Just Do ONE Thing!

Happy New Year!
It has been several months since you have heard from me – unfortunately major life events –knee replacement surgery, Mom’s passing- disrupted my life.  We are back on track in 2017!

Just do ONE thing.  
I have never been a big believer in New Year’s Resolutions. It always seemed pointless to have all these big goals knowing in your heart of hearts – it was unrealistic. Don’t get me wrong, setting goals are important and have a place in our lives but they need to be within our reach.

If it is one thing I have learned, it’s managing your expectations. So just do ONE thing differently or in addition to your normal life. Perhaps it is just adding ONE walk around the block first thing each morning. Or limiting yourself to ONE glass of wine each night, or ONE sweet treat each day. It could even be donating ONE hour of your time to volunteer. 

The point is simply to make a small difference in your life. Most importantly whatever you do, be sure to do it consistently for 21 days – It will then become a part of your new “normal”. Last but not least – please share with me what it is you are doing and I will become your accountability partner. Plus it is always more fun to share what you are doing differently – don’t keep it to yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Baby It's Hot Out There!

Summer has arrived with high humidity and soaring temperatures, so I thought it would be a good time to review basic guidelines for professional business attire.

Every workplace has different dress code expectations but there are general rules of thumb that all employees should follow. Here are a few suggestions to keep your career on track and look professional and appropriate in the workplace.

  1. Achieve a more relaxed look in the summer by wearing lighter fabrics like cotton in creams and khakis.
  2. Don’t go too casual: shorts are never appropriate for the office as they look too laid back. Stay away from tank tops-if it looks like you are going to the beach, you don’t belong in the office.
  3. Do dress up: Summer dresses are flattering to women and keep you cool on sticky days. Choose light or bright colors and soft patterns.
  4. Don’t Under-Dress: Avoid spaghetti straps & strapless dresses (those that reveal too much skin). Be careful with your fabric choices too – not see through. Be sure bra straps are tucked in. This is a major distraction & makes you come off as messy and scattered.
  5. Remove sunglasses once you're indoors. Ladies -they are not a head band.
  6. Un-tucked shirts, jerseys or anything else that looks like you are going to a bar – biggest summer attire faux pas for men.
  7. Don’t bare it all: open backs, plunging necklines, rising hems are always inappropriate at work.
  8. Have fun with shoes: wedges & chunky heels are in this season. Open-toed shoes are acceptable as long as your feet are clean and manicured. Flip flops are NEVER appropriate for the office.
  9. Do accessorize: one of the best and affordable ways to brighten & update your wardrobe
  10. When in doubt, don’t. If you think a piece of clothing could be inappropriate for the office it probably is.

Dressing for your career is important no matter what the temperature is. It's always important to look professional and appropriate in the workplace.

Inappropriate summer attire can be distractful, and can affect productivity and customer service. Be polished; warmer weather is not an excuse to dress like a slob.

Not sure how to handle your company dress code? Need help grooming and transforming your staff into your company's best ambassadors? Call Shelley today!

 

Does Your Workspace Reflect the Image You Want?

 
 
A big ‘thank you” for all those that celebrated and supported my book launch to benefit Dress for Success. It was a delightful evening filled with good friends and family. “New You: Discover the Best Version of You” now available for purchase on Amazon or on my website.
 

With the advent of spring, conversations around workplace incivility have “sprung” up. Management is noticing a trend around office space and issues that present themselves. So today we will focus specifically on:

Your workspace: a messy desk is not a sign of a brilliant mind.

Ok, disclaimer first, this is not about whether a messy desk indicates creativity or not. It is not about whether psychologists think working in chaos has its advantages or whether an orderly environment at work can produce good habits. This conversation is about how our behavior at work effects the bottom line. Being a good neighbor in our work space means:

  • Attend to personal needs in private. (You may think no one sees you picking the food out of your teeth but think again.)
  • Take personal phone calls in private. (Voices travel farther than you think.)
  • If you eat in your space, no offensive odors. (Forego the fish from last night's dinner.)
  • Don’t “hover” over some else’s space. (Just because you're there doesn’t mean it is a good time.)
  • Don’t take items that don’t belong to you. (We used to call that office theft.)
  • Respect personal boundaries. (We are working in closer quarters today. More than ever before, it's sometimes no cubicle just an open desk, so remember to not “expand” into other's area.)

