The first ever image research study from Central Michigan University, commissioned by the Association of Image Consultants International, shows image consulting services give people more than just a “superficial boost.” The image services also raise peoples’ self-esteem.
The purpose of the in-depth international study was to measure the effectiveness of the work of image consultants and the gain experienced by clients from having participated in consultations. A total of 85 clients, representing 18 image consultants in 10 countries, participated in the study.
The research study design was comprised of four components. Volunteer image consultants administered a pre and post survey to measure their clients’ needs before and after the services. The survey approach allowed for collection of data relating to clients’ previous learning about image and personal style, their goal achievement, the perceived value of the consultation, their satisfaction with the consultation, 42 measures of their needs in the areas of appearance, self- image, personal and professional development, and relevant demographic information.
In addition, self-esteem measures were obtained using the Hartman Self Esteem Index®. Sixty-three percent experienced gains in their self-esteem scores, sometimes by an appreciable amount. Other components evaluated in the Index that showed appreciable changes were self-assessment, self-improvement, self-management and internal self-esteem.
In every single case, clients were extremely satisfied with their consultation experience, giving extremely high ratings to their image consultants in all areas queried. In addition, their perception of the value of the sessions to them, personally, was extremely high.
This study validates the work of image consultants as being important not only on a superficial level but also that it has a positive influence on a client’s ability to realise and appreciate his or her own self-worth.
The results of the study also demonstrate that image services have a significant impact on personal and professional development skills which relate to the areas people deem most important in life: self-confidence, career, promotion and performance and interpersonal relationships. It is now evident that the work of image consultants influences both the “inside”, as well as the “outside” human element.
The study also showed that image consultants do not have to perform extreme makeovers or work with their clients for years to impact their self-confidence. The average number of sessions in this sample was 2.18 ranging from 1 to 12 hours maximum. Image Consultants make a big difference in a small amount of time!
Where to go shopping when you’re not the average size or shape – whether you’re tall, short, have a big bottom, long legs or arms, we’re compiling a list of shops that you can try.
Wearing Name Tags – when at a function where you are required to wear a name tag – pin it onto your RIGHT side, approximately 10cm below your shoulder – why? Because we read left to right and by putting it on our right side, near our face, people will read it as they look at us and are more likely to remember our names.
When applying for a job do your research on the dress code (websites often have pictures of employees so you can get a feel of the dress code) and then dress to fit in – eg. Applying for a job as a Sales Assistant and the dress code is black pants/skirt white shirt – then dress in this – if you look the part you’re one step closer to landing the job.
Sunglasses are for outdoors only, and if you meet someone in the street and stop to chat, take them off – having a conversation with a person with sunglasses on is like having a conversation through a closed door.
Not sure what to wear to a function? It’s better to err on the side of overdressing than underdressing. Be the one to raise the tone of the occasion not lower it. And if you find you’ve gone way over the top, tell everyone you’ve somewhere else to go afterwards.
Make sure your trousers are long enough – trousers should reach to at least the bones on the top of your feet, about 2.5cm from the base of your toes or alternatively the back of the trouser should sit at the top of the heel of your shoe. This will make you look taller, slimmer, leggier and will ensure that when you sit down your trousers don’t ride up and show off any leg.
If you wear lipstick – and you should as it gives you a more polished and professional look – make sure you take it with you when you go out and reapply it every few hours – half-eaten-off lipstick is not attractive.
If you want to look slimmer, don’t wear clothes with horizontal stripes – trendy they may be – fattening they are.
Are you in a time-warp? A lot of men still dress in the same suit they bought 5-10 years ago, or how they were dressing when they were 25 (and if you’re older than 25 it’s time to move on). Men often say that this is because they hate shopping – but you’re doing yourself an injustice, old, out-dated clothes make you look like and old man with out-dated ideas – is this the way to dress to get that pay-rise or promotion?
The comb-over hairstyle – just don’t do it – you’re not fooling anyone, not even yourself.
When introducing two people in a business situation, always introduce the more senior to the less senior, rather than the other way around.
After any business lunch or dinner where you are the host, ask if your guest needs a taxi, and if so, ask the maitre d’ to order one, then walk with your client to the taxi door and see them off.
When someone you’ve met previously is approaching and you can’t remember their name be the first to welcome him or her by saying your name as you shake hands. More times than not, the other person will say their name.
If you are asked if a clothing item suits someone and you think it doesn’t – rather than say – it makes you look fat – say “it’s not a flattering cut for you”.
Many more tips available on my blogs
© Imogen Lamport 2010
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