Monday, December 16, 2013

Sharp dressed man

The window guy comes in to bid and he says “you understand how this all works.”  The drywall texture company owner comes in and he references “you look like you know what you’re doing here.”  The stone guy visits and says he’s certain I’ll have the structure in place to hold the granite safely. 

For the last 3 weeks I’ve been working a home construction/renovation project and wearing clothes appropriate for the undertaking (painters pants, sweatshirt and very worn steel toed work boots).  Simply having this “look” gave me credibility with these contractors bidding jobs.  It also drove a slightly lower price.  Nonverbal communication is always important but this was a great reminder how what we wear gives us credibility whether we deserve it or not.  I can remember the opposite happening one time when I was shopping for a suit while wearing shorts, t-shirt and sandals.  No sales person would give me the time of day.

Leaders need to remember that everything they do and say is watched, interpreted and assessed by the team.  Nonverbal communication is often as important as verbal.  Whether it is your office arrangement, desk housekeeping, personal affects or dress code, they all tell a story. 

What nonverbal clues do you send?  Are you managing this or just letting it happen?


Cas Hill said...

For many years my son sold new and used cars. He has told me countless stories many times similar to the theme of your posting.

Abhrajit said...

Hi John ,

Wonderful blog ,, its so true ,, presenting self for the occasion is extremely important ,, in my little interaction with you in last 3 yrs in Hyderabad ,, this is one of the precious learnings i have ,,

Abhrajit De

Anonymous said...

your blog was very interesting , I remember a time Walter Haynes owner of Le Garden in Williams town was doing his own land scapeing witch he loved doing a new salesman can calling, Walter said can I help you and the man ignored him and walked past after finding out the guy outside was who he was looking for he had mud on his face and of course he didn't get any sales that day . that story has always stuck with me always be nice to the labors you never know who they really are.

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