So to foster goodwill and success with your peers, be a conscientious good neighbor. It doesn’t hurt to greet your co-workers with a smile or extend a “please & thank you’ in the course of your busy day.
 
“Remember upon the conduct of each, depends the fate of all” ~ Alexander Great
 
Looking for creative and fun ways to bring civility into your workplace? Contact Shelley today to see how we can increase productivity, raise employee retention and generate a positive and engaging workplace for your organization.

Happy Valentine's Day!

First an apology – you have not heard from me for several months because I am finalizing my first book. Yeah! Who knew it took so much time, effort and sweat equity? Please stay tuned for more exciting details to follow.

Unlock your passion, and make killer presentations!
Passion – what you care about most – is the core of authenticity.  It’s the real deal and you have it.   Somewhere under all the fear of public speaking, nasty restrictions -there’s a rock star inside of you. So whether you are in a small group situation or facing a large audience – you want to know where presentation power comes from? Passion.

So tapping into your inner resources is your secret.  We are not asking you to be a plastic version of you or someone else. Get rid of your fear of mistakes and dig into your personal power.

To make a killer presentation:

  • Learn to tell a good story: frame your own in a compelling way, it’s a mix of data and narrative. 
  • Tell about a problem and show how to solve it.
  • Have a strong professional presence: biggest mistake – moving your body too much. Standing still and using hand gestures for emphasis is the most effective.
  • Make direct eye contact. Pick a few people in your group/audience that you pretend are friends.
  • Posture, standing tall not only gives you confidence but projects your voice.

When you are able to develop an emotional connection with your audience/group, they will understand that you care.  You are not just spouting information but making a difference in their lives. That’s a great feeling.
 
Unsure of how to tap into your passion? Private coaching may be the key to continue your journey to success.  We can hone your skills and cultivate your professional presence.  Contact Shelley today for your complimentary coaching appointment.

Avoid Office Party Faux Pas

inebriated man

Ok, we survived Halloween and now we know it will be a whirlwind for the holiday season. Before we get overwhelmed with the festivities, it is important to review some guidelines for etiquette in social workplace activities. Most companies today will offer some form of celebration, so to keep your career moving forward and perhaps to even give you a distinct advantage - let's review.

Although it may be tempting to let loose after working hard all year long – think again. You have worked hard to build your career, according to many business etiquette experts, the cardinal rule is to remember that no matter how festive the occasion, it’s still about business.  The following advice ensures a smooth & enjoyable event.
 
1. Eat, drink and be merry – in moderation.  Remember alcohol plus you and your boss can equal a Monday morning “I can’t believe I said that”.

2. Dress appropriately for the occasion. This especially applies to women who sometimes use company parties to strut their stuff. Leave anything short, tight or revealing in the closet.  You’ve worked hard to create a professional image and revealing clothes can alter your peers/employer perception of you as a competent professional.

3. Become visible to upper management.  This may be the only time you see the president, CEO or VP in person.  This is a great opportunity to become visible to the higher-ups.  At the very least, don’t spend the entire evening with your regular office buddies.  Mingle with people you don’t know.

4. Pay attention to the time you arrive and when you leave.  Even if you really don’t want to attend, avoid arriving 20 minutes before the end just to make an appearance.  Managers and coworkers will notice the error in judgment.

5. Be sure to thank those who coordinated the party.  It takes a lot of time and effort to put things together for a party.  Not only is saying thank you the nice thing to do, but it makes you stand out from the many individuals who don’t. 

With the holidays fast approaching, I would like to say “thank you” to each of you.  Thank you for reading this blog, trusting me to help you discover and create a better version of YOU.  It has been my privilege to work with many of you.  What a difference you have made in my life – I LOVE what I do.  It is so gratifying to watch many of you be transformed and start a new chapter in your lives.

We are looking for ways to better serve you.  Please take a moment and give us your feedback by answering a few short questions and receive a 10% savings on any future order.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and please remember me for creating the best version of YOU!

Shhhhh! What are people saying behind your back?

 

The calendar says September 1st which means the kids are back in school (Yeah!), the nights will be getting cooler, fall colors will be appearing and life should get back to a normal pace.

As we transition our wardrobes into fall, I thought I would share a recent discussion about how things are seen in the corporate world in relationship to your career path.

