Time for an Image Intervention?


Not surprisingly, when business people first meet me and learn that I am a corporate image coach, they often volunteer that they have a colleague or a friend who could really use my help. I always find it quite interesting that they don't offer up that they might also personally benefit from a professional image intervention. Wherever our conversation leads to after that, I always make a point to end our conversation by saying I can help their colleague to improve their professional image and that I can help them to improve their image as well.  

Different types of Interventions

Before I speak further on the subject of image, let me be clear that my use of the word 'intervention' is not intended to insult or diminish the context in which the word intervention is defined or typically used:   Intervention comes from the Latin intervenire, meaning "to come between, interrupt." Often an intervention is intended to make things better, like a medical, economic, social or behavioural intervention. The term intervention is generally used when the traumatic event involves addiction to drugs or alcohol.

I am using the word intervention as it relates to self image because I believe that many people are in crisis when it comes to their image. If they don't see it, others that interact with them in professional or social settings, do see it. I have decided to take a more direct approach and start talking about the elephant in the room - the image that does not meet corporate or professional standards and is doomed for failure unless some type of intervention takes place.  

What does an Image in crisis look like on the outside

If any business professional does not take time to groom themselves with care and pride, it is more difficult for them to adopt a productive and positive mentality. For the astute observer, an individual suffering from low self-esteem may seem more sensitive to criticism, or exhibit signs of social withdrawal. They can be hostile for no apparent reason and they are more likely to experience and complain about physical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and headaches.

An individual struggling with their overall appearance will also  look out of sync with their profession. Personal hygiene may be in question. In these circumstances, there is no gender distinction when a person turns up looking unkempt, haggard and stressed to the max at the start of their day. Clients and customers will notice employees who are not seemingly up to professional standards with their appearance and demeanor.  Business professionals who take the time and effort look after their grooming and dress, get frustrated when colleagues show up without shaving, hair standing on end or they are wearing clothing or a uniform that looks like it was run over by a truck. 

What does an Image in Crisis look like on the inside.

A person struggling with a poor self image will also be suffering from a lack of self confidence. Their outward appearance is generally not professional, neat or attractive looking. People struggling with poor self image tend to gaze downwards and not make direct eye contact when speaking with you. Their posture is poor and they may look awkward or uncomfortable. They frequently compare themselves to others and conclude they don’t measure up. They believe they are just unlucky and that everyone but them is getting the big breaks. They wish they were someone else because the last person they want to be is themselves. The worst part is they don't feel noticed, appreciated or admired and they certainly don't feel successful.  

Fear and anxiety are the cornerstones of low self-esteem and  low self-confidence which can make people feel that there is something psychologically or physically wrong with themselves. They tend to suffer more humiliation, depression and embarrassment that can last for minutes, hours, days or longer. They are often too fearful to ask for help thinking that doing so is an admission of inadequacy or failure. People with low self esteem know they need to portray a more self-assured image to be successful but they just can’t seem to get there.

If you are a CEO of a large corporation, a business owner, business professional or a front line employee, like it or not, your appearance is going to be the first thing that gets judged. If you are suffering from inferiority, low self confidence or a lack of self esteem, Jennifer Grant International can intervene to help you enhance your image and advance your success.


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