Virtual Image Coaching: Face To The Waist

April 6, 2020

Lorene Phillips Bermuda April 2020[Written by Lorene Phillips]

This is certainly a new era for most of us. With everything happening in the world today, we are forced to shift our mindset to understand the heightened importance of distinguishing yourself during virtual call sessions. Of course, competence is key, but we also know that looking the part is just as important or in some instances more.

So, as we resist the temptation of staying in our pajamas, we shift our mindset in order to project the very best professional image of ourselves.

It is true that the way we look does matter now more than ever!

Most studies have shown that up to 93% of all communications are non-verbal and our image or dress forms a crucial component of this type of non-verbal communication. Like it or not, decisions are made every day about who to hire, promote and to offer that plumb opportunity based primarily on our image.

Working from home for us might not be a first time thing but we can all agree that there is a difference this time: it is for the most part mandatory and not just for a few days or so, it’s full-time and there is no physical socializing with your colleagues or teammates.

Our dress and other non-verbal communication cues [such as body language, facial expression and tone] is accentuated and difficult to hide on screen, so it is incredibly important that we are aware of some things we can do to ensure that our professionalism from the face to the waist is reflected at all times during your virtual interaction on screen.

To help make the transition to work from home it is important therefore that we start the day looking our best. Remember we are being watched. We want to be mindful that the way we dress, albeit from the waist up, is aligned with our professional brand. This is not the time to drop our standard in this area. Bottom line is that the way we dress, even during this remote working environment, tells others how much we value their time and is a sure way to leave a first or lasting impression.

Virtual Image Coaching 101 Bermuda April 2020

To share some of these pointers today I will be collaborating with Shervonne Hollis, a well-known make-up expert and image consultant. In our podcast below we discuss several items of interest for both women and men around this topic of dress above the waist. Please listen and we look forward to your feedback on or Instagram @clarendon_wallace

Click here to download the podcast.

Based on our conversation in the podcast above, here are some highlighted suggestions of some image improvement suggestions you may want to consider incorporating into your next face-to-face virtual meeting that will noticeably improve the effectiveness of your non-verbal communication. Knowing how to dress well from the face to the waist will professionally set you apart in this predominantly virtual environment.

Start with your normal pre-remote working morning grooming routine: this will help to start the process of preparing for work. Make sure your hair, face and oral hygiene is all well taken care of before the start of your day.

Select appropriate clothing the night before: Getting dressed in appropriate clothes for the public viewing will help you feel like yourself and serves to give you transition in mindset that you need from home to work and some sense of normalcy as you ‘go to’ work remotely from home. You will feel more confident and ready to take on the world!

For women, be mindful of any plunging neckline and do accessorize tastefully [not distractingly]. Men ensure that your shirt is clean and well ironed. It is not okay to have on crushed clothing – remember this will all be magnified on screen.

Apply an appropriate amount of make-up for the screen: ensure that your makeup is applied with attention and not too heavy. Now that you are home you can make some extra time to maybe improve your night-time skin care routine to include more moisturizing and having face masks.

Waking up and taking care of your appearance can go a long way toward helping you feel like you’re taking care of yourself and therefore improve the way you show up on those video calls. So be mindful that working from home no longer means no one will see you – in this new environment we are about to have a ton of video meetings.

- Lorene Phillips is the Founder of Clarendon Wallace, an executive coaching and consulting firm. She is a commercial leader, executive and personal coach, career strategist, facilitator, speaker and author. She offers her services at Clarendon Wallace.

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