No surprise at this point you are aware that we are judged daily & taking steps to ensure a great verdict is essential. Evaluating your behavior and appearance is directly related to what people infer from you. The following thoughts are excerpt from “Executive Image Consulting”.

The Consequences of an Unprofessional Imprint:

  1. Disrespect from others. Fellow co-workers or your boss might think you are clueless or start joking about your inappropriate attire or behavior. Is it fair? No. Can it happen? Yes
  2. Distraction from your work. If others are staring at you because of your weird appearance or inappropriate behavior, they are paying less attention to your work.
  3. Losing Clients. Clients want to work with professional, trustworthy and reliable people. They will take their business elsewhere.
  4. Missing Opportunities. The job you didn’t get, even if you performed a fantastic interview. The promotion you didn’t get, even if you would have been the best person for the position. The boost in pay you didn’t get, even if you deserved it. Did you ever consider it has something to do with your appearance? Are you representing the best ambassador for the company?
  5. Becoming a loner. It’s a team sport. Like it or not, every corporate environment is like a sports team. You are one of them. Make sure you don’t become a loner just because you don’t take care of yourself.

Valuable clients and revenues may fly out the window only because someone on the team made a terrible or less than good first impression. The slightest disheveled look can cost the entire team highly valued clients. A domino effect can be a positive lucrative one with the correct equation, but if one piece of the formula is incorrect the domino effect can go in a bad direction for yourself, your career, your team, your company.

Simply put, you look better – you feel better, and present yourself as such. This is not about fashion, this is about image- What image am I sending out to the world? It is about communicating in a way that presents your message in an articulate and professional manner. Your image is not what people tell you about you. It’s what they say behind your back.

If you are curious about making a change, entertaining thoughts about managing the perception of others, please contact Shelley today for a complimentary consultation.

 

 

Don’t Take a Vacation from Professionalism

 It’s summer and sizzling – no matter who you are we struggle to wear something that is comfortable, attractive, and work appropriate.  No matter how high the temperature rises, the right business clothes still make a strong statement in the workplace. 

At this time of the year, I am ALWAYS asked to spend time on this issue. The debates rage on about socks or no socks.  Covered tattoes/or not.  So to keep it simple and for those that care if their image is sending the right message, I offer the  following thoughts.

Do your due-diligence.  If you have not received a memo from HR about summer attire, consider emailing them or your boss to get clear guidelines.

No flip-flops: These shoes are great for the pool but not for work. Crocs and those “FiveFinger” barefoot shoes are still not considered a way to put your best foot forward.

Appropriate hemlines: Ladies, it does not matter what is in the fashion magazines- hems should be knee-length.

Add some color – leave black for winter and brighten up your wardrobe with more color (did you know that bright colors indicate that you are happy?)

Think layers – when the AC is blasting, have a jacket or cardigan (not your grandmother’s sweater) to add on & still look great.

Watch out for lighter fabric – Light fabric may feel better but it can wrinkle easily and sometimes can be see-through.  Polyester tends to be warm.  The best fabric is actually a light wool blend.

Sleeveless? The straps of your shirt should always be an appropriate width. Never spaghetti straps.

Stay polished – It’s easier said than done when it’s hot & muggy but remember you’re going to work so you should always be tidy.

Whether you intend to or not, every day when you dress, you’re always making a statement.  Statistics show that your physical visual is 55% of your overall communication.  We all tend to relax more in the summer but that’s not a green light to wear whatever you want at work.
 

EXCITING NEWS!!!!
SPECIAL 10% Savings on all services scheduled by July 30,2015
 
Do you have a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear?
Are you ready to take the next step and re-invent you?
 
Let me help YOU discover the best version of you.  Call today to
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Executive Presence: The “It” Factor– do you have it?

Think back to a recent meeting, was there someone who just seemed to attract and engage everyone around the table? Someone who has the ability to command attention and leave everyone wanting more? That’s the “it” factor.  Executive presence is the ability to project confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness. The “it” factor includes speaking skills, assertiveness and appearance.  So before going into your next meeting, consider the following advice from author Ashley Cobert to provide that leadership demeanor.

 
Be polished, poised and prepared:

A person with executive presence never lets people see them harried.  They are not flustered when speaking and even in the wake of a crisis will show up looking put together. The secret? Spend extra time beforehand to prepare yourself for anything. Be calm, collected and the person with all the answers and you’ll be seen as a leader.
 
