Projecting your best image should be part of your everyday thinking process. Most of us are so wrapped up in our daily routine that we don’t consciously think of what we can do to make ourselves look good to our clients, suppliers or colleagues. You have lots of opportunities to do this every day, but what can we do to ensure we project an image we can be proud of?
The most important aspects of our personal image are our Attitude, our Enthusiasm and our Self-Control.
These three can affect every message we send and receive. Each of them will determine how we see the world, and how others perceive us through those messages.
Attitude is how we see the world. It’s all to do with what we focus on; if we focus on the bad news and what is and could go wrong, that is how our world will be painted. Our attitude is shown though our behaviour and the words we use. We can choose to focus on what we can’t control and how bad our lot in life is, or we can choose to focus on what we can control and what we can do about it.
It might look like a subtle difference, but it makes a really big difference in the way we view things.
Our attitude is what is inside us, but our enthusiasm is how we portray that attitude to the world. These are shown by our words and our tone, but most importantly by our non-verbal expressions. The response you get back from the world is mainly a reflection of how enthusiastic you are. If you send out a positive message though enthusiastic approaches to challenges, for example, you are more likely to receive those messages back.
If, as a manager, you are trying to influence your team members in the best way possible,you can no doubt see which would be the better attitude and level of enthusiasm to choose!
A substantial part of the emotionally-intelligent person is the ability to exhibit self-control; that is, being disciplined enough to regulate your emotional feelings and reactions in such a way that you control how you respond rather than letting others be in control of you. How many times have you said ‘they made me do that’ or ‘they made me feel that way’? You are, in effect, saying that other people control your emotions and you have no control over how you choose to feel.
To project your best image, being in charge of your attitude, your enthusiasm and your self-control creates the best possible opportunity to make that chosen impression. Remember that people will always believe what you say in your worse moments is closer to your true beliefs that what you carefully plan for their consumption in calmer times.