Your personal image, the perception that people have about you, affectsyour success in every aspect of life your life on the job, your sociallife, even your "personal" relationships with others.
That is true because, no matter who you are or what you do, your success,ultimately, depends on what other people THINK about you the image theyhave of you.
Your personal image has a number of elements. The way you dress, thecolors you choose, the way you talk and the way you relate to others aresome of the more important ones in determining your success in your careerand in life.
PERSONAL IMAGE AND HOW YOUR DRESS
One very dramatic real-life example of how the way you dress can affectYour success was recounted in the New York Times. The Times reported onwhat happened when two young men attempted to get an online serviceexecutive to give them $500,000 for their surfing website.
The young men bought new suits for the meeting and their presentation wasequally buttoned up.
After just five minutes, the executive ended the meeting, saying Theseare *#@%+! surfers?
A couple of months later they came back for another presentation. How werethey dressed this time? Like surfers with Hawaiian shirts, shorts andsandals. For good measure, they acted the part in everything they said anddid. But they didnt change their presentation at all.
This time, they walked out with the $500,000 order.
Clearly, the way they were dressed made a huge difference. They nowlooked the part and this gave them the credibility they lacked before.
Looking the part by dressing correctly has been proven critical tosuccess in getting people to do what you want them to do.
In a famous experiment, two men approached 50 secretaries each in the samebuilding to see which could best get past the secretaries to see theirbosses.
Both used the same approach but one man succeeded 24% of the time, whilethe second succeeded an astounding 60% of the time!
Even more astounding, they werent two different men at all.
They were the same man.
The first time the man approached 50 secretaries he was wearing a blackraincoat.
The secretaries perceived him as a messenger or delivery person -- someonewho should not be allowed to get in to see their bosses.
When he approached the second 50 secretaries, he wore a tan raincoat. Thistime the secretaries perceived him as an executive, a peer of theirbosses. So they granted his request to see them.
The clothes he wore and the colors he chose in each situation profoundlyshaped the secretaries image of him and made the difference betweensuccess and failure.
PERSONAL IMAGE AND YOUR CONVERSATION
Your talk (conversation ability) can be even more important to yoursuccess in business than your grades in school or college, according to a
study by the Stanford University School of Business.
The study tracked the success of MBA's 10 years after they graduated. Theresult? Grade point averages of graduates had no bearing on their success-- but their ability to make conversation did.
The most successful graduates were those who could make conversation withanyone -- anyone from strangers to secretaries to bosses to customers.
Your image as being good in conversation helps you achieve success insocial and personal relationships in two ways:
(1) Good conversation promotes "liking." We "like" to be around people whocan carry on an interesting conversation.
(2) Good conversation creates an attractive image of wittiness,intelligence and self-confidence.
If you are able to carry on a good conversation, this makes people thinkof you as having more intelligence, wit and self confidence than those whocannot do so.
And, a university study showed just how important the perception ofintelligence and self confidence can be.
In a study to determine the characteristics of the ideal male or idealfemale -- intelligence and self confidence were rated as most important by60% or more of respondents.
The message in all this for people who want to put themselves in positionto succeed in their business, social and personal lives:
Take good care of your most important YOU asset your personal image.
Copyright © 2004 W. Paul Barton
About the Author
Mr. Barton, author of How To Be GREAT!!! In Conversation, offers a rangeof image and other self improvement books at Sellfire.com Improve yourimage now at http://www.sellfire.com/PersImage.htm
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