Other Words for Image & Etiquette

VNC Image & EtiquetteWhen I am researching for articles, posts or material for VNC Image & Etiquette, I have many words that I will use in my search that are related.  I’ve included them here.  Let me know of words that you might think of and include them in the comments below.

Etiquette Manners Image
Wardrobe Style Fashion
Look Leadership Career
Success Civility Kindness
Courtesy Mentorship Career
Politeness Positivity Optimistic
Friendliness Thoughtfulness Respect
Self-esteem Confidence Congeniality
Social Grace Charm Protocol
Butler Poise Elegance
Class

A Business of Self-Esteem

VNC Image & Etiquette

I’ve been working for many (many, many) years towards getting a business off the ground. The vision began with a joke between a friend of mine and myself. We were both career counsellors at an employment agency and were commenting on the need for some of our clients to understand the importance of their attitude, wardrobe, manners and behaviour choices. We thought it would be funny to have our own etiquette business to teach these necessary but absent skills.

After some time and several clients later, I began to think it wasn’t so funny after all. In appointments, I heard atrocious language, saw unkempt hair, watched slouching individuals bite fingernails and sometimes I’d have to hold my breath to not inhale the “whatever-it-was” smoke that seemed to still be billowing from clothes. It occurred to me that some people did not realize how their choices were affecting those around them. Or that those same choices might be the cause of detrimental judgments that could hinder their prospects for jobs or even relationships.

It was then that I started to take that original joke between friends, more seriously. I enrolled in an image consultant certification course, invested in civility training workbooks and step-by-excruciating-step, I have put together VNC Image & Etiquette and I am (almost) ready to launch to the public.

In addition to my image and civility (etiquette) training, I am a certified career development practitioner and hold both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education degree. I understand that how one presents him/herself physically and behaviourally is essential to the pursuit of many goals – personal or professional. I have a special interest in honing youth and young adults’ leadership capabilities. This can help with the transition from high school to post secondary or from post secondary to career. I can also offer assistance to those who are looking to boost self-esteem or just need to freshen it up.

As a first step, I am offering a Leadership Workshop Series for youth ages 14 – 21.  More workshops will be coming and personal one-on-one services will be available to develop action plans with individuals depending on their needs.  I will also be available for speaking engagements.  Please contact me if you require further details on any of the above workshops or services.

Stay tuned …

Top 10 Most Gracious Celebrity Women according to me

These are women that I see as role models. They are women I’d like to have at my supper table and who I’d love to sit down and chat with. From what I know of them (and of course that is through the lens of the media) they exemplify the following characteristics:

Criteria:
• Often seen smiling
• Present positively
• Sense of humour
• Well – groomed
• Well dressed
• Courteous
• Humble
• Giving
• Authentic
• Not afraid to look silly
• Courageous
• Confident
• Grateful

10. Michelle Obama

Gracious Michelle Obama

9.  Kate Middleton

kate-middleton-716x1024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Queen Latifah

Queen-Latifah-590x442

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  Emma Stone

emma-stone-24599

 

 

 

 

 

6.  Meryl Streep

Meryl-Streep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Princess Diana

princess diana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen-Degeneres

3.  Maggie Smith

Maggie-smith-original

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Julie Andrews

julie-andrews_1628923c

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Audrey Hepburn

audrey

A Quick Thought About Your Impression

more business casual
Whether we like it or not, agree with it or not, judgments will be made about us. If we do not take into consideration how we look or act, these judgments may not be in our favour. Furthermore, these assumptions may not only be made about us but could be made about our positions, our departments and/or the organizations we work for. Therefore, it is very important to put thoughtful consideration into our appearance and behaviour.

How to Stand Out

Some people just stand out. At the grocery store, maybe it’s that one cashier that you always go to, or the guy in the suit standing next to you in line at the bank machine. For whatever reason, some people just “catch our eye”. What is about them? Are you one of those people? Not sure? Here are some things to consider if you want to “get noticed”:

1. Posture – Memorable people walk, stand and sit with their heads up and shoulders back. They are looking forward and don’t shy away from making eye contact with anyone in their path. It’s easy to blend into a crowd with your head down or shoulders slumped. Good posture sends the message that you are confident.

2. Eye Contact – Eye contact is crucial. When someone looks into my eye when I am talking, it lets me know they are listening. If they are talking, I can pick up on other communicative clues. Either way, I want to share in a conversation when someone is looking at me. No eye contact and I will probably loose interest or assume the other party is not that interested in me.

3. Conversation Initiator – I feel as though I’m the conversation starter usually so when someone starts a conversation with me, I take notice. I realize that this can be intimidating for many but it’s amazing who you may end up speaking to or what you end up speaking about. I have landed jobs because I was the one who said “hi” to the right person.

4. Dress Well – How you dress can say a lot about you. It doesn’t take a tonne of money either. Ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it”? It’s absolutely true. Pay attention to trends and pick clothes that fit you well. If you don’t know what your colour season is, it might be a worthy investment to find this out. Wearing the “right” colours can take you from looking “okay” to looking “FABULOUS”.

