Does your professional image need a refresh?
A few months ago, Laura, my web designer & digital marketing expert said it was time for a website refresh. As usual, I resisted.
This is the nature of our relationship. She tells me what I need and I resist for a while, or years, and then I do what she suggests and soon I am raving about how great the change is and that I should have done it sooner.
In a way, I am like a “Laura” with my client base. I encourage them to make changes in their career or leadership strategy that are uncomfortable and then I help them overcome their own resistance to change–the resistance part is human.
Here are some common places that your professional image may need a refresh:
How you dress matters–absolutely. Try to look at yourself objectively–are you projecting the image you really want to in order to maximize your influence and credibility at work? For baby-boomers, the tendency is to be out-of-date. Men sometimes wear clothes that are too big or ill-fitting. Women–too tight or “flowy.” For millennials, there is the risk of being too casual. What about appropriateness? This is not meant to repress your sense of style, or hard-earned super-hotness…but if your clothes are a distraction there is a chance your credibility is at risk.
Your communication skills
How is your spelling? Your grammar? Your overall written and verbal communication style when responding to email? How about your manners in your written or verbal communication? Most of us have habituated our communication style and use the excuse, “that is just how I am.” But, poor communication skills can be a career killer. Go to your in-box and re-read five of your recent emails or better yet, ask someone else to do it for you. Check to see if your point is clear, if your manners are intact and if you are communicating (or over-communicating) in a way hurts the relationship.
Your listening skills
While listening is part of communication, it deserves its own category because so many people are so BAD at it. Back when I was a recruiter I discovered that nearly everyone talks too much and goes on too long in making a point. Not one candidate did not talk enough–most talked way, way too much. If your goal is to be more present and less frantic in life–listen more. Listen better. Listen on purpose. It is a magic relationship changer. Give it a try for a week and see what you notice.
Pick one of these three and hit refresh on your professional image sooner than later.
Oh and special thanks to Laura Bean at One Stop Operations for designing the new and improved website design.
Check out my new Home Page.