A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

Fashion for Goals.

Aha Moment Monday.

Is it unfair to judge a book by its cover?

Do you remember the last time you went to Chapters to pick up a resource for a new initiative or swung by the kiosk at the airport to secure a great read for the airplane ride?  Likely you read the back cover to check out the author’s credibility and endorsements to ensure the book was a fit for you but what made you pick up that book in the first place?  Was it the title?   The colour pattern?  The photo or graphic?  Probably some combination of the aforementioned was what sparked your curiosity.

Colours have energy.  Fonts have meaning.  Pictures inspire emotion.  Symbols tell a story in themselves.  Publishers go to great lengths ensuring that the combination of these available tools are effectively used to capture the attention of their audience and help get their book picked up first.

Figuratively, how often do we judge people by their “covers”?  isn’t it typical that the well-groomed person with presence can rally the attention of a crowd when someone with less style  may not attract deserving attention?  Is that our fault for judging too quickly?

Aha – “100% of the time your audience defines appropriateness and not you.” ~ Sola Adelowo, AICI CIC, Professional presence thought leader in Treviso, Italy

Yes, of course, you want to be true to yourself and be expressive with your wear but in an article to get people talking about workplace fashion and executive presence, Sola says, “When you meet your audience’s expectations, you get instant credibility and are more likely to accomplish your goals and so much more.”

Judging is a subconscious thing.  Patterns, colours and styles have meaning and effect.  Did you know that the traditional jacket was designed to direct focus to your face, where your message is being delivered?  That’s not to say that you need to wear a jacket to be heard; in fact, you need to be sensitive to the environment and know what dress is appropriate.  The ability of a leader to adapt is subliminally shared in their adaptive style of dress.

The BIG point (and you “control freaks” will love this) is that when you understand the signals you give off by how you package your presence, you realize you have the power to direct onlooker’s attention to where you need them to pay attention: on your message.

Just like the book, impressions matter, which makes it more than okay to talk “fashion” in the workplace, especially if you’re serious about those goals of yours.


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