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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Archive: Career Builders

Strategy for table conversation

voiceGood conversations while dining with a client are important in forging relationships. The main folks to focus on are the individuals to the right and left of you. If the noise level is low, include both parties in the discussion.

Refrain from conversing to someone directly across the table especially if the table sits ten. The rule is to never discuss religion, politics or intimate personal issues. If asked about any of these subjects, it is best to deflect and begin a new topic and always err on the inclusive side.

Dining etiquette- pace of eating

dish-918613_1920-5812723a3df78c2c73a334d9Always be aware of others in dining situations and eat at a pace the same as most of the diners. As a host, set a good example. Be the last to order and first to make suggestions.

At a recent event, some folks finished early and the waiter was sensitive enough not to take their dishes away. It is up to the person at the table to manage the flow of plates. If everyone is finished and you are not, instruct the waiter to take your plate away. Understanding these nuances will make more time for meaningful conversations.

Appropriate conversations

24Recently, I was with a group of professional men and women. One of the women turned to me and asked how I knew so much about sports, the stock market, etc. Being fortunate enough to have clients in several sectors, including the automobile industry, I found that small talk is critical to forging relationships.

Talking about diets, weight gain, or the latest color unless it is for a uniform project, would not be of interest. Not now or ever, in fact, due to the volatile political climate, is politics considered small talk.

Personal Space

Thumbs upThe personal space standard, when standing with a person or groups in conversation, is one arm’s length. Business today continues to be gender neutral with sensitivity whether in formal or casual settings. The only touch would be a handshake depending the culture of the individuals involved. This guideline is even more important today to prevent any misunderstandings.

The new year rabbit hole

alice-wonderland-rabbit-clockThe beginning of a new year makes it easy to go down the rabbit hole of: what did I accomplish last year? That’s because we tend to look at the things we did not achieve instead of the things we did do.

So, how do we stop ourselves and look at the future? First is to recognize the signs or triggers that start you down that rabbit hole. Once recognized, use three tools: talk to someone, write down your feelings and three distract yourself.

• Talk to someone – Call your go to person to help walk through this feeling
• Write it down – Journaling can also halt the downward spiral
• Distract – Do something that will instigate feelings of control and joy

Each of these different methods will help prevent the journey down the rabbit hole and bring long term benefits.

Why do opposites attract?

coaching 2Many work and personal relationships are built on attracting the opposite person like an extrovert with an introvert, a thinker with a doer or people driven by feelings with those that apply logic. These relationships combine to balance each other and complete a circle.

What about successful relationships consisting of similar types of people such as a thinker with a thinker or an introvert with an introvert? These tend to bring safety, comfort and dependability to both parties in the relationship.

Relationships that grow and can experience more wins are usually the ones composed of opposites in thinking and actions. Are they the easiest? Usually not, but they can be the most productive.

Must read books

giftboxMy five favorite books that provide the professional and personal skills and insights on building relationships are:

• 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
• The Tipping Point – Malcom Gladwell
• Blink – Malcom Gladwell
• Start with Why – Simon Sinek
• Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Richard Carlson, Ph.D.

Keeping grounded

targetKeeping grounded is being aware of the triggers that prevent you from going down a rabbit hole. What is a trigger and how do you know what it is?

It can be a panicky feeling, talking too fast or allowing procrastinating to seep into your life. Once the trigger is determined, then put in a distraction until you return to stability. Using golf as an example, it is never the bad shot that causes the problem. It is what you do on the next shot. Keeping grounded takes practice and the more practice, the more grounded you’ll feel.

Strive for two-points of growth

jumping couple in field under cloudsWhen strengthening a skill, I use a scale from 1 to 10 and judge where I am at. If it’s a 6 for instance, I think about what I need to do to get to an 8? So many times, when we stretch too far and have high expectations, it leads to a quick start and a faster stop. Begin this new year by picking one item you want to work on and take it up two notches making sure the tasks and time frame are doable.

Seven key behaviors that make a good manager / team leader

award cup.magesSeven key behaviors that make a good manager / team leader include:

1. Caring for the area
2. Sharing the spotlight
3. Expressing confidence in decision making
4. Allowing the group to function as a team
5. Accepting a wrong decision
6. Staying available
7. Avoiding any hint of bullying behavior

Often, high potential executives possess these qualities. They help employees excel and leaders thrive from the demonstration of these leadership skills.