First impressions have a way of staying in people's minds, especially bad first impressions. This can occur when you make a distasteful joke, show up for a meeting unprepared or at a job interview when you are too nervous to act like yourself. While these bad impressions can taint the way people see you, you can make up for a bad impression and show people who you really are. Once you identify the reason for your bad impression, you can begin working to change people's opinions of you.
Analyze your own actions, determining what mistakes you made during your first meeting. Think about other ways people may have taken things you said, or jokes you told. Ask yourself if your tone was appropriate, or if others may have seen you as inappropriate for the situation. If you have a mutual friend, ask that person for any specifics about your first meeting. For instance, if you offended your potential boss at a job interview, you can ask friends who work at the company or friends who know your potential boss for clues.
Plan the second meeting with more care. Think of ways to show that your first impression was not an example of you at your best. Consider a gift, such as flowers, food or a thoughtful item the person or people will appreciate. Think about the things you learned about during your first meeting. As an example, if, at your first interview, you noticed your potential boss drinking coffee from an old cup, you may decide to purchase a nice coffee cup for the person as a gift.
Make your second impression, avoiding the mistakes you made during your initial meeting. Approach the situation with a positive mindset. Pay attention to your words and actions. For instance, if, during your first meeting, you made an improper joke that went over poorly, avoid similar jokes and keep a more serious and formal demeanor.
Apologize for the error made during your first meeting, but be careful not to overdo it. Make a simple statement, such as, "I apologize for the joke I told during our first meeting, I was nervous and just wasn't acting like myself." Use this statement to show you understand your error and will avoid making the same mistake in the future. Avoid giving too much description of your first meeting or apologizing too much, as this can create an uncomfortable second impression.