Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass

Is your Personal Image working for or against you?

May 05, 2022 Jon Michail Season 1 Episode 35
Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass
Is your Personal Image working for or against you?
Show Notes Transcript

Image is perception. It's an idea formed in someone else’s mind. And the truth is that everything starts with our Personal Image: appearance, first impression, communication. So the big question is: how do you evaluate yours?

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Podcast Editor and Producer: Ana Carolina Alves 

Additional Voice: Charles The Voice 

Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)


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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of Image Group International and an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies, and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques, and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image, and reputation.

Hi, everybody, great to have you here today. Before we started our chat icon, we asked you to write the show on Apple Podcasts. Once you've done that, please send us an email confirmation. And we will send you our ebook the real world guide to authentic personal brand new shoes. So now let's start the show been a big election year, specifically in Australia, this month, we decided to do the image month where we will talk about the four aspects of your image. And it will include your personal image, political image, and career image that's essential. And of course, your business image assumes you also own a business. So today's topic will focus specifically on personal image. But first, let's explore the concept of image. What is it? 

Well, there are many different definitions of this. But let's keep it simple. It's all about what you project consciously and unconsciously it's so it's what people see. That provides others with the impression of you. So the question you have to ask is, and this is a question that people rarely ever ask, in my experience, is my image working for me? Or working against me? And let me explain. People think basically, in most cases, their image might be working. And the reason for that is, obviously, most people will not question that, in most cases, because you know, can get confronting, but also, you know, people only know what they know. So if you don't know about something, you will not know something that's not working for you, unless it's been sort of highlighted to you brought to your attention. So as I mentioned earlier, images of perception, it is an ideas formed in someone else's mind. So what that means is, doesn't matter if it's true, it's a perception. And if a perception of someone else's mind is true for them? Well, it's actually truth specifically in that situation. So it's up to us then to work out. Okay, if that's how my image has been perceived. Now, I might have some choices if I'm up for it, to see how it can make it look different, and potentially even transform. So what makes it so important? Why is it so important is we live in a world where first impressions are virtually everything? And it's just the way human beings are. We are visual animals. So we quickly make a lot of decisions, people would argue the first five seconds of having met somebody. Now that doesn't mean if you, you know, stuff it up, you can correct it. But my take on all of that is why stuffed up, why not get it right in the first place. 

You know, life gives us enough hurdles to jump over. So I have another one. And this is essential because as I mentioned at the start, image plays a part in all aspects of your life. And if you ever hear anybody that says it doesn't, while they're either ignorant, or they are calling you, because image matters, you wouldn't have the most powerful people on the planet from, you know, wealthy billionaires to pacifically powerful politicians to influential NGOs not putting effort into this area, if it didn't work. So since we are talking about the importance of personal image today, I believe it's essential to focus a little bit more on first impressions. And as I mentioned earlier, first impressions count. So how do you make them count? Well, we'll go into that. It is also why you should manage every moment of the first meeting, especially if people have not met you before. After all, as I mentioned earlier, you might not get a second chance to make a winning first impression, because it all happens in the first five seconds or so. So why give to a chance, an opportunity where you can really make a difference. So explaining, you know what all this means is, of course, people, you know, always have a first impression of us, okay? As we also have a first impression of them, we make judgments, human beings are judgmental animals, they just make judgments the way why. So we make judgments about everything about people's personalities, their temperaments level of sophistication, their social standing, even in an egalitarian society, people judge you, it's the way it is. And doesn't matter how many laws that were created that say you can't do that. Basically, people do, you know, laws will not stop people, at least thinking that or in this case, perceiving it, and how do you make these judgments? Well, by initially observing them, and then you observe behaviours, and of course, then also nonverbal communication, from a body language point of view, dress, point of view, grooming point of view, etc. 

