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You don’t need to be beautiful to make a positive impression, but you do need to be polished. Polish comes not only from good grooming and appropriate dress; your behaviour and mannerisms are also an integral part of what creates polish, or lack thereof. When people judge you, particularly as they meet you for the first time, they observe your demeanor, mannerisms and body language along with your visual appearance in order to evaluate you as a total package. It only takes a few seconds, but once their opinion has been formed, it’s extremely difficult to change it.

According to Michelle Sterling of Global Image Group, the process people use to evaluate you works something like this:

  • If you appear to be of comparable business or social level, you are considered suitable for further interaction.
  • If you appear to be of higher business or social status, you are admired and cultivated as a valuable contact.
  • If you appear to be of lower business or social standing, you are tolerated but kept at arm's length.

Knowing that, it’s your choice how you want to be perceived as well as your responsibility to ensure others perceive you accordingly. Bottom line: if someone misjudges you, in most cases the fault will be yours, not theirs. Of course, every once in a while you’re going to meet someone who just doesn’t “get” you. But if you feel that you’re consistently being misjudged, then it’s time to take a long, hard look at yourself to determine why that might be happening.

This section of the site therefore provides some practical advice to help you project a confident, positive attitude and a poised, powerful demeanor that is more reflective of the true you inside.


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