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: Leadership Presence

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.

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.

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.

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:

• 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

• 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

How to disagree – gracefully

award cup.magesDisagreements are normal when working on a project, vision or strategy. I have always felt a successful end game needs to have different points of view to achieve a positive outcome. Now, that does not mean to always handle disagreements with kid gloves or bare fists. The main goal is to focus on the result. Four key items to remember are:

• Respect the person or persons
• Stay with the facts
• Honor the opposing side
• Leave the door open to revisit

Being on time – a rare professional quality

alice-wonderland-rabbit-clockI often hear complaints about those who are never on time. They arrive late, run overtime in meetings causing extended sessions that nobody wants. Everyone is busy and it shows a lack of respect for those waiting. Here are some tips to stay on time:

• Plan to arrive 15 minutes early
• Plan a 60-minute meeting agenda for 50 minutes
• If you need more time as a presenter, ask for it in the beginning of the talk
• Always assume everyone’s schedules are busier than yours

Handshake Etiquette

conflict_resolution250WA handshake is a personal touch to establish a relationship. The dictionary states that a handshake is “a gripping and shaking of right hands by two individuals, as to symbolize greeting, congratulation, agreement, or farewell.”

I am continually surprised at the greeting handshakes that are either only finger tips touching or the grip is so strong it hurts. If you cannot shake hands for health reasons, just say I would love to shake your hand but I have a terrible cold or ___. It is better to speak up than to ignore shaking hands.
The five-star handshake is palm to palm, nice and firm with one or two pumps made while you look each other directly in the eye. This handshake says I want to get to know you.