by Helen Perry,
Corporate & Personal Image Consultant
While we never have a second chance to make a first impression, there may be some solutions for turning things around if you're dissatisfied with the way others perceive you.
Impressions people form of you depend more on your behavior than on your true personality. Anyone's perception is their reality. However, there are valid techniques to help us clarify our true intentions. Impression Management is a process by which people might alter the perceptions others hold of them. When used for ethical purposes, Impression Management can stretch us to new heights.
*There are three types of Impression Management:
1. Authentic- Used when an individual desires to present himself in a manner in which he sees himself.
2. Ideal- Used to present an image of how one desires others to view him/her. Image makeovers fall into this category.
3. Tactical- Used when an individual desires to present the most popular image in a way the public will perceive him.
All methods involve sending certain messages to the subconscious mind of people by adapting personal appearance or body language, as well as sending messages to their conscious mind by choosing certain words or actions.
The way our brains function when we form impressions is complex. Noted Psychologist, Dr. Robert Weinberger explains, "All four lobes join forces to contribute in generating signals through our senses. The occipital contributes its visual cues, the temporal stored memories, the frontal past and ongoing experiences and the parietal an integration of them all. And even these do not take into account the almost reptilian olfactory forces that are difficult to qualify, yet instinctively and powerfully guide our first impressions without thought. Who among us has not formed an immediate impression based on a foul odor or the sensual allure of Shalimar? The substrates of first impressions, even among the youngest and most na´ve human creatures are wonders of neural achievement."
Your environment also speaks volumes. According to Houston interior designer Susan White, "Businesses employing a traditional color scheme of rich jewel tones such as navy, burgundy and deep green appeal to the upper class and suggest stability and capability." If your office, storefront, clinic, etc. hasn't been updated in over ten years, then impressions formed, rightly or wrongly, may be that your goods and services are outdated and possibly inferior.
If we aren't getting the reactions, sales or promotions we want, it can be worthwhile to objectively evaluate just how we may be coming across. A professional consultant can be pivotal in unlocking answers, tweaking behavior and restoring comfort level in our own skin. As always, let your light shine and To thine own self be true.
Next Issue (October edition):
Optimizing Your Brand through Impression Management
Congratulations to Helen Perry for recently receiving a BBB Awards for Excellence Pinnacle Award!