Your image is constantly at work. It can work for you, or against you. How is your image working for you? Are you effectively managing it? Your image – the way you look, care for and carry yourself, your personal style, poise and presence – is part of who you are. It reflects your personality, values, attitudes, interests, roles and often your goals.
Your image is you in the eyes and minds of others – a mental picture or visual impression and the way your are perceived by others. Their perception of you is their reality.
What people see when they first meet you is responsible for whether or not these people become your friends, clients, employers, employees, colleagues or community connections.
Like it or not, people make judgments on our values, social status and professionalism by the image we present. The way you package yourself sends a message about you, your skills, and your organization.
The way you dress, your grooming, your body language and etiquette are all elements of your image. When each of these elements is in sync, they serve to support you in the achievement of your goals.
In the business arena, your image plays an important role in helping you reach your professional and career goals. In order to distinguish yourself from your competition and maintain a competitive edge, you need to be aware of the messages you send through your image. Why? So you can take control of your own labels and influence how you are perceived and judged by others.
We all recognize the value of time management, money management, meal management, business management, home and family management. There is equally important value in clothing, wardrobe and image management. Image management is all about respect – respect for self, respect for others, and respect for occasions, roles and goals.
Image management is the ongoing process of evaluating and controlling the impact of your appearance on yourself and others. It is creating an authentic, appropriate, attractive and affordable personal/professional image which increases your confidence, capability, credibility and productivity. It contributes to your continuing success and simplifies your life.
Image management is a necessary life, business and leadership skill. Your image directly affects the way you think, the way you feel, the way you act or behave, and then the way others react or respond to you. In managing your image, it is important to project your authentic self. It’s not about trying to be someone you’re not. It is simply being more conscious, purposeful, consistent, and positive about who you really are than you have been in the past.
Make your image work for you. Be authentic in who you are and what you stand for. Let that shine through in all elements of your image – from the inside, out!
Erin Crotty is a lawyer turned entrepreneur and the Founder & Director of BloomStra Consulting. Now a certified and trained professional presence expert in business etiquette, protocol, and professional image, through the Protocol School of Washington and the Conselle Institute of Image Management, Erin has turned her passion into a thriving business.
Through leadership workshops and coaching, Erin helps her clients harness the power of etiquette and image management to build successful relationships in business and reach their professional goals. Her clients learn how to increase their confidence and credibility, distinguish themselves in any business or social situation and, ultimately, ‘Outclass the Competition’.
Have questions? Please contact Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-614-4540 or visit www.bloomstraconsulting.ca.