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Dear %FIRSTNAME%,

Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. We hope that you will find a lot of value from it and be sure to forward it to your friends and colleagues.

Do you wonder why you have not risen beyond a certain level in your workplace after years of service and added qualifications? Do you wonder why you walk by unnoticed while the other person gets all the compliments and is called upon most times to handle sensitive and lucrative assignments? Do you often feel inadequate when it is quite obvious that you are the best worker in your office? If yes to any of these questions, you are missing something! This month’s newsletter has a self assessment test to get you to be a force to be reckoned with. As always I hope you find these tips useful and continue to let us know your thoughts.

With best regards,

Derek Bbanga

Take a Self Assessment of your Professional Brand

Do you really know what others in your professional world think of you, even after years of working with them? Do you have a sense of how other people view you when they first meet you? Do you realize what messages, spoken and unspoken, you are sending every single day? Have you thought about this?

Have a look at the following ten areas you need to assess about yourself:

1. How is your personal hygiene and dress?
Do you appear clean, neat, and well put together? Are you shoes shined? Is your hairstyle regularly maintained? Are the outfits you choose to wear appropriate for the occasion and the setting? Is your makeup attractive but subtle?

2. How professional is your speech?
This includes your choice of words, tone, volume, and speed. Do you use slang, profanity? What is your of tone; Friendly? Considerate? Sincere? Are you too loud or too soft? Too fast or too slow?

3. Are you competent?
This concerns your state of alertness, the quality of your verbal contributions, your ability to engage, your talent for responding appropriately.

4. What does your body language say?
Your facial expressions, mouth position, eye contact, how you sit or stand, and your degree of comfort in your personal space all tell people a lot about you.

5. Are you approachable?
Are you someone people want to talk to, ask questions of, get input from? Do they see a relaxed body with a smiling face?

6. Are you interested in others?
Do you show genuine interest in the other person when speaking with her? Do you ask questions to draw her out? Do you empathize with her concerns? Avoid the mistake of making it all about you.

7. How confident are you?
This is expressed through your eyes, facial expression, body stance, style of dress, and how you talk. Do you stand tall, look people in the eye, smile, appear comfortable in your own skin? Does your voice sound welcoming and your words offer something of value?

8. What of you character and integrity?
Do you come across as trustworthy, good, genuine? In general, they must believe you tell the truth and strive to do what is right in all of life's circumstances. They need to know that you don't wear different faces to suit different people in different situations.

9. Are you likeable?
Do people view you as off-putting because you're overly critical, frequently angry, overbearingly rude, distastefully self-centered?

10. Are you credible?
How many people in your life take you seriously? Do you follow up on what you say you're going to do, speak your mind directly but diplomatically, add value to conversations,? Are you conscious of your impact on others? Do you ask others for their ideas, communicate concern for the world around you?

Mentions and articles

Read my article on alcohol and business in the latest issue of KIM Management magazine

See my article on civility in the workplace in The Edition magazine

Click here for my mention by the Emily Post Institute on top tips for the professional man

Catch the latest edition of the business magazine Corporate Intelligence for my one-on-one interview on why image and personal branding matters

In the last month we have worked with:

  • Chase Bank
  • Call Key Networks
  • Kenya Alliance of Insurers
  • Kenya Institute of Management
  • Open Society Initiative of East Africa

About Public Image

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Public Image has a unique approach to building individual and corporate achievement. Business etiquette, creating a positive image though posture and dress, soft skills, communication proficiency, personal branding and networking expertise are key elements in the Public Image approach to developing professional skills.

Projecting a positive image for business will give you an edge in today's competitive market

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Influencing the meeting through where you sit

Did you know that with carefully planned business seating arrangements, you can actually cleverly manipulate the meeting in the direction of your desired outcome?

Here are a few tips;

When chairing a meeting, the power position in a meeting being held at a rectangular table is always in the center facing the door, where the person can see who is coming and going. When someone comes in late they cannot sneak in as immediately they step into the room their eyes will meet yours.

If seeking to ask for funds or make a suggestion the most cooperative position is next to the decision maker because there are no barriers in between. The next most cooperative position is, with the corner of the table between you and the decision maker. It allows two people to be close while still having the corner of the table as a safety zone.

If you are chairing a meeting of a group of people where you expect there may be two or three people who are all opposed to something you need to discuss, a good way of diffusing the situation somewhat is to seat them all on the same side of the table but a few spaces away from each other. This is because it will prevent eye contact between them being established which is often used to instigate a hostile debate instead of a fair discussion of a particular issue.

The most competitive position is directly across from each other. The table is a barrier and people may become competitive and defensive when seated across from each other. When tabling a suggestion or asking for funds, this is a position to avoid.

Putting chairs in a circle encourages equal contributions. A horseshoe will recognize and emphasize people at the head of the table. Theater seating or side-by-side gives the group the impression that they are there to listen not to talk.

In a training situation, you can use circles for small group discussions, a horseshoe for workshops led by internal or external experts and theater seating for a keynote presentation. When you add a raised speaking platform, you are giving special status to the speaker, as well as reduce interaction, setting up more of a barrier between the speaker and the audience.

When looking at making seating arrangements for a business gathering of one sort or another, the number of people attending and whether the meeting is formal or informal will often dictate the style of table and the way in which you seat your guests. Other things to consider include whether there will be a leader at the meeting and if it’s only really going to be that person who will be doing the majority of the talking or whether you’re looking for more involvement and interaction between all of those who are present at the meeting. In that case, for example, a round table is much more appropriate. Other things you might wish to think about when it comes to seating certain people is if you have a special guest or new business contacts you’re trying to impress or if you think certain issues that are going to be discussed are likely to cause conflict between certain people who are going to be attending

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Is your company planning a training event, a sales retreat, or team building? Contact Public Image for a keynote speaker www.publicimageafrica.com or derek.bbanga@publicimageafrica.com

Are you looking for a Corporate Emcee for your event – do get in touch.

Office location: 1st Floor at Luther Plaza, Nyerere Rd.

Follow the publicimage blog at publicimageafrica.blogspot.com

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Public Image Inc. - Nairobi, Kenya. Ph +254 724 416 442