A note from the Insource Family:
In these challenging times for all of us, we still wanted to share our next Insource Key with you. These keys are core to our company culture and it is our hope that you find some value in the article during this time. Be safe and stay healthy.
Growing up in the South, my Momma always told me “Don’t judge a book by its cover” – and there is a lot of truth in that instruction when it comes to people’s character. But your appearance does matter, because we all form opinions and make judgments about people based on what we see… just like our clients, co-workers, and friends do. Think about some of these sayings:
- “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
- “They sure look the part.”
- “He/She passes the ‘eye test’.”
According to good old Webster, here are a few definitions of “appearance”:
a: external show: SEMBLANCE Although hostile, he preserved an appearance of neutrality.
b: outward aspect: LOOK had a fierce appearance
c: appearances plural: outward indication trying to keep up appearances
So what look are you projecting at work: Professional? Trustworthy? Engaged? Organized? Successful? Appearance can apply to what we wear, personal grooming, our body language, and even how we maintain our work space.
At the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump: “Momma always said, ‘Clothes don’t make the man’. And that is true – but you can and should “dress to impress” by wearing clean, neat clothing that is appropriate for your work site. Many companies, Insource included, have branded shirts of different colors and styles with their company logo to help portray a comfortable yet professional image. When it comes to clothing, simple things go a long way: wear clothes that fit well, tuck your shirt in, wear a belt to help keep your pants up, and wear appropriate shoes.
Nicely styled hair, and for men - clean shaven or well-trimmed facial hair - shows people you care about yourself and take pride in how you look. It is an image that can help convey confidence and professionalism.
Take the two pictures below for example. Who would you rather be associated with, work for, or do business with? (Careful on your comments ☺)
What you wear and how you wear it can say a lot about you – good or bad. If you don’t believe me, try making a few changes and see what happens. Don’t know where to start? Ask a close friend, a mentor, or co-worker who will give you honest feedback.
And, if nothing else sticks with you, just remember the wisdom of ZZ Top: “Every girl’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man”. (And in non-gender, politically correct terms: ‘everyone is crazy about a sharp dressed person’)
Appearance goes beyond just what we wear. Appearance also applies to our physical environment: our work areas like your office or desk. It can be just as important as your personal appearance.
Appearance counts in our workplace too. Since we are talking appearance – I will let the pictures speak for themselves. What do these work spaces say to you?
For Insource, a clean desk, or a well-organized work space reinforces our commitment to 5S, to safety, and ultimately to performance. It is hard to imagine that a client or co-worker would see the desk in Figure 1 and think: “I can count on this person…”
Have you ever thought about what your car says about you? I don’t mean what kind of car you drive, but rather how you maintain it, regardless of what you drive. Is it clean? Taken care of? Many of you may use your car for work and take clients or co-workers to lunch. Which car would you rather ride in?
In addition to our physical appearance and work environment, there is another more subtle area to be aware of: non-verbal communication or body language.
Your body language, or non-verbal communication can say a lot about you, too. In Sales, we look for signals from body language as we discuss solutions and negotiate deals. Several books and articles have been written on body language and it can be a complex subject. If you want more information – check out this link for a short video and good article on body language:
I would simply remind you to smile. A smile goes a long way in welcoming someone, projecting a positive attitude, and reducing tension (And, remember not to slouch - my Momma reminded me of that often).
Final Thought: “Esse Quam Videri”
The motto for the great State of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is, “Esse Quam Videri”, which is Latin for “To be, rather than to seem”.
Appearances do matter, but don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself: appropriately dressed, well groomed, neat and organized, and… don’t forget the smile!
About the Author
Wayne Davis is the VP of Sales and Business Development at Insource. He has been with the company for a collective 10 years. Wayne has 25 years of Sales and Management experience in Consulting, Staffing, and Performance-based workforce solutions. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Wayne has served on the board for APICS Triangle and his local Rotary Club while coaching his three children in baseball and basketball.
Insource is a national provider of labor solutions and has been making a difference in manufacturing and distribution operations for over 20 years. To learn more about Insource and how we can make a difference within your operations, check out our website www.insourceperforms.com or contact Wayne Davis, VP of Sales at 919.675.5884 for more information.