Have you ever sent an email and right after you pushed send, you realized you didn’t want to send it yet? Your image or first impression is a lot like email. Once you have sent your “First Impression” it is next to impossible to get it back.
A first impression is a one shot deal; you have 6 seconds to give a first impression without re-do’s. Clothing and appearance are among the most important criteria we use to judge people. Once you realize people are judging your appearance before they know your talents, you will quickly learn to be more critical of your appearance. Your total appearance says more about you quicker than any verbal message will be able to deliver. We tend to make judgments based on the visual data we gather.
Dress and grooming are important clues we project each time we encounter someone. Consequently, nonverbal communication strongly influences the way we are perceived.
Eighty percent of the decisions we make in business are judgment calls. There is no silver bullet for knowing what to do all the time.
Color, style and fit provide the one, two, three punch in your appearance. Every color has a message of its own. How you put them together sends your message. Few people have “hanger figures.” Almost all of us need help to make our clothes look as if they were made for us.
What you wear reveals eight things about you:
- Self-esteem – What people see on the outside lets them know how you feel about yourself on the inside.
- Self-respect – Those who respect themselves know how to dress to emphasize strengths and minimize body flaws.
- Confidence – The way you carry yourself contributes greatly to the air of confidence others perceive. Your goal is to create an aura of confidence and assuredness when you walk into a room.
- Organizational skills – You want to create a unified look from head to foot, without calling attention to any one item or color. Recruiters often say they use appearance to judge organizational skills.
- Soundness of judgment – Knowing and wearing the right outfit for the right occasion is an important indicator of whether you can make the right decisions at work. Know when to wear a suit, business casual or formal attire to blend in appropriately.
- Attention to detail – About 90 percent of your body is clothed in business – the remaining 10 percent of your impression is made through your grooming.
- Creativity – Express your uniqueness through a special tie and matching handkerchief, a scarf or an exquisite piece of jewelry.
- Reliability – The sum of the above adds up how reliable you are…from the big picture to the details.
4 Ways for developing a positive self-image:
- Accept yourself – The most important step is accept who you are right now. Learn to love yourself and accept your flaws.
- Negative messages – Make a list of negative messages you have received in the past. These messages was the other person’s perception and expression of frustration, this doesn’t mean it will remain with you forever.
- Find your strengths – Make a list of your strengths and celebrate these strengths, start to see you are smart and clever.
- Invest your time with positive people – Invest your time with people who compliment and support you.
What message are you sending? Are you happy with your message you’re sending?