Why Image Is So Important
Our image rests in the eye of the beholder – this is totally true for both professional and personal relationships so why is Image so relevant today?
Everyone has their own image of you regardless of whether you know this or not. This is a summary of their perceptions, subjective feelings and an evaluation of you as a person as they define it. There may be a focus here on how you carry out tasks and complete projects, your level of productivity, how efficient you are and how professional you appear.
Perceptions are all about what you ring to any task or project but also what you could bring.
Image in these terms is NOT about how likeable you are or how warm a human being you might be as that is purely a social assessment.
Your image and how it works shapes how others interact and do business with you. Your image also precedes you; people will have asked about you informally or they may well have asked about your work formally, they will have sought the opinions of others especially when there is new business to be had or a promotion in the offing. Associated with this is an unrecorded assessment of your performance on tasks and assignments/projects.
So, a good personal image is very important but what is actually in it?
- Doing your job well; how well do your own performance objectives link to those of the organisation? How well do you carry out your job?
- Commitment; how committed are you to the organisation and how does this actually look? This is far more than just a concern for doing the work allocated to you and it is a real affirmation that you are valued and worthwhile to have around. Your commitment also endorses others decisions to work with you and therefore you are part of a social tribe or unit. To not be seen this way paints a very different picture.
- Energy; throwing yourself into the job and getting on well with others.
- Positive attitude; this is infectious and people will see this counting very much in your favour. This makes others feel good and if you can make others feel good your importance and image rockets!
- Committed to on-going learning; those who consciously invest in their own learning develop skills and knowledge that are critical to the success of that organisation.
- Enjoyment; passion and energy are quickly seen by those around you especially if you are able to successfully hide those negative feelings that will come into your mind from time to time.
- Ambition; have aspirations and goals and work on them especially if this can be done in such a way that others can see it happening.
- Respect; this is very much a two-way process and respecting others is crucial if you are to receive this commodity back. Good manners are the foundation of all respect and include interactions with others so it is very important to always remember names and job titles. Remember that every time that you interact with others you have the opportunity to increase the respect they hold for you!
- Punctuality; dependable people are punctual and nobody likes lateness as it shows disrespect. Being punctual and prepared, however, is always respected by others.
- Grooming; look your best to enhance your image. Wearing clothes badly, being too outlandish or too casual, looking dirty and untidy, having bad breath and body odour are total drains on your image and will always put you in a bad light. Use time, money and effort wisely in driving forward a groomed and presentable image at all times.
- Outside life; be a well-rounded individual and have a successful social life to accompany career success. Develop cultural interests and awareness of good causes which shows that you are far more than just a workaholic.
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