#womenofsignificance Know How to Dress
Photos designed to make you delicious do not send a “take me serious” message. I’m not trashing casual. I’m not trashing a professional image created to show off your best face. I’m saying, your best face needs to be you, as a #womenofsignificance, not you as you are on date night with your husband.
For those who take umbrage with this, I say, our wardrobe is under scrutiny, whether we like it or not. We can be ourselves and still look professional. And we can let go, after hours, not during a business meeting. Right or wrong, the world holds women up to a higher standard.
I expect to receive a bit of backlash here, given that statement… but truth is truth and I will go to bat for the right of women’s wardrobes and hairdos NOT to be talking points, but I advise you as a career woman to know…the world will not give in to that battle this year. Maybe not next year, either. If you dress like a movie star on the stage of Crazy Housewives of Newark, you'll get the same attention they do. Is that what you want?
Take charge of your appearance and recognize that the world is watching.
Understand that you have a right to be strong, to stand tall, and to wear pretty things. Red lipstick is not a no-no. Wear it proudly, if it works with your entire wardrobe. But don't wear it because when you wet your lips you expect all eyes to be on them.
Your clothes, your hair, and yes, your makeup, are part of who you are, and we will discuss how to make them work for you, in another post. For today, I only ask that you chose them purposely and professionally.
Everything you do and say should shout that you are PRESENT – ready to “do that thing”.
Being Prepared Purposeful Persistent
To learn to be present, you must learn to be Prepared, Purposeful and Persistent.
BE PREPARED: Whether it’s a business meeting, a blog post, a retreat, or a networking event; no matter what it is, be prepared. YOU are designing the life you love, no one else is. Answer these questions ahead of time:
- Who? (is there or is going to be there?)
- Why? (are they there?)
- What is your role in being there?
- What do you bring to the conversation?
- Is the time you’ll be spending on this, time well spent? Is it necessary or can it be put off to another day or time?
- What will you do immediately following the event?
- Who will remember you? Who will you remember? Why?
BE PURPOSEFUL: Once you’ve outlined the answers to the questions above, it’s time to bring purpose to your presence at the event. Have these talking points ready:
- Your purpose: why you are there and what do you bring to the conversation?
- Your interest in them: why are they important?
- Your business cards; in an easily accessible place, not buried in your purse.
- Your best approach; show your confidence. A smile, good posture, attentiveness show confidence.
- Your listening skills; eye contact and occasionally repeating the speaker’s words back to him or her, shows you’re listening.
- Your plan – what is necessary to learn in order to follow up after the ‘event’, no matter what it is?
BE PERSISTENT: Too often women give up when given a cold shoulder or a slight nod, as someone moves away. Do not let that deter you! Here’s how to overcome the feeling that you are being ‘dismissed’ or not taken seriously:
- If one person seems uninterested, move on to the next. Never take a cold shoulder personally. You can come back to that person, at a later time. If you are prepared and purposeful, your very walk will show it. Expect that people will want to talk to you… that person who seemed disinterested will notice when you suddenly have a crowd around you!
- Be polite. Enthusiasm can get you in trouble if you let it rule you. Be enthusiastic, but only after you’ve been given permission to be so.
- If you do not get a chance to speak to the person/people you want to speak to, be politely assertive and get their business card. Make a note to send them a short but purposeful email the next day.
- SAY you will follow up in 24 hours. Say it out loud. Then, do it.
- Make friends with the people who are friends of the people you want to be friends with. Develop relationships with the wing man.
- Be patient. We are all in too big of a hurry, these days. Relationships take time to cultivate. Nurse them, treasure them, and allow them to blossom in their own time.
You have a dream. I can see it in your eyes. I can feel it in your handshake. I can hear it in your voice. It’s good to dream. Just know that… hoping your dream will someday come true, is folly. Hope, as a good man once told me, is not a plan.
Be present in your dream. Bring others into your dream. Build it, word by word, piece by piece, day by day. Give your dream the #significance it deserves. It will elevate you to becoming a #womanofsignificance .
I recommend watching our Smart Woman Conversation videos for more insight into becoming a #womanofsignificance All of the women in those videos were present and continue to be present in their dreams. You should be prepared to take notes.
Get on the Smart News mailing list. There's a freebie involved! It's going away soon...get it now.