Welcome to the sixth month of 2021. How do you think you are doing with regards to your new year resolutions? As you revisit your list, perhaps, there are a few actions you could not make. Have you ever wondered why some people soar up the ladder of success while others stagnate at the same career point for years on end? With the degree of competition today, being good at what you do alone will not guarantee career advancement or recognition. Every aspiring individual must understand and practice the basic principles of self-promotion via their appearance and interaction to ensure they are recognized for their skills and effort. Some professionals or business owners exhibit traits that allow them to stand out in any social or business situation. Many might refer to it as their brand; however, not all who stand out are successful or admirable. In most cases, these individuals know it themselves. Sadly, most are holding on to some ancient myths about how one must act when they are successful, and that is the conversation for now.
I would like to share with you what most people do not add to their resolution. Hence my topic – Are you what you project? I agree that situations like culture and location may differ; that is also not necessarily a reason to give up or lose yourself totally in business or social problems. After all, until you totally understand a situation, you won’t truly appreciate yourself, freely give to others, and enjoy the company of the people around you. How you react and respond to your surroundings is a deliberate decision you make day in and day out, which you are 100% responsible for. So does how others react to you. Ironic, isn’t it? Even though sometimes it is rather difficult to appreciate the response we get from others, we must always show utmost consideration of our surrounding first, the people we are with, and the personal brand we represent irrespective of the situation. If ever in doubt, think of manners or etiquette as they communicate with your four senses: sight, smell, feel and hear.
HOW DO YOU LOOK? THE FIRST STEP TO BEING RESPECTED IS TO LOOK RESPECTABLE – THE EYES SEE PERSONALITY.
Looking good starts from within. The human body has a way of telling the world how disciplined we are from what we eat and the effort we make to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. If you make time to rest for nothing, begin a habit of taking time out for you to breathe. Even though it might sound so effortless, try it. Stand up straight against a wall with your head and chin up, shoulder blades and heels touching the wall, buttocks pushed into the wall and walked away without changing your posture. When sitting, sit up straight. The most significant change you can make within seconds is by correcting your posture. Remember, a great posture is a beautiful beginning for your attitude adjustment. Soon you will have a minute to take care of how you look and dress. Remember to keep it simple, don’t let your cosmetics, accessories and clothing compete for attention. When you wear outstanding pieces on you, people notice you, not what you are wearing. Be what people see you be. Always focus on styles that look good on you and describe your capabilities as the professional you are. “DRESSING WELL IS A FORM OF GOOD MANNERS” – TOM FORD
HOW DO YOU SMELL? THE FIRST STEP TO BEING APPROACHABLE IS TO SMELL GOOD.
The profound power of the nose is hidden in its ability to pick up a scent. Regardless of which part it emerges from, this scent can thrill and influence both you and the people around you. This is a mark of style you cannot see yet if a scent compliments your appearance and lifestyle; it makes a more personal statement that expresses individuality like no other. Finding your signature body scent is just as important as choosing the smell which compliments your aspiration. It is amazing how a scent can transform a timid individual into a confident fellow. Use these simple steps to help you make your choice:
• Eau de Parfum (EDP) has a very high concentration of perfume oils; this makes it strong and long-lasting, whiles Eau de Toilette (EDT) has a lower concentration of perfume oils. And is lighter on the skin, not necessarily long-lasting.
• Generally, all fragrances share scents the nose picks up. Some of the heavier notes are woody and oriental scents which will make you noticeable. Yet, unapproachable whiles lighter ones, like floral or citrus, will make you come across as friendly and approachable. If a scent is too weak, it will fade away too quickly and, if thick, may choke you and everyone near you. Always select your bouquet to compliment how you feel and want to communicate with those around you. Once you find your signature fragrance, store it the way you would a fine wine. Some may suggest you keep it in a fridge; I will recommend a cool place away from sunlight and warmth.
WHAT DOES YOUR BEHAVIOUR SAY ABOUT YOU? THE FIRST STEP TO BEING MEMORABLE IS TO BE KIND.
Generally, our behaviour, including gestures and other visual clues, portrays self-worth, depicting deportment. How you decide to represent your personal brand reveals your experience as an individual, which further describes your social awareness and self-image. Your gestures, clothing etc., can make others around you feel your welcoming warmth or intimidation. What about how you talk about yourself? Ask yourself this question.
Who am I – taking into account the following:
• Take a look at your body, focusing on your physical health vs personal hygiene. Which includes eating habits, exercise, medical, self-care and treatment of health problems. Smoking, drugs and alcohol use have potentially adverse effects on your health.
• Intellectual health results from mental stimulation and development through our work, school, hobbies or cultural pursuits.
• Spiritual health includes having a sense of purpose in life, the ability to give and receive love and the ability to feel goodwill toward others.
• Emotional health refers to your state of mind. It is how you react to day-to-day stress, your sense of worth, and your ability to relax and enjoy your hobbies and leisure.
• Social health is the ability to make healthy Self-presentation with social skills, personal styling (the act of dressing vs the language of what you wear), business etiquette, social grace, dining and social media etiquette)
How you make others feel, and your response to how others think is totally your responsibility.
WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT? THE FIRST STEP TO BEING TRUSTWORTHY IS TO LISTEN, UNDERSTAND AND REPLY WITH INTENT.
The human ear is fantastic! It is an organ that is so finely tuned and works really cleverly to allow us to enjoy sounds and conversations around us. Really, if you think about it…the ear connects us with people. Hearing simply happens. Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences.
Have you ever asked someone, “How are you?” and the reply is “Great … thanks?” But you know there is a lot that isn’t being shared? This is a typical case of verbal language contradicting or accenting the non-verbal messages.
Whenever you speak, the voice reveals your vocal image, an impression the sound of your voice creates. Relatively, you are judged within six to 12 seconds on the appearance and the sound of your voice. The truth is your vocal image summarises your entire life’s story – your physical characteristics, personality, intellectual ability and lifestyle etc. Ask yourself who I am I. Using your voice as a tool, answer the question aloud and listen to yourself. Did it sound believable; does your voice mean business?
Although the physical voice mechanism can’t be changed, like your wardrobe, your voice can be styled by learning new behaviours, which can help you achieve your desired vocal image. An expressive voice is an asset.
“Effective communication depends much more on your tone of voice and body language than the words you say” – Steve Jobs
Your visual presentation is an inside job. You control the perceptions and opinions others have about you through – how you look, smell, behave & sound. Do not underestimate what you can still accomplish before the end of December 2021, so keep pushing.