Managing one’s image is the key to success in any walk of life. It is easy to confuse Image Management with a makeover, attending a motivational session, a grooming workshop, getting a new hairstyle, or buying new clothes.
Image Management is much more than that and it involves ongoing evaluation and better utilization of personal resources.
To draw a direct comparison between managing a business and managing your image:
The resources at your disposal are the different Image Elements, which you need to make optimum use of, in order to achieve your different goals in personal, professional, and social life. These Image Elements are Clothing, Grooming, Body Language & Etiquette, and Vocal Communication.
Image management involves learning the SCIENCE and ART of optimally utilizing these elements for the achievement of goals in each role that one plays in life on a daily basis.
These perceptions and behaviour leave a persistent, long-term impression among observers.
Your image can have a significant impact on your happiness by affecting the development of personal relationships.
It is therefore essential to be able to create a positive first impression, both on personal and professional fronts, by managing your image.
Image matters, because people make assumptions and judgments based on very limited information. H. Andrew Michener, John D. Delamater, and Daniel J. Myers explain in their book “Social Psychology”, that when we observe a single physical characteristic or behaviour in someone, we tend to assume that the person has a number of related qualities too. For example, someone may be perceived as confident because they have a firm handshake. They may be seen as trustworthy because they make eye contact. They may be judged as capable, professional, successful − even wealthy or intelligent − because they are well-dressed.
The reverse is also true. According to Brian Tracy, author of “The Psychology of Achievement”, “many capable men and women are disqualified from job opportunities because they do not look the part”.
Caroline Dunn and Lucette Charette of the National Research Council of Canada found that “people are affected by your appearance whether or not they realize it, and whether or not they think appearance is important”. They found that a first impression has a significant and measurable effect on the observer:
Your appearance strongly influences other people’s perception of your:
Your personal presentation (communication skills and appearance) influences people’s behaviour toward you, including:
As an individual living and working in a highly complex and competitive society, you must recognize and understand the impact of your Image as it communicates first to you and then to others.”
For corporations and other organizations, their image can affect the financial bottom line. Fortune Magazine’s annual ranking of the most admired companies has found a correlation between a company’s image and its profits.
Companies can have the following benefits by creating a positive image:
If a company’s image is not as good as it could be, the company may lose out on all of these benefits.
“Image management is the ongoing process of evaluating and controlling the impact of your appearance and the resulting response on you and others”.
The concept of Image management applies to anyone who has ever needed to improve self image, self-confidence, capability, and credibility. It applies to anyone who has ever wanted to get an idea across to someone else to influence opinion or action. It is creating an authentic, appropriate, attractive, and affordable image. Intelligence, knowledge, ability, initiative, and effort are vital to success of any kind and ongoing Image management can give you the personal or professional presence that you need.
As an individual living and working in a highly complex and competitive society, you must recognize and understand the impact of your image as it communicates first to you and then to others.”