We are living in an era of change.
An increasing number of women are stepping out of their homes and rediscovering themselves. Those that have taken a break from work are returning to the workplace. Yet others are discovering that they are capable of contributing much more at the workplace.
It is common in any of these situations for all of us to focus on enhancing our functional skills, the core competencies that are necessary in our domain. Yet, it is equally important for us to project a positive image to make an impact at the workplace.
Image Management is the attribute that has the power to make such an impact by enhancing our chances of recruitment, gaining promotions at our workplace or of gaining new customers if we are in a business of our own.
In addition, image management has the power to influence our inner selves and in building high levels of confidence. In doing so, it transforms our lives not just by influencing how others perceive us but also in how we perceive ourselves.
How does Image Management Bring About Transformation
People form their first impression of you within the first few seconds of meeting you. These first impressions are based on the image you project during interviews, meetings with industry peers, colleagues and superiors, creating a virtuous cycle of self-confidence and positive impressions that support each other.
If you are meeting your interviewers or a potential customer, the first few seconds is equivalent to the time you take to enter the room and take your seat. This means that first impressions are formed before you can convince them through your functional skills, your knowledge and experience. The rest of the interview is a process of confirming the first impressions already formed.
Once formed, first impressions become lasting impressions and it takes extensive effort to change them. Further, it is not often that you get a chance to change them in situations that involve interviews and presentations to potential customers.
In your professional life, image management helps you project your competence, integrity and commitment which companies seek in their employees. It answers their question of whether the company can form a lasting and beneficial relationship with you.
Similarly, in your social life, you can project the image of warmth and competence and similar attributes that others seek in social situations. In your personal life, it helps you project warmth and trustworthiness which strong personal relationships rely on for sustenance.
By helping you project your competence, trustworthiness and confidence through an authentic, appropriate and attractive appearance, image management carries the power to transform your business, social and personal lives.
How you Project the Image
You are constantly projecting an image whether you are aware of it or not based on which people are forming their impressions. Hence, it is important for you to manage your image with conscious care based on an awareness of your surroundings, of the people you meet and of your objectives from the meeting.
Image Management is a discipline that guides you into taking these factors into consideration and incorporating the 4 Elements to project a positive image. By incorporating the 4 Elements of Image Management – Clothing, Grooming, Body Language including Etiquette and Vocal Communication – you project a positive image that is unique to you, influencing the impression that others form of you.
When you adhere to the guidelines of these Elements while remaining conscious of your personal style, you exude confidence and competence that transforms your image and the way people perceive you. It results in the projection of a strong, positive identity for yourself in addition to your professionalism and your competency.
In doing so, image management has the power to help you meet your goals and desires in your professional, social and personal lives.