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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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!

Failure is an option for success

haircut disasterI recently heard Seth Godin give a talk about “Engagement – Do the Work You Love”. One of the elements of the talk stressed the importance of failure and the lessons learned from it. As we begin to grow and become more proficient in a subject, I believe we continue to strive for success and we work diligently to not fail. What that occurs, I think our growth ceases.

Folks I work with try and learn from situations that did not work out. An important failure I had early in my career was that my son told me to get out when making a pitch that suddenly heads south. I did not follow his advice.

In my presentation (the RFP was 50 pages), the interview was scheduled with two folks. Instead it turned out to be a team of five! I was terrible but instead of getting out of the interview, I forged ahead with my struggling presentation. It took me a year to get over it.

A few years later, I was asked by another company to put on a year program for 300 with 30 at a time in one day. I went into the interview with five people, performed well and won the project. This first failure was painful but it was the lesson that keeps giving.

Strengthen your Emotional Muscles

GiftSeth Godin also talked about ways we need to feed and stretch our emotional muscles mentioning that at least once a year he takes in a retreat and reads material to do just that.

I try at least twice a year to take a class or obtain another certification in a skill that will help me grow emotionally and observe life from another point of view. Last year, I became an international coach credentialed as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).

This year, I made time in my very hectic schedule to attend a digital marketing conference on artificial intelligence and the ways it is revolutionizing the field. Strengthening your emotional muscles will also help renew and energize your passion.

Confidence 101

voiceSelf-talk, experience and practice builds confidence. If everyone could take a magic pill or read a book to automatically give produce confidence it would still w not replace these three practices. Self-talk is critical because no matter how many times we practice, we need this inner voice to be on our side.

Barbra Streisand still needs to go thru a self-talk before she performs in front of an audience. Experience gives us memories we can retrieve from our history that guide us to what worked and didn’t work. This gives us confidence to be effective and make the right decisions.

Getting rid of stains – lipstick and wine

Ferrecci-Mens-Cream-Polyester-Blend-Shawl-Tuxedo-Jacket-P14151348aMy dad taught me the trick of soaking milk on a stain to remove it. It worked recently when a friend got lipstick on his collar at a cocktail party when someone missed kissing him on the check and the lipstick ended up on his collar! With milk, the stain disappeared in about three minutes. Club soda will also work. But milk is more effective due to the white bleaching effect.

How to use a tiny handbag

Miu-Miu-tiny-briefcaseTiny handbags are becoming more popular because of the smart phone which now can hold your credit cards. Small or tiny bags fit well into brief cases and can make everything easier to manage. You must have a shoulder strap when using it for business. Evening bags can have a short handle or wrist strap. My small bag holds a mini coach wristlet with credit cards, driver’s license and a few dollars along with my iPhone 6S and car keys. It also holds a fabric tote (folded up) to use if I want to carry purchases without getting another bag.