Your appearance determines your success.
I know I've spoken about this before on my site. I also know it's not a statement that sits well with everyone. It's just a topic I can't stress enough. Most people love to broadcast the importance of their work to world, especially those who are in business. A wooden spoon salesman can somehow find a way to convince you, how important a good wooden spoon is to your life. It's just how humans work. It's not often that a persons message aligns with accredited experts. However when it does, it's worth listening to because it gives you an advantage over those that don't listen.
I have been telling people for years how important their presentation is……but why should they believe me? I am simply telling you what the experts have been discovering for years. I just have the skills to turn this information into a tangible result.
Amy Cuddy is a psychologist at Harvard Business School. What does she say about all this first impression and presentation stuff? Amy has done the research and even wrote a book about it. She claims that people size you up in SECONDS……..yep, seconds!
What are they judging you on?
· Can I trust this person?
· Can I respect this person?
You can read the article here - http://www.businessinsider.com.au/harvard-psychologist-amy-cuddy-how-people-judge-you-2016-1
If we take a step back and evaluate the two questions above, it makes total sense. There are a great number of people out there who are not trust worthy and certainly not respectable. In some cases both. I want to stay as far away from those people as possible, as do most people. If you're smart, which you are because you're reading this. You'll want to ensure you create the impression of being trust worthy and respectable in the first few seconds.....because that's the truth about you right?
How do you do this?
Step one: consistency! Humans love to be consistent. If you look at politics for example, anyone that changes their mind even 10 years later is a flip-flopper. They are considered a heathen of the highest order. Why? People who are inconsistent are NOT TRUST WORTHY. We see that as a lack of integrity. To the logical mind it make sense to change ones opinion as the facts change.
Humans are FAR from logical, they are irrational. If you look a certain way, but your personality doesn't align with your look, you will appear inconsistent to someone. Thus you can't be trusted. This doesn't happen on a conscious level. You just won't have a good feeling about a person, thus you won't want to do business with them, give them a job or go on a date with them.
Again, none of this makes sense to the rational mind. Humans are not rational, have you seen the state of the world of late?? Some people have moments of being rational but for the large part, we are irrational.
If you're a funky creative type but choose to dress in a classic fashion for a meeting. It's highly likely you're going to feel un-natural. The person you're meeting with will pick up on this. If you seem inconsistent then you're doomed.
You're being judged.
Psychologists call it "thin slicing". Basically you decide all sort of things about people when you first meet them. If they look grey, and have dark rings under their eyes, you'll think they're unhealthy. If they're harsh they'll appear arrogant, and there are many more. In the world of persuasion they call it the "3D model"
It's the meaning you put to the thing you've observed. That meaning is usually always irrational, and unconscious.
Let's be honest for a second. We are all influencers. We influence our children, partners, customers and bosses into thinking a certain way about us or a particular topic. You can only be an effective influencer if you are perceived as credible. Credibility comes from being trusted and respected.
The real secret
Influence! That's it. You can't get what you want in life without other people. They can be customers, partners, employees, friends even strangers. We need other people......that's the beauty of the human experience. Having people think the wrong thing about you is going to make life much harder. If you're professional you want people to think that.
The brands you wear, the colours, style, fit, shape, jewellery, shoes, hairstyle, hair colour, all communicate something about you and shape how you appear. How you appear ALSO communicates something about you.
Let's take an example of someone looking for a new partner. If you look unapproachable, and the colours your wear make you look harsh or cold, that is going to put off certain males from approaching you. It could be Mr Right that thinks you'll be difficult and crush his ego if he approaches you. However it could also make you look like a "challenge" to the player type.
Either way, you lose. Not them, but YOU. Taking responsibility for what other people think about you is not what the vast majority do. It pays dividends to do it because you end up with a better outcome.
It's the same in many different situations. To get what you want in life you have to influence others, and you can only do that through trust and respect. The fastest way humans establish that is visually.
What is it costing you to not shape the way others perceive you?