Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Greeting left to right

networking-pic-gifRecently, I was at an event with a group and a friend greeted me. He looked confused on how to start shaking hands or even to say hello. This was a social gathering and everyone was friends.

Always begin left to right when greeting a large group. The only time you don’t use the left to right process is in a business situation where you begin with the most important person in the group. It can be the client or the most senior person in the room. Hugs are only allowed with permission. This also holds true when making introductions.

The origin of resilience

24Past studies suggest individuals that grew up in difficult environment are more likely to be resilient in the journey of life. Oprah is one of the examples frequently mentioned. Another critical component is perseverance. Never giving up, using your failures as a learning example and preparing for the next time a similar situation arises will help you be successful in tough circumstances.

Eyewear

eyeRecently, I was with a client and noticed her glasses kept slipping off her nose. She was constantly pushing them up. I know this problem intimately because I have a flat nose with a very low bridge. Eyewear choices were limited for me because my eyewear needs to have nose pads that can be pinched to keep the glasses from sliding. Warby Parker just introduced a new line of eyewear so people like me can wear glasses without nose pads.

How often does an image need updating?

question_makrs_cutie_mark_by_rildraw-d4byewlIt is important to keep updated and fresh. Anna’s rule is at least once every two to three years to take a look at your hair style, eye wear and clothing choices. When was the last time you refreshed your hairstyle? As women age, makeup can either go lighter or need more color.

Men’s hairstyles change. A young man’s hair style can look foolish on a man over 50 unless he is updating his clothing choices appropriately. Jewelry styles change but good classic lines never become dated. Men’s pant styles rules get broken everyday based on the age, figure shape and industry.

We always want to stay contemporary, especially in a professional environment.

Speak to be heard and recognized

networking-pic-gifOften, I hear: Why are my ideas not heard but someone else says the same thing and it is taken favorably and even as their idea! Why is that?

Ideas get recognized by the way they are stated. Also, ideas are important but they become real with results.

Another key issue is an that an idea can be like seeds in farming. They need time to grow to mature. Be the farmer, nurture your ideas and plant the seeds of thought with more than one source.

How to give constructive feedback

a winnerUsing the three to one rule will help you give constructive, inclusive feedback. Feedback must always be given in private unless agreed upon in a group setting. Feedback is never intrusive and is only given with the intent of future growth and forward movement.

The three to one rule works by starting with three things the person does well and one item they can do better. This approach softens the criticism and empowers the giver and receiver of the feedback.

How to give a reality check

1206574733930851359Ryan_Taylor_Green_Tick_svg_medTo ensure a successful event, a sound foundation in reality is needed to apply to these key components:

• Assigning the right people in the roles
• Creating a realistic timeline
• Establishing accountability by setting due dates
• Scheduling status meetings

Properly handling these components will result in a successfully completed project.

Interviewing dos and don’ts

voiceRecently, I was asked to help the daughter of a friend prepare for a job interview. These are the dos and don’ts of interview preparation:

Do:
• Prepare by learning what the job and the organization are about
• Have a personal story about yourself
• Be able to state why you are the best person for the job
• Be able share a situation where it did not work out and what you would do differently
• Be enthusiastic and answer questions with confidence even if you’re uncertain of the answer

Don’t
• Go in with the idea that they need you
• Go in without being fully prepared on what the job is about
• Go in dressed for an outdoor event
• Go in with a weak handshake

Impromptu Speaking

Mouthyq2beImpromptu speaking can create more impact in meetings and when presenting to a group because in these situations, folks can see your confidence and composure in action. Toastmasters use a wonderful segment in each meeting called table topics. Someone selects a topic and calls another member up to talk about it for two minutes.

I also found that very often, clients have to answer questions and instead being caught off guard, they responded calmly.

These are a few tips to help answer with confidence when caught in an impromptu situation:

• Take your time to answer
• Repeat the question
• Or rephrase the question
• Offer another way to answer the question

The Art of Business Social Interaction®

no_talking1The Art of Business Social Interaction is a trademarked program I developed working with a group of new associates that the organization wanted to ensure were aware of the social protocols in working with clients in all situations.

One of the cardinal rules that should never be broken is to remember the three banned topics: religion, politics and money. I recalled years ago working with one pro-life and the one pro-choice colleague. We would have a wonderful lunch together because they were both very charming people. But once this issue came up – it became an unpleasant afternoon.

Just recently, while walking my dog, a person I would meet occasionally while he walked his dog, brought up how awful the news has been. I mistakenly brought up my distaste for guns and he said let’s not get political. This pleasant walk became very uncomfortable because I had forgotten my own rule to never talk about politics, religion or money!