains have a tendency to take a little snapshot each time we meet someone and that snapshot colors how we view them going forward. Flora explains:
The answer lies in part in how the brain takes first-impression Polaroids-creating a composite of all the signals given off by a new experience. Psychologists agree that snap judgments are a holistic phenomenon in which clues (mellifluous voice, Rolex watch, soggy handshake, hunched shoulders) hit us all at once and form an impression larger than their sum.What ends up being most relevant, however, is the presence of a genuine smile. People can pick up on a smile from up to 30 feet away, and tends to make them feel welcome and good.
So the next time you are at church and you are meeting new people and shaking hands, don't forget to smile. Make sure though that smile is genuine, and full of energy. A smile is a simple yet powerful thing, especially when you consider how snap judgments play a huge role in creating first impressions.
A smile is the most powerful asset you have in helping make people feel warm and welcomed at your church.
(ht: Psychology Today)