PERSONAL IMAGE: It’s more than just the clothes you wear

Imagexchange - Personal Image ImageXchange Professional Image - PERSONAL IMAGE It's more than just the clothes you wearDEPORTMENT & POISE

It is said that the way we sit, stand and walk can tell three things about us:  Our attitude, our personal values and also the underlying state of our minds.

Attitude:  This will tell others if we are confident, have a good self-esteem, or whether we are determined and have a positive point of view.

Personal values:  This is projected through our behaviour, influenced by our family, friends, upbringing and the people we mix or socialise with.

Underlying state of mind:  Have you seen people walking with their hands in the pockets, kicking ‘imaginary pebbles’?  Perhaps they walk around dragging their feet or shuffling along noisily?  They seemed to be inattentive and preoccupied, looking absent-minded, or walking with a heavy load on his shoulders (and worries in their minds).

Standing:
With just with three-inch movements, you can feel one foot taller.  Try this, simply lift your chin up by an inch, just pull your shoulders back just an inch, and try to keep that belly in by an inch – and suddenly, you project higher level of confidence and better poise.

Walking:
Like everything else, a good foundation is important.  You must ensure that you have a good standing posture before you can improve the way you walk and sit.

Maintain that good body alignment as you take your stride.  In business, we must project confidence and focus – don’t walk as if you are taking a stroll in the park.  Keep your strides natural, yet purposeful.  Keep your chin level to the ground, not too close to your chest (as looking downwards will project insecurity).

Sitting:
Bring yourself close to the chair, do not lean forward or “bow” as you are sitting down onto the chairs.  Maintain good body posture as you bring yourself down onto the chairs.

Remember, there are other considerations relating to the placement of your hands and legs.  This can either project a sense of “barrier” or “welcome”.  Whether you are aware or not, you are signalling to other people about your level of confidence or nervousness, openness to ideas and suggestions, or lack of.