Beyond the way you dress, a critical success factor in the workplace or anywhere two or more people converge to achieve a purpose, better still anywhere there is human interaction is; the way you address people.
I have said it several times, and I will say it again, “Image is everything.” In the community you belong to, how do the people you interface with frequently percieve you? One of the several ways to get answers is to stop and ponder on how you address people. Many have fallen for the notion that Image is all about dressing, I wonder where they got that from? As important as dressing is in determining a individual’s Image quotient, it cannot on its own deliver the final package of a strong and positive image without the introduction of other important ingredients one of which is the focus of my discuss today.
Every time you relate with people, you unconsciously leave them with an experience, and these experiences ultimately forms the basis of the image they form of you, unfortunately, the experience might not be a true representation of who you truly are, as it might just be circumstantial, e.g. you might just be having a bad day. But someone might have gone away with a wrong impression of you based on what they experienced of you in that particular moment. In as much as it could be practically impossible to have perfects moment with everybody you meet in life. I believe it is possible to gradually minimize the negative impressions that could be formed of you by simply minding your moments. Allow me share a personal experiences with you:
I was invited to be a guest on a T.V talk-show, and on getting there, these are the things that happened; the other guests and I had to wait for almost an hour after the scheduled time just to be called on set. Also, we were not properly briefed on how the show would run, the host just came on set and asked for our names and just started the show without even saying “Hello” to any one of us. We have questions thrown as us and I must say we did a good job at tackling the questions. Recording lasted for almost two hours, and then the host gave final thought on the issues we had discussed, signed off and just walked away. We were left sitting there on set in a state of shock, and of course trying not to let it show, and then in came a lady who handed us a Nylon carrier bag each containing Take-away fried rice and Chicken, a medium sized pack of fruit juice and a bottle of water which made the whole experience feel like a big insult… The host did not even deem it fit to say hello, or at least apologize for keeping us waiting for over an hour before bringing us on set, then you have you way with us during the recording and afterwards, you just walk away without saying thank you for making out time to be on your show which we never asked to be on in the first place, and finally treating us as thought the agreement was that we would at least be given some food after the whole encounter. I complained about the way and manner we were treatment, and till date no apology has been issued by the host of that show. Oh! Here is the joke; I was called about a week later by one of the people working for the host, asking me for sponsorship support. Can you beat that? You don’t need to be a Rocket Scientist to know my answer.
Lessons: Despite the celebrity image the TV show host possessed, and the ratings he or she had in my mind before the encounter, the image vanished and ratings crashed, simply because the moment was not properly managed. If I, who was possibly the least prominent of all the guests invited on that show that day feel this way, imagine what the others felt, and what impression the Host would have made on them, based the manner with which we were treated, or addressed. Long story cut short, we all left that studio feeling violated, and that feeling cannot be easily shaken off. MIND HOW YOU ADDRESS PEOPLE!
Here are a few points that might be helpful to bear in mind as we together work towards creating positive impressions by going the extra mile to watch how we address people.
1. Have a balanced and healthy opinion of yourself: An over-estimation or under-estimation of self would reflect on how you address other people, and strongly inform the kind of impression they form of you. Balance is the keyword here.
2. Place value on people: If you place value on people, it would show in the way you relate to them, most importantly, you would be addressing them based on the value you see and not any other measurement.
3. Never be in a hurry to judge any one (BOD: Benefit of doubt)
4. There is a reason for every action or reaction. Take a closer look. Probe deeper! : For instance, my experience shared above could have happened because of a series of events I may never know about until I probe deeper. But the question is this; how many people have the time to probe deeper? Not many. Therefore for your sake and the sake of your Image, do your best possible not to leave things to chance. Do your best to be at your best!
5. Consider these Rules: Treat people the way they want to be treated. Treat people the way you want to be treated.