Carrie LaShell
Carrie LaShell

The ABC’s of Image

POSTED: December 1, 2016

We often talk about the appearance side of image but imagine all the other ways you are making first impressions with your image. It’s not just your style and appearance; it’s actually much, much more. It’s what is called the ABC’s of Image — Appearance, Behavior and Communication. All of these are pieces that play a part in the first impression you are making.

So often clients come to me and ask me to help them “up” their image game so they can move to the next level in their career or their business, but many times after we refine and polish the image there are still little details that could use improving as well. How you behave and communicate also impacts your personal image. Not only are people making a first impression on you based on what you are wearing but also how you are behaving and how you are communicating!! UGH, isn’t that a daunting thought!?!

Body language is a perfect example.  Have you ever been witness to someone who is clearly unaware that their actions and body language are making a clear statement about how they are feeling? They aren’t saying anything but you can tell how they are feeling by their non-verbal communication.   I bet a lot of us have been witness to this as well as been unaware that we have done it ourselves. I know I have as my Mom is always eager to point it out!  Imagine you waiting in a long line at CVS that isn’t moving and the clerk is moving at a snails pace.   It’s pretty easy to breath heavy, roll your eyes, shift your weight, cock your head with a look of irritation. Now imagine you are giving a presentation at work. You feel like everything you are explaining is crystal clear but a member on your team has a million questions.  It’s how you handle yourself in that situation that’s most important – important that you don’t show how annoyed or irritated that you are with the above behavior. Believe it or not, it’s not as easy as you may think that it is to hide your feelings.

Here are some good things to do.  Try to either smile as it denotes warmth and openness or try to keep a neutral poker face. A neutral face isn’t always easy so another option would be to give a small head nod and make eye contact with the person. It doesn’t always mean you agree, just that you understand what is being asked or said.

There is so much that goes into one’s image. It’s important to take a look at yourself as a whole — not just your appearance but how you interact with people in business and personal situations.  Are you able to meet new people and engage with ease? Do you know how to make an elegant exit? When you dine out with colleagues do you feel you are showing the best representation of yourself? Are you aware that others may view your relationship with your cell phone use as a problem at key moments? Helping men and women with their appearance is a passion of mine but I also love helping individuals and businesses create the best overall first impression possible. Career and personal growth happens when you are feeling on top of your game and self-confident.   If you feel you or your company could use some coaching or training in the ABC’s of image I would love to speak with you.