To help build effective relationships, gain respect and encourage people to listen to you, it is important to act professionally and look professional. The image you portray influences the way you are perceived by other people (which may not always be the way you perceive yourself to be!). You need to manage the way you are perceived by managing your image, as the way you look and act is an extension of who you are and how you feel. Good manners as well as polite, attentive and courteous behavior will help build effective and satisfying relationships.
Remember: the expression you wear is just as important as the clothes you wear.
Appearance can speak volumes about your attitude and is a form of non-verbal communication that others will use to make up their minds about you. Even if your company has a casual dress policy you are often the ‘face’ of the organisation, especially if you have to meet and greet clients, and you should always think about how you will be perceived and therefore how the company is being perceived. Any sign of dirty or scuffed shoes, untidy, greasy or disheveled hair, creased clothes, stains, dirty nails or mismatched clothes could make a long-lasting negative impression. Even bitten nails may give the perception of your being a nervous type of person. Choice of clothes, hairstyles, jewelry (including body piercings) or anything to do with appearance can be considered a means of non-verbal communication.
Dressing well can affect your attitude, make you feel good and increase your self-esteem, and when your self-esteem is high your energy levels are increased and you become more productive. You may have to chair meetings and give presentations at work, and being smartly dressed gives you more confidence in those tasks – some people call it power dressing.
Choice of colors is also important – choose the ones that suit you as certain colors can make you look insignificant and even ill, whereas others can bring out the best in you and make you look attractive, dynamic and powerful.
Appropriate dress also varies between countries and cultures, so you should pay particular attention when in an unfamiliar setting or country. Make sure you know the traditions and norms.
You will be able to reflect on past experiences and focus on learning outcomes; the end product will be that you will be motivated, your self-confidence will be boosted and your self-esteem will be much higher. This will hopefully lead to a satisfying and successful career as well as excellent working relationships. You can use this personal development plan in your appraisal meetings and to help you in career management.
If you want to shine in your role, take a look at the training courses we offer at Bingo Traders. Designed specifically for EAs, PAs, Admins, Office Managers,… , these learning opportunities provide the skills and knowledge you’ll need to excel.
Sue France / Photo on Unsplash