So all these things matter, you know, and getting them right, is important, especially if you have some self-pride. You know, as you all know, listening to me, over time, when I talk about image, I'm talking about standards, you know, what are your standards to be seen as well class, in all aspects of your life. And that's a choice you have to make. But certainly, that's the motivation. That's the inspiration. That's the mission of the work that we do. So as we can appreciate, everything starts with a personal image. Appearance, we mentioned first impressions, and of course, their communication style, meaning, you know, the tone, and how we bring up the words that we communicate. And we know, again, in the historically well known Moravian study around communication, it was right to that words, specifically around the right around five per cent, the way we communicate words, how we carry ourselves, etcetera, was rated, you know, how we bring out the words was rated 38%. And the final 55%, was how we looked and how we carried ourselves. And that's where body language and physiology came into it. So the big question is, you know, how do you evaluate your personal image? 

Well, you can do that in different ways. Of course, you can ask friends, you can ask colleagues, the problem with all of that is, of course, if you're going to do that, is as somebody that you really trust, that's number one, but also that you respect. Okay, so there's no point trusting, you know, asking somebody that you trust, but has no understanding of, you know, any of this or even their own personal image doesn't, right, right, because then the some of the feedback is going to be a little bit, maybe wishy-washy. So it's important that you get that, and I'm sure there are some people in your life that would fit that criterion. And, of course, generally, also, after that, you know, definitely, you might need to see a professional. And that's essential. If you think this could make a difference, especially when it comes to a business career, and personal image, including politicians, and successful, powerful people on the planet, use professional services because, from a professional point of view, you're gonna get objective feedback, there really has nothing to do with ego, and it has something and certainly not personal dynamics, and has something to do about getting the job done. So when you are ready for that, that's certainly available. If you really want to look at your image. And yes, you probably will want to change something. After all, you're not going to go down this track, if you're not thinking of actually changing something, because we are all in constant revolution. But I must warn you if you have the courage because you do need some courage to closely look at yourself. At times, it can be challenging, depending on what's going on. And sometimes it doesn't have to be challenging can be a lot of fun and mostly fun. But a study by Elisabeth Kubler Ross, the psychologist should develop a change curve for the grief process. And in my experience, for some people, it has similarities, especially when people want to evolve their personal image and change. Yes, for some people, it's like death. It's so scary for them that they freeze. So I'm going to present to you a quick version today of all the stages that people could be living in and that could include yourself or people that you know, and give you some tips on how to overcome them easily to really focus on your personal image change and not get caught up in one of the steps. Now you know The aspects that we want to talk about come in seven stages. And the first one is, of course, shock. And this, I'm sure you'd be able to relate with any form of cultural change even in your workplace. So people by nature don't like the difference. They don't like things to change dramatically, especially dramatically, slowly, slowly. Well, you know, people get into that. But the danger of that is, you're getting into the boiling frog syndrome, but really, at times, it looks like it's good, but actually, it's not so good at all. It's the opposite. Shock could also be, let's say, your, your boss says, You know what, right now, your personal image is not up to standard, it's not up to you know, the values of the company, from a presentation point of view just doesn't stack up, that would create a shock for a lot of people. And doesn't matter how polite and nice that comes across or shocking. The reality is people do go into shock because it's confronting for them. So no experience, of course, you've got to be definitely what I would call an empathetic in the way you position, any form of change. And that includes, of course, a personal image transformation or improvement. So how do I overcome that? Well, basically, you know, after you've gone into the shop, the shock element is really just accepted. A guy just accepted that, you know, ask yourself, Do I want to bring out the best version of myself to the world? If the answer is yes, or maybe, then it's time to move on. Again, we're going to break through that one fairly quickly. And I've had experience with so many people in this particular area, it's an easy one to break through, as long as you know, the coach or the feedback that you're getting is coming from empathy, and also has some level of authority. So number two is denial. 

