[This article is taken from Page 2 of ‘’The Polished Professional’ by Ann Reinten, founder of TAIC, The Australian Image Co. I am a certified Image Consultant registered with TAIC and have permission to reproduce the article. I have only changed a few words to make it flow more easily]
Your clothes, though important, are not the most important factor in gaining success. Ultimate success depends on your mastery of the five areas of total image. Mastering one without the others would be like trying to drive a car with missing wheels.
Your Hidden Image
This is the invisible you that no one else can see. It is comprised of your values, motivations, beliefs, ethics, ability and attitude. Your inner or hidden image created your past and it will dictate your future. Your hidden image is the foundation that your life is built on. This foundation governs everything you do and determines your ultimate level of success. Anyone can be groomed to walk into a room and make a smashing impression but it is the substance and motivation behind the performance that will ultimately sustain the impression. Problems associated with your hidden image can sabotage your efforts to improve in the other four image areas.
Your Assumed/Believed Image
This is your reputation – real or stereotyped. In many cases it precedes you. It will smooth your way or impede your path with preconceived ideas and prejudices. Your reputation must be carefully created, maintained and guarded. You must know what others say and think of you.
Your Seen Image
As the saying goes ‘seeing is believing’. Therefore, this level is most powerful when meeting someone for the first time. Research has shown that visual presentation accounts for more than half of the impression we make on others. When you dress and act in the manner expected of a successful, motivated and trustworthy person, others will assume that you possess all the other talents and characteristic traits that accompany that image.
Your Experienced Image
Experienced image is closely allied with visual image and comprises your behaviour, your people skills and your communication skills. Being able to quickly gain rapport with people both through effective verbal and non-verbal communication and courteous behaviour will produce lasting relationships that will run more smoothly. You will get results quicker.
Your Proven Image
This area governs your ultimate level of success. It is the combination of, and the results from, your talents, your successes and your failures as proven over time. Included within this level are the four levels above as well as your performance, your decision-making record and your professional experience.
‘Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.’
by Frank Outlaw
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