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 Persuasion by appearance


People judge you by your appearance. Taller men do better on interviews than shorter ones, and more attractive women do better on interviews than less attractive ones. As human beings, we make instant judgments all the time. These are just two of them. So ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is it time to update your hairstyle?
  2. Are your daily clothes showing signs of wear?
  3. It is time you gain or lose those 10 or 20 pounds?
  4. Do you have your shoes professionally polished?
  5. Do you have your nails regularly groomed?
  6. Are your socks the same shade as your hem or a shade darker?
  7. Is your jewelry supporting the look or distracting from it?

This is not vanity. Every person you are hoping to persuade is evaluating everything about you. They have an internal expectation map. When you don’t match it, there is hesitation or an entire disconnect.

Dress persuasively. The purpose of clothes is to support your position and to draw attention to you, but not to the clothes themselves. Additionally, one of the most overlooked benefits of dressing persuasively is how it makes you, the wearer, feel. How?

Dress better regularly so that you feel comfortable. Dress as well as someone in your position is expected to dress or, at the least dress one step better than your clients. If your client dresses in business casual (jeans are not business casual), then adding a tie and a blazer would be a step up if you are a man. Adding a third layer if you are a woman…a vest, a sweater, a scarf if you are a woman. The idea is not be incongruent, but to set yourself apart slightly so that you command attention.

You shoes should always be polished. Your nails should always be neatly groomed. Your clothes should always be freshly pressed. Your hairstyle should be current.

Dress with the correct authority. According to Judith Rasband’s Style Scale, people can quickly determine what they want their clothing to say. For most persuasive environments, levels 3 or 4 will be appropriate.

Level 4, High Authority, Persuasive:

Men: Suit jacket and matching pants, shirt, and tie. The more sharp the contrast between the shirt and suit (black and white for instance), and the more angular the lines, the more authoritative.

Women: Suit skirt and suit jacket with shirt or blouse; dress and jacket; pantsuit slacks and jacket with shirt.

Level 3:

Men: Slacks and sport coat with shirt and tie.

Women: Skirt or slacks with a jacket and shirt or blouse.

Level 2:

Men: Pants with collared shirt and tie with a sweater or vest.

Women: Skirt and shirt with collar and with sweater or vest; or shirt with collar or polo shirt with pants.

Level 1:

Men: Jeans and tee shirt or sleeveless shirt, or shorts and tee shirt or sleeveless shirt.

Women: Jeans and tee shirt or sleeveless top; shorts and tee shirt or sleeveless top; sun dress.

Ensure all your level 3 and 4 clothing is tailored to properly fit your frame and shape. Ensure your suits are pressed regularly and cleaned two or three times a year.


CITE: PERSUASION- The Art of Getting What You Want by Dave Lakhani





Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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