If you didn’t know already Women in Biz Network is all about women supporting women. Our members collaborate and mentor their fellow members. Member Sheila Alley of Women in Style has graciously made us a video and shared this post for our members.
Here are some great tips from Sheila:
Have you ever thought of how much influence you have? Have you wondered how you appear to your new prospect, the job interviewer, your new date, or your audience? Your level of influence comes from the first impressions you make – how you build your likeability, credibility and charisma. When we first meet someone we instantly make judgments and get first impressions from communication and non-verbal cues. Those impressions are quick, subconscious and come instantly. When someone first meets us they quickly assess our credibility or trustworthiness; our likeability, if we’re easy to be around and our attractiveness, how well we are put together. All of this together is our image.
Your image is not just your appearance, although appearance is a big part. Image is how you show up in the world – that energetic feel people get when they meet you. I’m sure you’ve met people who you instantly like, others you don’t trust and some with whom you have a wait-and-see attitude. The thing is they all might be people you will like or even become friends with eventually, but if it takes time you might never find out.
In a situation where you want to create a good impression and you don’t have a long time to do it, it helps to know how to create an instant connection. The reason you might not be creating a good impression has nothing to do with the person you are but more to do with how you project your energy.
You’re always broadcasting your energy and others are tuning in to your energetic field first by your behaviour – how you move (your body language), secondly by how you communicate – how you sound and what you say and thirdly by your appearance – how you’re dressed and groomed. When all of these are put together you are sending a message that is either helping or holding you back.
So what does it take to have an influential image? To be really short and to the point, it takes being in alignment with who you really are and how you project your energy. To get you started in creating an image of influence, I will share 3 steps that you can take right now.
- Be yourself. This means being comfortable with who you are, not worrying if you’re good enough, not worrying if you’ll say the wrong thing or trying to conform to what someone else likes or wants. Being able to ‘be yourself’ comes from being confident – believing you are good enough just as you are. Trying to be someone you’re not is very hard work. If you feel tired and drained after spending time with a group of people you don’t know well or have just met, you are probably not being yourself. When you are being yourself you’re comfortable and authentic. You’re credible.
- Create a credible appearance. Do you dress how you want or are you afraid that if you dressed in a way that feels good and inspiring you might ‘get noticed’? If you are afraid to stand out, maybe you dress down wearing baggy clothes, dull colours and drab styles that everyone else wears, to blend in. That’s not very inspiring and doesn’t create authenticity.
Do a quick assessment of your head-to-toe appearance – how do you dress, how are you groomed? Does your appearance reflect your reliability? How would you describe your clothes – pressed, wrinkled, worn, matched, mismatched? Does your appearance reflect your brand? Is it how you want to be seen? Would you trust you?
- Show your confidence in your body language. How you move tells others how confident you are. Your movements or non-verbal cues indicate how you feel about yourself and how you feel about others. Simply by standing straight, squaring your shoulders and relaxing, you can automatically feel more confident.
To further show confident body language, maintain eye contact and focus on your listener, or if you’re the listener, focus on the speaker. There’s no quicker way to lose credibility than to half listen and move your focus to everything and everyone who moves around you while you’re ‘supposedly’ listening. Make the speaker the centre of your attention and don’t forget to smile. A smile is contagious and not only makes you feel better but those who are the recipients of your smile feel better. Even if they don’t return your smile they connect with your energy.