What is image and why does it matter?
Image is all about the impression other people have of you, which can be an asset or a drawback, depending on how successfully you manage your image.
An image is a perception, a set of beliefs that we have about something or someone. It also influences how other people behave towards us. An image can be formed when we meet someone for the first time, or it may be based on a reputation that has developed over time. Whether we like it or not, image matters because we all subconsciously make decisions about people or things based on what we see, hear and expect.
It is not possible to change the perceptions of others, but it is possible to increase the chances of others perceiving your image positively – with careful planning and preparation, image can be controlled and manipulated to your best advantage.
People with a positive personal impact have 3 things in common:
- Development and constant promotion their personal brand.
- They are impeccable in how they present themselves.
- Clearly know and practice the basic rules of etiquette and behaviour.
Your brand is how people think of you.
- Think of the well known brands you know – when you think cola, you probably think Coke or Pepsi. When you think portable music players, the IPod is probably at the top of the list.
- People can be brands too – Richard Branson, Simon Cowell for example.
- People with powerful personal impact are their own brands. It reflects who you are and how you operate.
- Three questions that will help you to develop your personal brand:
- What are you good at? e.g. I am good at solving problems/mentoring others.
- What are your standards? e.g. I believe we make things more complicated than they actually are/I believe in building the capability of my team.
- What is your style? E.g. I am optimistic, results driven, engaging.
- Don’t be afraid to let your uniqueness show through as you build your brand.
Be authentic, direct, truthful and admit your mistakes. Be trusted by delivering what you say you’ll do and become known as a person of high integrity.
One last thing on your personal brand, you need to demonstrate it!
Physical characteristics such as gender, race, hair colour, age, dress, and grooming all influence people’s perceptions, and (rightly or wrongly) serve to build an image in their mind, which is hard to change once formed. Although our natural assets are virtually impossible to modify, some physical characteristics can be altered to project a professional image. For example, being well groomed and wearing appropriate clothing will help to project an image of professionalism and capability. People may not say anything but they do pay attention to your clothing, shoes and grooming.
Etiquette & Behaviour
Being polite never goes out of style and will always help you to make a positive personal impact.
Our attitude is our state of mind – it affects our behaviour, which in turn is reflected in our performance: what we say and do, and how we present ourselves. While our attitude has a bearing on everyone we come into contact with, it may not always be easy to stay positive, as certain work situations or colleagues are out of our control and can have a negative influence on us. However, with a little effort, we can choose how we respond to situations. A genuinely positive ‘can do’ attitude is always going to be a greater image enhancer than a negative attitude.
Our behaviour, in other words what we actually do, includes facial expressions, eye contact, personal space, touch, body language and gestures, posture, manners and etiquette.
The way we move speaks volumes – someone who sits up straight, walks in a confident manner and maintains eye contact will have a much more positive image than someone who shuffles, slouches in their chair in a meeting and never looks up when someone is talking to them.
Also the importance of good manners is critical – even the most efficient and well groomed can ruin their reputation and image if they have bad manners and are rude to others.
Every time we interact with another human being, our appearance, behaviour and attitude sends messages about us and how efficient, professional, capable and creative we are. When we understand these messages we are transmitting, we can then begin to manage them, creating an image that others will relate to in order to improve our relationships with them and develop our professional success.
Why not have a go at making that positive impact in your life and career. Take a look at this “Fast Company” blog which I particularly feel explains positive personal impact well.
Additional reading you might enjoy;
- How To Be A True Servant Leader?
- How To Be A Better Leader In 2021?
- How To Be An Emotionally Intelligent Leader?
- The Friday Bitesize
- The Friday Bitesize
- Why Leaders Need To Stop Pushing Themselves Too Hard
- The Friday Bitesize
- How An Expert Leader Encourages Collaboration?
- How A Great Leader Inspires Purpose In People
- How A Strong Leader Plans For Success?
- How To Develop Your Emotional Intelligence As A Leader?
- 7 Quick Ways To Make Happy Employees As A Leader.
- Toxic Leadership, How To Not Fall In The Trap?
- How To Survive As A Retail Leader In 2020?
- How To Be An Expert Listener? Tips A Great Leader Can’t Do Without
- How Important Is Development & Progression To Senior Leaders?
- How To Prioritise Your Time As A Leader?
- How True Leaders Inspire? 5 Principles You Absolutely Need
- How To Understand Leadership Models? 7 New Types For Innovative Thinkers
- How Do You Improve Productivity As A Leader?
- How To Develop Assertiveness As A Leader?
- Why Is Image So Important ? How To Create A Powerful Brand
- Does Your Leadership Style Scare Your Employees?
- How To Successfully Implement And Sustain Change
- How To Delegate For Success And Empowerment?
- How To Network Effectively? Tips That Will Make You Shine
- How To Lead In Tough Times? 4 Amazing Principles
- How To Influence Upwards
Hi! I`m Chris Webb, I live in the South East and started Leaders Retail Consultancy in 2019. Before freelancing, I was a senior retail leader for a number of the UK’s top retailers gaining experience over 23 glorious years. When I am not coaching I enjoy spending time with the family or in the gym.
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