Now, if I go back to the workplace scenario, and this is very common, so the example the boss taps the shoulder of a colleague, you know, in this case, it could be a fellow team member that's below the rank and specifically says, Look, I'd like you to look at potentially changing your personal image and as an example, and then, of course, the team member would go potentially in denial, that also it's not positive, because how many times can you relate when you've picked up some great information, and then you've gone into the noun, in other words, burying your head in the sand, we know that that's not also a positive because eventually, you're going to have to get your hand your head back out from the sand. So the quicker you move out of that, the better for you. You know, living in denial is not actually a positive. Number three is, you know, a lot of this could be true, right? But you're finding it again, and the finding bit comes from frustration, sustained stress, frustration, what is the frustration? Well, you know, again, you're gonna do something, but you're stuck, I guess a part of that stuckness is your encryption, frustration, you're sort of not moving. And we know what happens when you're not moving. If you're looking at the body with if it doesn't move for too long. After a while, it starts to get really, really lethargic, and eventually will die if it doesn't move at all. 

So frustration is not a good place to be. So we want to get out of there. If you don't get out of there, potentially, yes, frustration can lead to depression. Now, of course, I'm giving you the example, again, of grieving from Elisabeth Kubler Ross. But in my experience, I have had many clients that have gone through a similar curve, including depression, that depression could also be, you know, because the stuff going on for you, it could be mental health, it could be bodyweight, it could be you know, relationship stuff, it can be a whole stack of things. So again, if you're in denial of your frustration, you don't want to do anything about it. Yeah, eventually, something, you know, the pressure is going to show up somewhere. And of course, we know depression would come through if you're not being authentic to yourself. So authenticity is the key here. You know you don't want to go into this stage. But how that curve works. It's very interesting. Once you break through that and assuming you've gone through these four stages till now, an opportunity comes, you know, your friend again, knocks on the shoulder and says, You know what, maybe you should look at that, or you decide to go to a professional that will give you again, independent advice. What's important is to go into experimentation and experimentation. It's okay, you know what? I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm going to give this a shot. I'm going to go out there and experiment. I want to, you know, for example, I want to try a new haircut. You know, I want to try some new grooming initiatives. And of course, you know, I might buy that new beautiful A new suit that can actually empower me. Okay? Oh, beautiful dress. So specifically, anything that's going to give me the power out there, that makes me feel good and make no mistakes, the dress does play an impact and grooming plays an impact on feeling good. I can't tell you how many psychologists and psychiatrists over the years I've referred clients to us. And by the way, I only work with Healthy People, I do not work with ill people I got that's, that's worked for other people. So specifically, what that means is, you know, at times, you can only keep on going that, you know, down the rabbit hole, and I mentioned, like, psychologists and psychiatrists of therapy for so long, you know, before also, you got to look at your external as well, right, so the two have to live together. So it's also, you know, working on the inside that I support 100%. And of course, at the same time being congruent on the outside, especially when it comes to you know, all the areas that we mentioned at the outset around the image. One thing going through experiments days, then you got stage six, that becomes Decisions, decisions, what do I do now? Again, you experiment. So decisions, what do I do now? And decisions come from the perspective now, what would you do? Well, you know, you might do a complete makeover, you might reinvent yourself, you know, and there's no better time right now, if we want almost anything from the COVID experience from the last couple of years is this, things will never be the same again. Okay? So it's a decision for you to take on board, if you want to bring out the best version of yourself, then it's an opportunity to make a decision and say, You know what, I'm gonna go for it. Life's too short to live in a life of frustration, anger, and potentially depression. 

Okay, and the last bit is integration. So you've done you, you know, you've done your mic job, and let's just say as an example, and then you're integrating this in your current life. So it could be you know, from a personal point of view, with partners, relationships going out to your career, you know, looking the part of the course to get those promotions that you've been looking for. And from a business point of view, definitely building your reputation, your corporate brand, your personal brand in the marketplace, where you're going to have greater authority. So the fact is, regardless of the stage you're in right now, the important thing is that you are looking at your personal image from a new perspective. Again, personal image is powered. That means eventually you will complete your image evolution. If you need my help with it, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you're a good fit, it would be my pleasure to help you and move forward on your new journey. My email is on the description of the episode.

If you liked that chat, please share it with your friends, family and colleagues. You can also share it on social media. You can follow me on Twitter at Jon_Michail on LinkedIn as Jon Michail and on Facebook as Image Group International. I want to thank you for your attention today. And I look forward to catching you next week. Cheerio

Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world.   To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit or call 1800 631 311.