Summertime is fast approaching: you’re starting to think about putting your feet up and putting those stresses at the office behind you. It’s also a great time to make an upgrade to your professional image while you’re in the office in between vacations. We’ve got some top tips for PR pros to create an impeccable professional image with both their company and network.
Undoubtedly, your professional image is imperative for your success. Entrepreneur cited a Princeton University study that states “people assess your competence, trustworthiness, and likeability in just a tenth of a second.” This begs the question, what can you do to make yourself look great and stand out as a PR pro?
A common misconception is that quick fixes for enhancing your reputation include answering emails at lightning speed, working yourself to the bone or scheduling meetings just for the sake of it. Unfortunately, these tactics don’t leave a lasting impression. There’re a lot more clever initiatives at your disposal that will ensure you become the PR pro you are meant to be.
1. Trust yourself.
According to Psychology Today, there’s a much better way to improve your professional reputation than the easy fixes listed above. It starts with building self-trust. Ironically, the way people around you view you isn’t that far removed from how you see yourself. Trusting in your abilities to do the job right will exude an air of confidence that your coworkers and boss will definitely notice. For example, when you believe in your ability to contribute to your team, you’ll have the confidence to pitch out-of-the-box ideas, and that initiative will take you far. Essentially, if you trust yourself, people around you are more likely to trust you too.
2. Guarantee a positive first impression.
Robert Lount, a professor at Ohio State University says, “First impressions matter when you want to build lasting trust.” Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy confirms this, saying “trustworthiness and confidence amount for 80 to 90% of the first impression.” There is more to creating a great first impression than simply how you dress for work— strong body language is also crucial. Kathryn J. Volin, author of ‘Buff and Polish: A Practical Guide to Enhance Your Professional Image and Communication Style” explains that “55% of our credibility is based on body language, including posture, gestures, and eye contact. Thirty-eight percent of our credibility is based on our voice and only 7% is based on our message.” Everything from your facial expressions and eye contact to a strong handshake and posture will make or break your first impression. You can either be seen as confident or shy depending on what body language you give off.
3. Never compromise your integrity.
Reputation is everything. Just because you landed the job at the company of your dreams doesn’t guarantee that you can rest on your laurels. You should be doing the right thing even when no one’s looking. You want to follow through on promises, be honest and avoid taking shortcuts. These principles are crucial to building a great reputation–when you hold yourself accountable and admit mistakes rather than pointing fingers, it puts you in a much better position to succeed. Ultimately, holding yourself to a high standard demonstrates leadership skills and a willingness to grow and be a positive contributor to the team.
4. Have a sense of urgency, but not in the way you think.
A sense of urgency doesn’t mean getting the assignment done the same day—unless of course that’s the deadline. Planning your day with a running to-do list and prioritizing your work for your company will enable you to avoid last-minute project emergencies. If you don’t know the answer on which projects to prioritize, it’s better to ask your team or your boss rather than guess. The more thoughtful questions you ask about your priorities in the beginning, the more efficient you will be throughout the project.
5. Improving your reputation for the long run.
As we mentioned before, people are constantly observing you—we’re an observant species after all. As Warren Buffet says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
According to Forbes, “Your actions plus what others say about you equals your reputation.” That being said, action is everything, so building your interpersonal skills will help you in creating a strong reputation within the team and obtain your professional goals.
These summer tips will set you apart from your peers and will resonate with your company and your network, enabling you to reach your professional goals in a way you couldn’t before. names, you know it when you see it.