Before we go to work, we usually take a good look in the mirror. The
image we see tells us whether we are ready to walk out the door or if
we need to do some fine tuning. Now, imagine that as you work, you have
a "mental mirror," the type of mirror that shows the image you present
People do business with people. That is why your image is so
important–it distinguishes you from the crowd. Each day at work you’re
involved in activities where your image is put on the line. This could
include making a presentation, calling a client, or having a business
meal. Each step of the way requires you to check your mental attitude
and make sure it matches your outward appearance.
Here are some image evaluation questions to ask yourself. Each question is followed with a suggestion:
1. Do I really come across as articulate, persuasive, and sure of myself?
There’s one easy way to prove your knowledge without appearing
over-confident or arrogant. It’s done by asking other people good
questions. It’s a win/win way of improving your image because when you
ask questions, you are complimenting the other person. And when you ask
well-crafted questions, others will realize that you know what you’re
2. What happens when I meet someone new?
We need to act as cheerful, personable, and friendly as possible.
It’s not always easy. However, first impressions can be lasting
impressions. One way to help first meetings with others is to observe
people to discover their communication styles. If they like to be in
charge of a conversation, then be prepared to do most of the listening.
Or perhaps they’re introverted, so you’ll need to find ways to help
them express themselves. A sure-fire technique is to greet people with
a warm smile. A smile is a universal sign that gives a positive first
3. How trustworthy do I appear?
Think about how important our reputation and our reliability are to
our image. We all work so hard to build relationships both at work and
in our personal life. Therefore, if we are not consistently
trustworthy, this can ruin our image. Developing a reputation for
integrity can take a long time. However, our image can be damaged in
minutes with one careless act.
Always be working on what I call your I.C.–Image Collection.
Throughout the day, imagine that a photograph was taken of you at each
encounter you had with another person. At the end of the day, pretend
you’re putting together a photo album of all the pictures. What do you
have of yourself? Is it a collection of pictures of a happy, positive,
and self-assured person? Or do you look like someone who is unsure and
rough around the edges?
Your goal is to look like a diamond–firm, multi-faceted, valuable,
and someone who gives off a radiant light. When you possess those
attributes, you will have a priceless and profitable image.