World

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          Your World

 

Step 3:  Understanding the World Around You to Create Your Personal Image/ Personal Brand

 

 

 

Thus far in this website you’ve learned about your inner-self and what you bring to the world.

You’ve also learned about your external-self and what clothing and accessories look best on your body.

Now it’s time to understand the world in which you move.  Very few of us are impervious to the needs and considerations of those around us.  None of us live in a vacuum, and as such we need to take cues from the world in which we move in order to present ourselves to our best advantage.  For instance, you may want to wear shorts and go barefoot every day, but will this serve you well in your efforts to brand yourself as a highly effective person?

Understanding the world in which you move, and dressing accordingly, is an important step toward creating a perfect personal image and personal brand.

In the past, many believed that presenting yourself according to the world’s expectations was the most important component to creating a perfect personal image and personal brand.  The truth is, if the inner you does not match the image you’re trying to project, the world will soon see the incongruences and unmask you for the fraud you are.  It’s what you bring to the world, packaged it in a way that the world can understand, that allows people to see your true value.

So let’s talk packaging. In general, the people in the world in which you move have expectations of how people should present themselves given their professions, industries and which companies they work for.  They will open up and hear the message of individuals who present themselves in a manner they expect to see.

Picture this: two men are walking down the hall wearing basically the same thing — button down shirts, nice slacks, good quality shoes, belts and watches.  However one of the men is wearing short sleeves and the other is wearing long sleeves.  Who’s the boss?

If you’re like most people you probably said the man wearing the long sleeves.  What if in reality the man with the short sleeves is the boss?  If he is, he’s probably not as effective as he could be, and his ideas are not getting the respect they deserve.  His image is incongruous with his position.

Let’s say the man in the short sleeves is not the boss, but he is, in fact, the more knowledgeable of the two and has, quite frankly, better leadership skills.  There may be many factors to why he’s not moving forward, but one obvious improvement and easy link in the chain to advancement would be to present himself as he would like to be perceived.  You help create the vision of yourself as a leader by dressing accordingly.

You also need to consider the audience to whom you are communicating.  Let’s consider an insurance agent.  Her clientele falls across a broad spectrum of economic classes.  As a result she needs to consider the expectations of each demographic. When working with, say, the President of the Rotary Club, she needs to present herself differently than if she were working with the top 1%.  If she were to visit a top-tiered corporate executive wearing the same clothing she’d wear to service the President of the Rotary Club, they’d be far less likely to be receptive to her. They’d have the subconscious bias, “She doesn’t understand my needs.”  Conversely, if she were to meet with the Rotary President wearing the same expensive suit she’d worn to meet with the corporate executive, they would most likely feel uncomfortable as well. They’d have the same subconscious biases, only in reverse — “Does this woman understand my needs, or is she only after my money?”

What factors do you need to consider when evaluating the world in which you move?

In the following section we will evaluate each element.

 

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