How often do you judge a book by its cover, or a person by their clothes? We may not like to admit it, but we are all guilty – to some extent – of basing our opinions on outward appearances. It’s human nature to take one look at a person and make quick judgements about them, some correct and others totally off base. If you want to accurately represent your personal brand and if you want your colleagues and potential clients to take you seriously, then that means doing some mirror gazing to see how you measure up. Take an honest look at yourself. Make your image work for you.
When you meet a client for the first time, does your appearance suggest that you’re credible and trustworthy? In meetings, are you passively sitting in your chair or actively listening, poised to respond if necessary? Is your desk in chaos or is organization king? What about your team? Are they well-polished and thorough, or are they known for their mistakes and sloppiness? Is what people are seeing on the outside a clear reflection of you, or could the exterior be refined to more closely match the skills and talents that you bring to the table? People assume that the image you put out there represents who you truly are, and while we like to think that image isn’t everything, the reality is that it is important. Make sure your image is accurately reflecting who you are, and how you want to be seen.
More information on this tip can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want