Personal image is a wide topic but can be narrowed down to key areas. I am going to touch on 3 key areas that cover the basics of personal image: appearance, voice, behavior.
Your physical appearance matters. First impressions matter.
Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen someone who has clearly not concerned with how they look, or smell. Listen to me – you need to be clean! Your hair combed, teeth brushed, nails trimmed, clothes stain free, and shoes in good condition. You will be scanned head to toe. I have been in this industry long enough, so when I say the scuffs on your shoes will be seen, trust me.
Now, let’s talk about that posture because this is part of your physical appearance. Your posture contributes to your image. Did you know that good posture can improve your confidence? In an article by Sharon Naylor on posture, it states that “researchers have found when you sit up taller and pull your shoulders back and outward, your brain gets a signal it’s time to be confident.” Feeling confident positively affects your image because you project self-assurance and self-assurance can go a long way. Stand tall, don’t slouch, head up, believe in yourself.
Body movement is not often discussed as part of personal image but it is an important topic and part of your appearance. Take a moment and think of individuals you respect and admire. How are their movements? I am willing to bet they are not a frantic ball of chaos. They are composed. Your body movements should be smooth, controlled and with purpose.
As with body movement, your tone and speech should reflect that of someone who is unflappable. Even if you are late for your next meeting because you got a flat tire on your way into work and spilled your coffee on your suit, you and your tone should remain steady. You set the tone.
Attitude check time. How is your behavior these days? Your actions aren’t a reflection of you, they are you. People will not want to be around someone is poor in character. It’s that simple.
If you really want to have a positive image, it is not about designer labels. Recognize areas that you want to improve upon and make your image radiate.