How To Bring Your A-Game To The Table – Part 3
Dress Up, Show Up, Speak Up, Follow Up
Happy New Year! This is the fourth and final article on Impression Management. By now, Sage readers have learned basic do’s and don’ts of branding and image. Gone are the annoying behaviors and unpolished attire. You maintain good netiquette and confidently navigate a business lunch. Now that all of that is handled, let’s elevate our purpose and think about someone besides ourselves. We’re going to interact with others; why not go through life thinking of how we can contribute and make other people’s lives easier instead of micro-managing our own brand in order to get people to like us? This, I believe, is the ultimate in Impression Management. You know yourself and your mission so well it takes little effort to clearly communicate who you are and what you’re about.
Behold, the excellent conversationalist. He listens more than speaks. He validates and includes everyone in the dialogue, adding to its content while never focusing on himself. He (or she) is neither loquacious nor silent.
I had the privilege of presenting to St. Mary’s Senior Class of seminarians on etiquette, “The Art of Being a Gentleman for God.” Father Michael Grey, C.S.Sp., summed it up quite well in this remark: I find the area of Impression Management to be quite intriguing. In a solipsistic world where everyone is in their own world configured by their own ‘friends’ on Facebook, their own songs on iPod, etc., it is important to know that the general public still relies on one’s dress and manner of acting in order to determine whether they even want to talk with you in the first place. Solipsism is derived from Latin solus, meaning “alone”, and ipse, meaning “self” and is the philosophy that only one’s own mind is sure to exist.
Self-centeredness rears its ugly head in the workplace. Employees complain, I don’t want to wear what’s in the dress code. I just want to be me. Employees are not paid to be ‘me’. They’re paid to be effective!
If our motive and intent is sincerely other-centered, it will serve as a powerful tool to illuminate our purpose, talents and offerings. Consider your appearance and behavior as your greeting card and make it a gracious one.
Other-centered business practices:
* Send clients/customers helpful information without asking for a sale.
* Anticipate their needs.
* Donate your goods and services to non-profits.
* Reward referral sources with goods and/or services.
* Remember clients’ preferences in delightful and surprising ways.
* Relax and use appropriate humor. Everyone needs to laugh!
They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Helen Perry is a result-oriented consultant to
companies and individuals desiring to heighten
professional presence and productivity. She is a
2013 BBB Pinnacle Award Recipient.