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This month's newsletter brings you some tips to ensure you influence through your image. As always I hope you find these tips useful and continue to let us know your thoughts. In addition to our corporate programs we are also running a series of one-on-one trainings on the weekends at our offices on our various modules.
With best regards,
Influence With Colour Psychology
"What a strange power there is in clothing" noted Nobel-Prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer
Being well dressed is certainly one of the components to help you to climb the corporate ladder. Research shows that image matters: 55% of the impact we make depends on how we look and behave, 38% on how we speak, and only 7% on what we actually say. A confident, able, professional image is a requirement in the business world.
But what about the color of your clothing does this matter? Is wearing a white shirt with a blue tie going to help you get that deal over wearing a blue shirt with a black tie? Think about it…you are more formal towards the person in a dark navy outfit than to the one dressed in beige! Color can affect our reactions to people. Color sways perception, judgment and behavior. Different colors evoke different emotions.
Because these feelings are due to the physical effects of color on the body, everybody will have the same subconscious reaction, despite the fact that people have individual color likes and dislikes.
The emotional effects of color can be used to psychological advantage in everyday life, particularly at work to improve and manage interpersonal relationships. It can even create a persona – a desired image. One of the easiest ways to employ color psychology is through clothing color. Wearing particular colors will influence the way others relate to you.
Hear are some tips on how to dress to influence with color.
You enter a situation wanting people to know you mean business. You speak like a leader. Do you look like one?
Wear dark colors, in particular black, charcoal, medium to dark gray, midnight-blue, navy, dark blue. The darker the shade the more powerful, intimidating and threatening the effect.
Appear friendly and approachable
Wear clear earth tones, light yellow and clear colors in warmer hues: mid-brown, beige, camel, peach and tan are warm, friendly and approachable. They are non-threatening and open, particularly if they are light.
Wear rich but subtle sophisticated colors (not strong or neon colors) such as camel, butternut, burgundy, salmon and blue-gray:
To suggest efficiency, strength and assertiveness, give an impression of commitment and capability wear medium to dark colors, in particular men’s traditional suiting colors: navy, charcoal, gray, dark blue, gray-beige, black. One will appear serious and are therefore business-like.
Wear bright, advancing colors such as orange-red, orange, yellow and lime that are visually and psychologically compelling (but not necessarily business-like).
Appear calm and reassuring
Wear pastels, green. Pastel colors are unassuming, quiet and diplomatic, calmly deflecting criticism. Green is a balanced color which gives the impression of peacefulness and orderliness. Muted warm colors such as earth tones are centered and down-to-earth.
Know your audience and dress accordingly. Manage the impression you give. Color psychology is a simple but very effective tool to create or enhance your image!
Tipping is not a city in China
Lets face it we live in a culture where tipping is not the order of the day. Ok, so maybe we’ll give the security guy 20 bob for looking after our vehicle in town but generally for most services tipping or leaving a gratuity is never considered. So where did the practice come from and why should we do it at all? It’s said that "the tip" came from an innkeepers sign “To Insure Promptness". There was a box just inside the establishment. When customers deposited a few coins, they received their drinks or food faster. So then, does it mean that we will never receive good service if we don't pay "extra"? Is this a practice connived to bribe service providers to give faster and better service to particular people and not to others? And if so what is the difference between a bribe and a tip? I think it’s as simple as this; a tip is usually a monetary thank you for a service provided in an exceptional manner. A bribe is an exchange made in advance of an exchange or provision of service. In short when the payment occurs if you hand over the cash BEFORE the service is provided, it's a bribe. If after the service is provided, it’s a tip.
The tip in my opinion is not only a sign of appreciation for the services rendered to you but also has motivational connotation to it. Whether at a restaurant, a shoe shop, or the parking lot a show of reward for any service given to you should be offered. Though not compulsory, those who have utilized the practice of tipping have reaped the benefits of extra special attention and care.