Mind your body language:

In your next meeting, look around and note how everyone is sitting. People with executive presence demand more control over the room. (Ever heard of the power stance?) Stand or sit tall, look engaged by leaning slightly forward, and take up space by putting your arms on the table, not huddling them to your body.  Make sure to maintain eye contact with everyone in the room, which is not only personable, it conveys confidence.

 
Make others feel special:

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  People who have executive presence are approachable and engaging, whether they are dealing with a receptionist or a CEO.  They’re natural, sincere, and show a genuine interest in those around them.

Whether you are a small business owner, college graduate, or seasoned professional,
executive presence is a learned skill set.  There are no age boundaries or minority limitations – executive presence is a quality worth cultivating.  It will give you an added edge to help you grow your relationships with customers, employees, and associates.


My specialty is packaging people! Everyone makes judgments about a person’s character, credibility, intelligence, or income level based on first impressions.
What do you think your image tells the world?
  
Call today for your free consultation.

What message are YOU sending?

Have you ever sent a pocket call? You know where your smart phone accidentally gets bumped in the bottom of your purse and redials the last person you spoke to on the phone?  Suddenly you are on speaker phone and you don’t even know it.  Yikes!  This has happened repeatedly to a family member at the worst possible times (think bathroom) – but it brings to mind how instant our communication has become in today’s world.
 
What message are you sending?
Communication today happens in a flash with a touch of a button – in the blink of an eye.  Technology has made it possible via smartphones to retrieve our email, text and phone messages without face to face contact. Unfortunately the translation of our message can get lost or not accurately reflect our intent.  It is important to remember that all communication should be an extension of our personal brand.
 
What’s the quality or tone of your communication?
Ever receive an email that you don’t really understand?  Without body language cues or voice inflection, you don’t know how to interpret it.  Remember when using email communication it’s critical to be aware of the quality or tone you are using – analyze the potential for your words to be misread.  For example, you might have meant to offer a suggestion to an associate but they took it as a criticism.
 
How do you communicate your personal brand?
In your email, text messages and verbal conversations do you consistently use a formal, respectful, warm and genuine style? Or can it be interpreted as a hurried, negative, harsh or urgent tone? We all have communication essence.  Could you tweak your style to communicate in a way that is more supportive and sounds more optimistic? If you can be objective in analyzing your style, you can improve the quality of your brand messages.
 
What is your brand of communication?
Ask yourself  and/or a trusted friend honest feedback about how you communicate.  You may discover that your communication is being perceived differently than you intend for it to be.  Here are a few common personal brand communication styles that may help you categorize the defining characteristics of your written words.

Urgent
Sad
Complacent
Negative
Terse
Matter of fact
Positive
Playful
Humorous
Intimate
Gracious
 
I challenge you this week to think twice before leaving phone messages, texting or emailing.  Pause before sending personal brand messages – is it truly conveying your brand to the business world?
 
I look forward to your thoughts & feedback.
 
Looking for a fun and different speaker for your next meeting? Contact me!

 

Where's My Magic Wand?

 

Happy New Year! We are off and running in 2015!  As I write, the temperature is hovering around 9 (wind chill factor is -7) and the wind is fiercely howling. Hopefully everyone survived the holidays and life is getting back to normal– whatever that is because I haven't figured that one out yet.

It's the beginning of a new year and an opportunity to wipe the slate clean, and start fresh.  When I think of what should be accomplished in 2015, it can be overwhelming and a little bit daunting.  How I wish I had a magic wand!

My goals for this year start with basic principles for a life of success & I shamelessly share thoughts gleaned from a little book by Michael Aviles "A Magic Wand".

 

"You're in charge"

We can let circumstances rule us or we can take charge and rule our lives from within. -Earl Nightingale

It all starts and ends with you.  We need to take control and assume complete responsibility for our life.  Too many times we make excuses or play the blame game.  One of my favorite authors, Stephen Covey states it best in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People".  He states "Be proactive, it means more than merely taking initiative.  Among the most important personal choices you can make is to accept complete responsibility for everything you are and everything you will ever be". Brain Tracy takes it even further when he writes " The acceptance of personal responsibility is what separates the superior person from the average person."

So if you are feeling like you need a little help to get things done, like a fairy godmother or little elves working away?   Proudly wave your magic wand & say "If it's going to be, it's up to me".

 

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