Dressing Up for Success
Have you ever experienced this?
You pulled up somewhere in a really nice chauffeur driven car. Stepping out well dressed with appropriate accessories, you feel the room with the fragrance of your sweet-smelling cologne. Soon you realize that you are getting all the attention, compliments and courtesy from everyone around. You might have thought; “these people have a very good culture of hospitality”. At another time, you return to the same place dressed-down and no one notices you, even though you walk past the same set of people. Has this happened to you before?
That’s because the impression people have about you and the way they address you is mostly determined by the way you dress.
Some time ago, I saw a short video of Portuguese striker, Cristiano Ronaldo disguised as an overweight homeless street performer with his hair and beard overgrown and not well kept. He strolled to a crowded park in Madrid, Spain with a little white puppy and a football. For about 1 hour, he juggled the ball around trying to get the attention of passers-by and onlookers but most of the people ignored him like a nobody or jeered at him as he did some tricks with the ball. After about an hour, a young boy joined him and they had a brief “pass and play”. Some minutes later, Ronaldo picked up the ball, signed his autograph on it and handed it to the boy as he removed his fake beard and other costumes. Then the crowd recognised him and came around to take pictures. In fact, it almost became a stampede situation, his bodyguards eventually came to his rescue.
Had he shown up at that park as “Cristiano Ronaldo”, the story would have been different but because of the makeover, people only saw him as a talented street beggar. They didn’t accord him the same star treatment he normally gets. This shows that people form their impressions about you because of the way you look. Personal grooming is therefore very important.
While dressing well is a part of personal grooming, it is beyond that. It encompasses good general hygiene, a warm and confident demeanour and the ability to communicate effectively. Research has shown that people who are well-groomed are more likely to succeed than people who are not. Some researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Irvine, USA conducted a study to ascertain the impact of personal grooming in the workplace. They found that attractive employees earned more money than unattractive ones. Also, unattractive employees who were well-groomed earned more than their colleagues who were poorly groomed.
Friend, there are many reasons why personal grooming is very important. Let me share 3 of them here;
- It Improves Your Self-Confidence
Whether consciously or unconsciously, your appearance affects the way you feel about yourself especially when you are in public. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good about yourself, you are more confident and this shows in your interactions. When you’re well-groomed, you know it, and it affects the way you walk, talk and relate with others. The self-assurance you display eventually earns you the confidence of your employer, clients, customers etc.
- It Makes the Right First Impression
American stage/film actor and humorist, Will Rogers aptly said; “You will never get a second chance to make a good impression.” Like anyone else, employers, for example, make an initial judgment on potential employees based on the way they look. You may argue that you have so much inside you to offer but the reality is people initially assess you based on what they can see. If you show up for an interview at a bank in a T-shirt and slippers, your loving nature, soft and hard skills might not even be noticed to land you the job. So it’s important to give attention to personal grooming.
- It gives Perception of Credibility and Competence
You may have noticed that salespeople tend to be well put-together. They are trained to look good and communicate well. It’s all part of the tricks of the trade. Studies have shown that people are more likely to trust and put their confidence in someone who looks neat and presentable. You will naturally believe and do business with someone that looks the part. So, add to yourself some credibility by looking presentable always.
In closing let me ask; how do you treat assets you consider valuable to you (your car, phone, electronic devices, and jewellery)? I’m sure you treat them well. YOU are your most valuable asset, so start treating yourself well because.
Remember You Have Only One Life to Live, MAKE IT COUNT!