5. Be Well-Groomed – This is critical. A person who is well-dressed but doesn’t comb her hair, trim his nails, or shower, stands out for the wrong reasons. When I am “people-watching”, the notable ones have well-coiffed hair, usually finished with some hair product, have nicely manicured nails and smell great.

6. Walk with purpose – I mentioned that posture is important when walking but so is the way you walk. Scuffing or dragging your feet can give the wrong impression. When walking amongst a crowd, it’s a good idea to keep up with the pace. Just like with driving, a slow walker may annoy those behind him who are trying to maintain a steady gate. Those who rush and weave in and out of other walkers can be an annoyance as well.

7. Smile – Smiling just draws attention on its own. It makes people feel happy. It makes you feel happy. People want to be around people who are happy. Remember that. People will notice you if you are smiling. And sometimes, even when you feel the furthest from smiling, forcing yourself to do so can start the process of turning things around so that eventually, you aren’t forcing yourself anymore. Your natural smile just comes through. I always loved that song from the musical, Annie: “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”.

7 Things Successful Students Do

When I was first making the transition  from high school to university (many years ago now), I signed up for a summer “warm-up” program to help ease the anxiety of moving to the next stage in my life.  One of the workshops I attended was an overview of what to expect in a university class versus a high school class.  There were some valuable tips I picked up in the seminar that helped me survive as a student and I wonder what would have happened if I didn’t take it.  How did the other students make it if they didn’t attend that seminar like I did?  Many of those tips have stuck with me and I still practice them when attending professional development workshops and classes.  Here are some:

1.   Go to class –  For many, post-secondary is the first time living away from home.  Being regarded as an adult and expected to make decisions for oneself can be very exciting.  But choosing to party all night and skip class the next day can be a costly mistake.  It’s difficult to absorb information and get to know your classmates and instructors if you don’t make it to class.  Often, instructors will put questions on exams that pertain only to notes and discussions they hold in class.

2.  Come to class early There are a few reasons why this an important one.  Firstly, if you are early then you will have time to go over notes and feel prepared for the lecture.  Secondly, you can strike up a conversation with your instructor to reinforce understanding of class content and ask questions.  Lastly, even if you do not stand out as an early bird, it is better than standing out as a late-comer.

3.  Sit close to the front – As a student who often elected to sit at the back during high school, I realized a huge difference in my marks when I started to sit at the front.  I was less likely to be distracted since I was in proximity to the instructor.  I could hear better, see better and participate more when I wasn’t separated by several rows of students.  I also didn’t have any students to hide behind so I was more likely to stay engaged since the instructor could see me.

4.  Make eye contact with your instructor –  You will find when you make eye contact with the instructor and gesture that you are genuinely listening to what he/she has to say, they will start to look to you for clues of understanding.  This will help you build rapport with him/her and you will probably find you are more engaged when that happens.  It will also make it more comfortable for you to ask questions or approach him or her at another time should you have questions or need assistance.

5.  Be prepared – Do your homework and readings.  This will allow you to be engaged during class and contribute to discussions.  You’d be surprised how much easier it is to pay attention when you understand what is being presented.  If you don’t understand, you will feel more confident to ask questions if you have at least attempted to read or understand the homework.  You will also find it far  easier to build a relationship with your instructor when you show him/her that you are putting in the effort.

6. Participate – Nothing makes an instructor more happy than when they have a student who participates in class.  Ask questions, start discussions.  This is when the real learning takes place.  When you start a discussion, you not only let the instructor know that you have been doing the readings, but you are able to engage other learners and learn from them and their perspectives.  Not-to-mention, this will help to reinforce the concepts learned from class and homework.

7.  Be respectful – The classroom is not the place to snooze, text, listen to your favourite tunes on your iPod, change your Facebook status or tell the person next to you how great the party was on the weekend while the instructor is talking.  Some instructors may allow time for such activities but don’t take advantage.  Remember, you are there to learn and so is everyone else.

Pick Up Your Feet

I try to keep an open-mind about people.   One thing that drives me crazy and tends to make me judge quickly is the sound of someone dragging his/her feet when walking.  Perhaps the person harbours an injury and cannot fully pick up his feet. Or maybe she has traipsed through snow and accumulated so much ice on the bottom of  her shoe that it’s physically difficult for her to manage the extra weight.  These could be legitimate reasons for that irritating sound but what I tend to think when I hear foot-scuffing  is one of 3 things: laziness, low self-esteem or disrespect; not sought-after qualities.

In my experience working for an Ontario college, I most commonly witness the foot-dragging with students in the halls as they make their way to class often with Blackberry’s in hand and paying no attention to who is around them.  They don’t seem to care where they are going, who is in their path and or even if they get there at all.  Like I said, I try to keep an open-mind about people but if this is what I am thinking, I guarantee there are others making the same assumptions. These others could be future in-laws, employers, business associates or life partners who dismiss the extremity-shuffling culprits without giving them the chance to make a case for themselves.

If you are one who doesn’t pick up your feet, you need to ask yourself if you feel you should be placed in the same category as the lazy, meek and/or disrespectful.  If not, why give yourself the opportunity to be misjudged?  Pick up your feet when you walk – walk with a purpose.  Hold your head up and show the world you know where you are going and how to get there.