Your actions and appearance tell at least as much about you as your words. This is particularly true when it comes to first impressions—sales calls and job interviews where your dress, grooming, behavior, and body language send strong messages about your professionalism, intelligence, and abilities.
Unfair? Probably.communication Illogical? Maybe, but the experts who measure such things for the rest of us say that anywhere from 55 percent to 93 percent of what we believe about one another comes from nonverbal communication.
The nonverbal message choices you make (whether you’re aware of them or not) will open or close doors for you. Potential employers or clients are not likely to tell you about the messages you inadvertently sent that resulted in your not being hired. As one agency owner put it, “It isn’t my job to set every applicant straight.” Since it is our job to set our readers straight, we’re going to alert you to a world of sign making and message sending that you might not know exists. We don’t want you to keep repeating the same mistakes.communication
Clothes and Grooming Your clothes and grooming are the first messages you send to people about your professional identity, so, if you want to thrive in business, you’ll need to give some thought to the image you want to project to others.
Keep in mind that your constant communication goal (whether in writing, speaking, or nonverbal messages) is to persuade potential employers, clients, and collaborators to trust you, your judgment, and your abilities. While it may not be like this everywhere, our North American business culture puts a good deal of faith in clothing and accessory presentation. “Perception is a reality,” notes Steve Adolf, creative director at Zimmerman in Florida. “People judge you by the way you look.” communication We aren’t telling you creative types that you must suit up for every interview or meeting as if you were trying to get into a Fortune 500 company (unless you are). We aren’t even telling you that you must always conform to casual business garb because we’d lose your attention and trust. But sometimes your audience and purpose will dictate that, yes, business attire is the way to go. As with any other kind of communication mode you should: 1. Analyze your purpose and audience 2. Plan your nonverbal message 3. Create your message according to your analysis.
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