Recently, a picture of a grumpy new-born went viral on the net and triggered a whole lot of memes, that were really hilarious. That ‘image’ might probably haunt little Isabel Pereira de Jesus for the rest of her life. Woe-betide anyone who would show this photograph to her when she grows up to be a beautiful young lady. But then again – who knows? she might grow up to be a woman with a great sense of humor!
So, why is image – having one, creating one, building one – so essential, so important? Because, it can make or break a situation. Yes, it is true!
Have you heard of ‘thin slicing’?
Thin slicing is psychology’s word for an ability to accurately judge people or situations, through a narrow window of experience.
When applied to judging people, it is through your ‘image’ that people thin slice you. In effect, your first impression is already captured. And in less than 10 seconds, you or I or someone, has judged or been judged on traits like intelligence, trustworthiness, friendliness, socio economic status, dominance, success- the list could go on. And, who does not want to be all this and more if they want to create a positive first impression?
So, is it really easy to build up an impressive image? It may not be really easy, but it is not difficult either. It is true, that some people are seemingly born with it. However, as with any change or improvement you want to see in yourself, this image transformation will happen if you put in dedicated effort and show continuous commitment. It is possible to interest, impress and inspire others through your image.
Mind you, image is not only about the way you dress (no one said you have to wear designer outfits), it includes your communication and conversational skills,, your manner and etiquette and most important of all the unspoken language – your body language. Whether in personal or professional surroundings, appropriateness is paramount when creating that impressionable image about yourself, first time around.
After all, the first step to building any kind of relationship, whether personal or professional, is to trigger a ‘friendship chemistry’ in order to see a positive reaction.
It’s the one thing YOU can control. You are responsible for how people remember you….or don’t. So, don’t take it lightly. KOBE BRYANT
Sr. Consultant – Organisational Learning, GatewaysGlobal LLP