Can I make an observation? And I mean this with due respect. Your clothing does matter! Listen to the marketplace. You’ll find the term Executive Presence is coming full circle. It’s just flat important!
Clients who dress for success get the higher marks. Don’t think for a minute that they don’t. Oh, I know what you’re saying – “Why should I be concerned with what I wear when I’m technically proficient?” Because it’s just that edge that makes a difference in how you are perceived.
John Malloy, author of Dress for Success, researched and listed the judgements others make about us by what we wear, not just how talented we are. Be it right or wrong, fair or not – people DO make judgements about us in the first 30 seconds we meet. This has led to the books I’ve written on presence and the coaching that ensues. Here’s what it can sound like when I’m called for coaching on this topic.
“Bill is a nice guy and we value his skills. There’s just a few things that could make a difference in getting a promotion. Bill could benefit from some “polish.” Or, “Kristine doesn’t understand that her image is out of date. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but could you help her improve her professional image?”
The biggest challenge can be confronting the employee with the reality that they need help with their image. Here’s what I suggest to say: “Bill, because we value you and your work we’d like to invest in your career opportunities here. I’ve found a credentialed executive coach who I’d like for you meet. She specializes in professional presence.”
Learning how to present yourself professionally doesn’t necessarily come easy. It’s a teachable skill if you want to learn. Consider asking yourself these three things:
1 – Do I care about investing in my image knowing that it can make or break career opportunities?
2 – When was the last time I changed my hairstyle and bought an updated wardrobe?
3 – Do I know how to select clothing that fits me, my personality and my role?
It brings me great joy to provide my clients’ tools to improve their image.
That’s My Voice: What’s yours? Let me hear your wisdom and I’ll send you a free article I wrote for SW Spirit Magazine
“Do it right in the presence you exude. Do it right in how you communicate. Do it right in how you demonstrate a strong personal brand. Do it right in how you look, act, walk, talk and ARE from the inside out. Valerie’s tips will build your self-confidence knowing you can Do It Right.”
“Business leaders refer to communications, teamwork, and etiquette as “the soft skills.” They are not the soft skills if they can get you fired. They are the foundation of business relationships, and nothing happens in business until there is a relationship. This book fills an important gap in the education of new and seasoned professionals.”
~Tom Trotter-IBM Executive & Community Leader
“Monday Morning Leadership for Women is a treasure of timely insights and action plans that can advance any woman. It’s terrific!”
~ Candace O’Keefe -Executive Director, Leadership America, Inc.