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anythin...
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What Your Appearance Says About You

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If you or your team is trying to standout amongst the crowd and be noticed, then you must have some sort of differentiation to set you apart. Differentiation does not mean going against the grain of the workplace, it definitely does not mean alienation, it means finding something incrementally different to stand out amongst the rest and be noticed.

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What Your Appearance Says About You

  1. 1.               Art  of  the  W ingman  for  Business  is  dedicated  to  the  businesswomen  and  businessmen  who  seek  greatness  beyond  their  own   and  find  their  successes  through  helping  others  succeed.  The  Business  Wingman  follows  the  path  of  the  selfless  person.     What  Your  Appearance  Says  About  You     Key  Points   • Having  the  appropriate  physical  appearance,  dressing  for  the  next  step   • Breaking  down  your  emotional  appearance,  what  people  think  of  you   • Differentiation  without  alienation       Remember  in  our  previous  post  where  we  state  that  perception  is  everything   (Building  Social  Credibility  in  the  Workplace);  your  physical  and  emotional   appearance  paints  a  perception  about  you  whether  you  are  actively  trying  to  do  it  or   not.  We  live  in  a  social  centric  world  where  people  love  to  talk  about  and  give   judgment  on  others.  While  we  will  not  be  able  to  change  the  habits  of  others,  we  can   certainly  be  ready  for  them.         1) Having  the  appropriate  physical  appearance,  dressing  for  the  next  step   Every  industry  and  office  across  the  country  has  a  standard  that  says  how  you   should  and  should  not  dress.  If  you  are  in  finance  in  Manhattan,  then  the  standard  
  2. 2. 2     dress  is  a  suit  and  tie.  Just  like  if  you  are  working  in  an  IT  startup  in  Mountain  View,   CA,  then  the  standard  dress  is  probably  casual  tech  chic.     Since  there  is  not  one  standard  to  follow,  you  must  do  your  due  diligence  and  do   your  own  internal  office  research.  Identify  the  type  of  dress  of  your  immediate   manager  and  the  management  team  above  you.  And  please  remember,  I  am  not   saying  that  if  your  manager  wears  pleaded  khaki  pants  from  the  90’s  with  a  short   sleeved  button  down  shirt  and  a  sweater  vest  from  Structure,  that  you  should  forego   your  own  personal  style  and  try  to  emulate.  That  would  be  ridiculous  and  a  little   creepy.  What  I  am  saying  is  don’t  take  this  advice  literally.  Take  notes  of  what  they   are  wearing  and  dress  accordingly  but  make  it  your  own.  I  am  saying  that  you   should  identify  what  the  standards  are  in  your  workplace.     Do  that  by  asking  yourself  the  following  questions:   a) What  is  the  accepted  dress  code  for  your  office?   b) Do  your  manager  and  his  or  her  peers  dress  more  formally  or  casually?   c) Think  of  the  person  whom  just  got  a  promotion  and  how  did  they  dress?     Once  you  have  answered  these  questions,  it  will  help  you  to  determine  how  you   should  dress  for  success:   a) Adjust  your  dress  to  look  like/imply  that  you  are  ready  for  the  next  level   b) Maintain  your  own  style  and  personality  but  adhere  to  the  standards  you  are   setting  for  success     To  reiterate,  I  am  not  saying  that  solely  dressing  the  part  will  help  you  get  to  the   next  level,  but  it  is  a  start.  Your  management  wants  to  feel  like  that  if  you  make  that   transition,  then  you  will  easily  fit  in.         2) Breaking  down  your  emotional  appearance,  what  people  think  of  you   Emotional  appearance  is  best  explained  in  psychological  terms.  The  Center  for  Non-­‐ Verbal  Studies  describes  these  cues  or  signs  as  indicative  of  emotion.  These  signs   are  broken  down  into  3  main  categories:  facial  expressions,  body  movements,  and   tone  of  voice.     1. Facial  Expressions:  The  act  of  communicating  a  mood,  attitude,  opinion,   feeling,  or  other  message  by  contracting  the  muscles  of  the  face.  This  can  be   expressed  as  a  smile,  frown,  pout,  surprise,  disgust,  frustration,  or   disagreement.  Each  of  these  facial  expressions  indicates  a  perceived  mood   and  can  easily  be  misinterpreted1.       2. Body  Movements:  These  are  unknown  body  gestures  that  communicate  an   emotion  or  feeling  without  knowingly  doing  this.  Particularly  with  our   posture,  breathing,  clearing  of  throat,  clenching  of  fist  and  gestures,  we  can                                                                                                                   1  http://center-­‐for-­‐nonverbal-­‐studies.org/emotionq.htm  
  3. 3.   give  the  emotion  of  tension  or  annoyance  to  others  without  actually  saying   anything.   3. Tone  of  Voice:  Your  tone  of  voice  reflects  psychological  arousal,  emotion,  and   mood.  It  may  also  carry  social  information,  as  in  a  sarcastic,  superior,  or   submissive  manner  of  speaking2.  Be  weary  of  how  your  voice  changes  when   speaking  to  certain  colleagues  and  with  management.  You  never  know  what   you  really  may  be  saying.     This  is  a  more  difficult  one  to  explain  but  at  it  most  basic  concept,  it  comes  down  to   whether  people  think  of  you  as  a  nice  person  who  is  friendly  to  others  in  the  office,   or  whether  you  always  look  upset  and  are  socially  awkward  to  talk  to.     3) Differentiation  without  alienation   If  you  or  your  team  is  trying  to  standout  amongst  the  crowd  and  be  noticed,  then   you  must  have  some  sort  of  differentiation  to  set  you  apart.  Differentiation  does  not   mean  going  against  the  grain  of  the  workplace,  it  definitely  does  not  mean   alienation,  it  means  finding  something  incrementally  different  to  stand  out  amongst   the  rest  and  be  noticed.         Please  visit  our  blog  at  http://www.artofthewingman.com.                                                                                                                 2  http://center-­‐for-­‐nonverbal-­‐studies.org/tone.htm  

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