Category Archives: Civility

10 Powerful Secrets To A Winning Image -fantastic article from Canadian Expert Charmaine Mills

Having an image that is of a consistently high standard projects a message of quality and self confidence; it increases your responsiveness to your clients and colleagues, and removes the attention of yourself and onto the needs of the ones you are serving.

As people begin to see your name and become aware of the benefits and knowledge that you offer, before you know it thousands of people will not only know who you are but they will begin to seek out your services and expertise. They will identify with your brand which is you.

1.  Don’t overlook the power of a good first impression. People make amazing assumptions about your professional  credibility and potential performance based upon your appearance during a first meeting. It’s very difficult to overcome a poor first impression, regardless of your knowledge or expertise.

2.  Be notable! Identify the components that differentiate you. How do you stand out among the other options? Perfect an eloquent descriptive and memorable introduction of yourself and your position. To promote yourself effectively, you must know (and be able to articulate) who you are and why you do what you do.

3. Ultimately, it is always the person who dignifies the position, and not the position that dignifies the person. If we want others to take us seriously and view us as a professional, we must first view ourselves as one.

4. Body language is defined as a type of communication between one or more persons which does not utilize verbal words. Instead, body language is read by each person by carefully watching the facial  expressions, hand gestures, posture, and movements made by another person.  Body language can dominate the spoken words.

5. Raise your professional and personal standards until even you are impressed. The pursuit of excellence is not only politically correct it is also highly profitable. Do not settle for mediocrity.

6. You are always making visual statements. No matter where you are going or what you are doing, you are telling people something about yourself.  Thinking “big picture” means that to get where you want to be in three years, for example, you may have to pay extra close attention to those visual statements you are making today.

7. Invest in quality instead of quantity. Have clarity about the purpose you are buying for. Don’t spend money on something that doesn’t look great on you even if it’s almost free! Dress better than you have to and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

8. One of the main elements of an introduction is your smile, or at the very least, a pleasant facial expression. A smile sends a positive message and adds warmth and an aura of confidence. Others will be more receptive if you remember to check your expression.

9. Managing your attitude is an important business tool for every successful leader.  Your attitude is infectious and drives behavior, make it work for you.

10. There is power in perception. To those you meet, how you are perceived is who you are. What kind of image are you projecting? Remember, your career could depend on it.

Charmaine conducts transformational Image & Etiquette consultations worldwide through teleseminars, phone coaching and face-to-face consultations.  Her head office is based in Toronto, Canada.   http://www.advanceimageconsulting.ca

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Forget looks – if any one of us had a ton of power, how would we behave?

The news seems to be overloaded with important, influential people that the public has at one time –and a long time at that- greatly respected. Then one sunny day, a story unfolds where his or her utter lack of respect for others (particularly for someone especially dear) obliterates our opinion of them.

Could it be that despite the rise in awareness of the need for civility still hasn’t gotten around to some of those with power?

With the many definitions that civility encompasses, the meaning that civility is an outward-looking approach to life rather than inward sits right in my mind and heart. One single word simply sums it up- RESPECT. Being mindful of situational manners especially in combination with recognizing the differences in another person and their culture is another notable focus of civility. We can disagree; we can live our lives differently, but let’s handle it by communicating this respectfully.

So, how do we recognize respect? If character is the tree, manners are the shadow. Polite people are not necessarily civil. Civil people wear their values on their sleeve. Their manners- social and corporate- communicate what they stand for and it is obvious.

So You Want to be a Civility Trainer! was the subject of the AICI Annual Conference in Orlando during May 21’s evening’s session, and a well-attended one. Experts Yasmin Anderson-Smith MCRP, AICI CIP, CPBS and Lewena Bayer ICTC MCT, CC™ knew it would be, as the impact of Civility in today’s fast-paced world has them developing international respected training programs, receiving a U.S. Congressional citation, running a youth empowerment program Every Girl Can ™ and “Macaroni and Please”, garnering awards as spokespersons and authors as well as focusing on the long-term goal of an International Civility Conference. Yasmin is president of KYMS Image International LLC based in Washington D.C.  Lewena is the founder and executive director of the Center of Culture Competence and The Civility Experts Worldwide in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. She is also a recipient of the Canadian Civility Star Award.

During the session the ubiquitous “How do you think that landed?” was addressed as it commonly is a question asked to determine whether communication went well. Why? Because there is so much riding on the success of your communication. Lew shared the story of purposely impressing an important hotel manager who only made her gasp due to his awful conduct. She relied upon a code of conduct of 3 specific principles that define civility in order to deal with him: #1 respect, #2 restraint (personal) and #3 responsibility in order to maintain the dignity of the meeting.

There are misperceptions that Civility is only about etiquette. Some have said that it might have something to do with the military. Under the big umbrella of Civility lie good manners sprinkled with a heavy dose of feelings and concern about the comfort of others, plus much, much more. “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”, practice humanity and embrace other cultures with openness are the working fundamentals of civility.

What does civility have to do with image consulting-alot! To really embrace Civility, you acknowledge that the common thread is that both Civility trainers and Image Consultants share the common goal which is to provide a meaningful, positive experience. There are several considerations the image consultant can ponder in approaching teaching civility:

  1. What approach suits your training style?
  2. Who is your audience?
  3. How will you portray the situational context i.e. will you be persuasive but not preachy?
  4. Which type of specialist will you describe yourself as:
    a. Consultant
    b. Coach
    c. Trainer
    d. Expert
  5. What will set you apart from the growing numbers of civility trainers out there?

You will build your own credibility in the civility business through a combination of continuous learning, consistent effort to maintain high personal and professional standards, and constant attention to real-life applications and benefits of civility to others. For more reading and resources about civility, I recommend The Power of Civility, Yasmin Anderson-Smith, Lew Bayer et al, Choose Civility and Civility Solutions by Dr. P. Forni, and Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey.