Who Makes The First Impression in Your Community?

Mo!!!” Everyone in the room yelled in unison. Of course, everyone knew instantly who I was talking about, but all I said was, “The security guard out front is great!”

Mo is the security guard at the main entrance to Seton Hall University. He is the first person that everyone meets and greets as they make their way onto campus. 

“Make it a great day!”

“I know you are going to shine bright today.”

“Today is the best day because you are here.”

“Let’s make something special out of today, ok?”

“Smile. It’s a beautiful day.”

These are a few phrases Mo said to people as they entered campus during my short time chatting with him. He jokingly told me that he’s so happy he works at Seton Hall “because no other place would accept how weird I am.”

I disagree with that statement and think Mo could find a front gate security job at any place because not only is he outstanding at what he does, but he also fulfills a significant requirement of a thriving community which is to have a rockstar community greeter.

A community greeter is the first person everyone in your community interacts with. This could be when someone joins a community for the first time, or it could also mean who your members interact with regularly. For several reasons, these people are extremely important to building a Culture of Connection™ within your community where everyone feels welcomed, connected, and engaged.

4 Tips To Help Make A Great First Impression in Your Community

Welcoming Atmosphere:

Community greeters, like Mo, set the tone for the entire community. They also help move individuals from “neutral” to “1s” on the DFT Engagement Pyramid with their warm and friendly interactions, creating a pattern interrupt. A positive first impression can significantly influence one’s perception of a person, place, or thing. This then becomes a powerful tool for creating engagement and retaining members.

Community Connection:

People like Mo are the first point of contact for new community members. They help newcomers transition from being outsiders by providing information and answering questions, ultimately fostering a sense of belonging and community connection.

Community Ambassadors:

Community greeters often serve as ambassadors for their community. Many of the people coming to Seton Hall, like myself, aren’t members of the community and are just visiting for a short period. Mo represents the community to outsiders and can help promote the community to potential new members.

Morale and Positivity:

The fact that Mo is energetic, positive, and enthusiastic will build enthusiasm and positivity within the community. Through emotional contagion, he spreads his positive, encouraging energy to others.

Mo’s name badge should not only say security guard, but also community greeter at Seton Hall University. He is a valuable asset to the community. Not only is he outstanding at his job as a security guard, but he also plays a crucial role in building a Culture of Connection™ within the community. He creates a welcoming and positive first impression, fosters a sense of community, provides a sense of safety and security, acts as an ambassador for the community, and helps build morale and positivity. Mo’s role as a community greeter is vital for any community or organization, and his impact on the community cannot be understated.

When you think about your own community/organization, who are the greeters your members interact with the most? How are they helping or hurting your engagement efforts?

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