You’ve seen them. If you have to work with them it’s embarrassing. It’s the security guard that is inattentive. They spend more time on the phone (cell phones included) than observing what’s around them. It’s the security guard that looks like their uniform is 3 sizes too large or too tight. It’s the one whose hair would be considered “ghetto” no matter where they lived. Appearance matters in a profession where you don’t wear your own clothes.
Is it important? I think it is. It says a lot about the person.
Nobody expects you to be packaged into something you are not, but your appearance is a reflection of your own self-esteem. You should aim to present yourself to your best possible advantage. If you are in a uniform, you are representing an organization. Personal appearance is an often disregarded part of communication and presentation skills.
It is you that the other person, group or audience sees first. This happens before you have time to open your mouth and give an account of yourself. There are certain assumptions, both consciously and subconsciously, that have been made.
Visual impact is at least as important as verbal impact, people will very quickly make assumptions based on your facial expressions, how you wear your uniform and how well groomed you are in addition to your body language.
Positive and Negative Body Language
Positive body language includes:
Maintaining eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking.
Smiling (if appropriate) but especially as a greeting and when parting.
Sitting squarely on a chair, leaning slightly forward (this indicates you are paying attention).
Nodding in agreement.
A firm handshake.
Presenting a calm exterior.
Negative body language includes:
Not looking at a person when speaking.
Tapping a foot, fingers etc.
Rocking backwards and forwards.
Continually clearing your throat.
Fiddling with hair, ear lobes, jewelry, jacket, glasses, etc.
Picking at fingers or finger nails.
Repeatedly looking at your watch or a clock in the room.
Standing too close to others.
Inattention to a person who is speaking.
If you don’t want to be taken for a joke on your job, take yourself seriously. Show some pride in yourself. Respect goes both ways. Everyone can’t be the President or the CEO of a billion dollar business but you are the CEO of YOU, Inc. You are really self employed unless you are in government service (military, government worker).
Check out what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said about being a “Street Sweeper.”
This week on the Kenn Blanchard Show podcast, I talked about the importance of appearance in uniform with my friend Ted Deeds of the Law Enforcement Alliance of America. Also on this podcast episode AMC’s The Walking Dead recap of Season 6, episode 13 – “Same Boat”. and the cover of a Willie Nelson song.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the force behind BlackManWithAGun.com, founder of Blanchard.Media and the SpeaklifeChurch.net