Jan 25

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Ask the Expert

Now is your chance to ask me anything– and I do mean anything about Image, Makeup, Hair, Celebrities, Politicians, ANYTHING! Submit your questions here or email them to me at sandy@theimagearchitect.com and I’ll choose a few a week and answer without reservation. This is a chance to find out what THE Image Architect really thinks!

Permanent link to this article: http://sandydumont.com/ask-the-expert/


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  1. Cindy

    I am looking for guidance on how to not “wear my thoughts on my sleeve”, especially when I am upset or frustrated (I appear to be angry). Do you offer any courses that would benefit me regarding this?

    I also have trouble with my the projection of my voice coming across as being angry. If I am passionate and/or excited about something I may speak louder and faster and include hand, eye and other body language that comes across as being angry. Would voice coaching help and do you offer this training?

  2. Sandy Dumont

    In the past I taught Assertiveness Training Workshops for women, but time has not allowed me to do so lately. Your problem is not uncommon. In fact, most women speak faster when they are angry or excited, and their voices also get much higher pitched. What I noticed in Assertiveness classes was that another thing also happened. Women often tend to place emphasis on the last word in a sentence when they are upset. For example, “You didn’t eat your VEGETABLES.” “You’re always arriving LATE.” This becomes accusative and puts the other person immediately on the defensive. Men tend to tune women out completely when these three things go on.

    My advice: Practice speaking more slowly and lowering your voice when you are excited. Also, listen carefully to make certain you are not speaking in an accusative tone. When women reported (in class) that men ignored them or tuned them out, it was usually found to be for the reasons just given. If you will email me, we can talk about meeting to help you with your problem.

  3. Donna

    I work at a small CPA/Financial Service firm in Texas (10 employees). The great majority of our clients are professionals (doctors, lawyers), and well established business owners. We cater to the high end client. The dilemma we have had for years is there are two girls, one being the tax manager, who do not understand or don’t feel it is important, to dress correctly or put forth a polished appearance. The business owner wears a suit every single day. Myself, the office manager, and one other lady in the office wear dresses, skirts, blouses, sweater sets, hose, pumps, wear makeup and style our hair. The two I mentioned never wear makeup, and we are lucky if they comb their hair. I think what they really do is not dry or style their hair at home, but drive to work and let is dry naturally and then run a comb through it. One lady continually wears sleeveless tops, and she is not slim by any means. I don’t feel that there is a place at work for sleeveless tops, or capri pants, or Clark’s slip on sandals. We addressed the dress code in our new employee handbook, being very firm about appropriate footwear, grooming, clothing choices, but I think they don’t realize what they look like, or maybe it is just not important to them. Without singling out the two ladies (especially since they have been here so long and are two of the hardest workers we have), what is the best approach to start steering them in the right direction. Thank you for your help.

  4. Sandy Dumont

    Dear Donna,
    Your situation is quite common. It is a very real and serious problem throughout America. It began with the introduction of “Business Casual” in the workplace. First of all, it cannot be defined, because it is an oxymoron. You are either dressed for business or for casual activities. Casual attire suggests a casual attitude, and indeed, university studies have proven that we are less productive when dressed casually. Credibility is also diminished greatly.

    Sleeveless tops, Capri pants and sandals fall into the realm of casual attire. When you meet with clients and dress casually, it is tantamount to hurling an insult ay them. It announces, I dress for my comfort, not to impress you. When you “dress to impress” clients get it, and THEY are tickled pink that you dress up for them. There is no better way to build client rapport and trust.

    Unfortunately, once “dressing down” has been allowed, it is difficult to abolish it. Little children kick and scream when they have been permitted to eat whatever they wanted in the past and are suddenly told they have to eat veggies! Dress codes rarely work, because it creates resentment.

    The only real solution I have found is education. Most people are not aware that they look so unprofessional. In my workshops I show B & A photos of people and ask the question, “Which one would you choose to help you with your important project?” They choose the After photo, and I ask them what’s wrong with the “other” person and they always say he/she doesn’t look as professional, so they are afraid s/he is a new hire and will waste their time. It is only in this manner that the light bulb eventually comes on and they get it. They realize they are being judged “greenhorn, new hire, or time waster.”

  5. Charles

    You are right on the dot!
    I wish more people would and/or could be educated by you, The Image Architect.
    One could always start with reading one of your e-books about Image, though. They are great for content and price!
    Charles “Chuck” B.

  6. Sandy Dumont

    Dear Chuck,
    Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’m very happy that you enjoy my books and other products. Keep in mind that I always welcome feedback.

  7. Andy

    Being a normal male animal, when interviewing a female applicant for a position, I naturally am directed not only to her qualifications and attire, but also(and I’m ashamed to admit it) to her physical enhancements. I think it is just natural. Do you condone female applicants to use their natural physical attributes to enhance their chances of being employed. I can’t really say whether or not such exposure has ever tainted my judgment in hiring a secretary.

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