So when and where should it be done? And who receives the tip? Well, any person who extends a service to you should receive a tip, be it at the local barber shop or salon, your friendly pub waiter or waitress, the dial-a-delivery guy, taxi driver, the list goes on. The tip is offered immediately the service has been rendered and you have found it satisfactory. This is not to say that if it isn't then you shouldn't offer anything, by all means DO tip. The differentiation will be the amount given - more for exceptional service and less for service that is found wanting. Another point to note is that the percentages of your tips should not change because of the cost of the service. Let's take a hair dresser, for example. Of course, you can always tip on the lower end of 10 to 15%. (see the guide below). But if you are going to a more expensive salon, then it is assumed that you can still afford to tip the hairdresser at the desired percentage. Also tip those who serve you all year long or with whom you have a personal relationship at Christmas time.
Whom we have worked with in the last month
- The African Population and Health Research Center
- African Agricultural Technology Foundation
- FM radio (Mombasa)
- Chase Bank
- Dolphins Training and Consultants
- Hass Petroleum
About Public Image
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
Business card etiquette – easy guidelines
Tips in using business cards to increase your chances of landing a job or creating a business opportunity;
Never leave home without them.
Your cards should be no less than clean and neat.
Ensure lasting impression by choosing the right moment.
Be generous, give business cards out to everyone.
Ask for referrals when giving a business card.
Use proper business card etiquette.
The business world is a world that has the culture of its own. Business cards are internationally recognized as a means of introduction and information exchange but in many cultures they are also seen as a representation of the individual. The basic etiquette rule is to present your card in the best manner in which you would present yourself.
Always have a good supply of cards. You will be expected to present them to business contacts -- sometimes more than once in the interest of good manners. If you have to dig out your mobile phone to take their contact or ask someone to ‘flash’ you their phone number, you really are diminishing your business brand and professionalism. When you do have your business cards on you, ideally you want to present them in a nice business card case. Work with what your budget allows but a nice leather or even metal card case should keep the cards in good condition. It should be easily accessible from your jacket or bag, open and close well without spilling out your cards. To be more professional you probably want to avoid keeping them in your wallet where they are likely to get dog eared or frayed or worse still wrapped in a rubber band!
After the event
Once the function is over, jot down information on the back of all the cards – where you met the person, the date and perhaps one thing that struck you about them or your own personal observation. This practice is great for recalling someone if you go to your business card holder and are struggling to remember when and where you met them. For those you have developed a deeper business relationship with add additional details like what you talked about and when to get in touch with them again. Sometimes I even rank them or assign a number depending on how warm or cool a business prospect they are. In all cases try to drop the person an email or even a personal note telling them how much you enjoyed meeting them. As for your own cards my assumption is that all your pertinent contact and social media details are on the front of the card. If you are an entrepreneur or run your own business think about having your elevator speech on the back of the card as a further reminder about what your good at. A final tip – resist spamming the email addresses from every card you received with your products or services, it is considered poor business etiquette.
A guide for tipping
There may be instances where a tip should not be offered at all. These include restaurants that give a service charge in the bill. This charge is normally a substitute for the tip and is divided equally amongst the staff at the end of the month over and above their wages. The rules also have it that a tip should not be offered when the person delivering the service is the owner or proprietor of the establishment.
If wondering how much to tip here’s a rough and quick guide for typical services:
- Hair dressers and barbers: 10 to 15 percent of the bill
- Waiters 5 to 10 percent of the bill, 15 percent and above for excellent service.
- Car wash attendants 10 to 15 percent of the cost
- Security guards 30 to 50 shillings
- Security guards at home or work (at Christmas) 2 weeks to one month’s pay
- House help, domestic help, nanny, cook, gardener etc (at Christmas) 2 weeks to one month’s pay
- Hotel concierge 300 to 1500 shillings either upon arrival or departure for any special services performed
- Delivery person 30 to 50 shillings
- Facial, spa treatment or any personal grooming service 10 to 15 percent of the bill unless instructed not to tip
- Tour guide driver 400 to 1000 shillings per day
- Golf caddies 15-20 percent of the greens fees for eighteen holes
- Parking attendant 20-50 shillings
- Shoe shine attendant 20-50 shillings
- Taxi driver 5 to 10 percent of the fare
- Personal tutors, instructors, teachers, etc (at Christmas) a small gift
- Porters at the airport, bus stage or railway 50 to 100 shillings per bag
And there you have it, your own tipping guide for the next time you have something done for you. Tipping may be discretionary, but neither is it a city in China so embrace the benefits of a happy service provider.
(this article appeared in KIM Management Magazine)