Stories From The Hill

A behind the scenes look into image consulting and personal branding. Hill Image will get you there.
13 Nov 2016

Do people take you seriously?

“Last night at my presentation, the host told me that the reason some men don’t take me seriously in business is not because I’m a woman, it’s because I’m cute.”

This was the beginning of a slew of similar comments in an online networking group I belong to.  It really made me start to think.  Had anyone ever said something like this to me?  What about my sisters?  My mother?

Though this seems like a gender bias, I don’t think it is.  I’m sure it skews more toward women, but I have witnessed many sexual harassment type comments from women to men, as well.  So if we presume that this is a gender neutral comment, what is the underlying message?

Thinking back to my college years, I always wondered how some of my girl friends could go to the bar without money, knowing that guys would buy their drinks.  In some instances, they’d simply ask guys to do so.  A little ego stroke here, a little flirting comment there, and BAM a drink was in their hand.  My memories of my ONE drink buying episode went like this:

Young man:  “Can I buy you a drink?”

Me: “No thank you.  Thank you though”  (I just wasn’t drinking that night)

Young man: “What?!  You can’t let me buy you a drink?!  That’d just be awful to have ME buy you a drink?!”

……. whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa I did NOT see that coming.  I thought I was being nice by not allowing him to waste money on me.  But this gentleman heard nothing but rejection and unworthiness.  And he let me know it.

I also never had anyone come up and try to kiss me at a bar.  One of my best male friends was at the bar with me one night when he briskly walked up to me in a slight trance, looking a little taken-aback as well as a little bigger in his shoes:

Me:  “What?”  I said with a silly smile

Male Friend: “That girl right there just shoved me up against the wall and started kissing me”

Baaaahahahaha I was floored!  That happens in real life???!!  I thought that was only in the movies.  As you can tell, I’m still shocked.  On one hand, I secretly think it is pretty cool (of course only bc my friend consented).  I would NEVER have the guts to just walk up to someone and make-out with them!  hahaha Just thinking about it cracks me up!  (again only bc my friend consented)

All of this could have a lot more to do with alcohol than I’d like to admit, regardless, it all goes back to the brand we want to convey.  The “Kisser” most definitely exudes confidence, power, independence, and uniqueness.  The “Young Man” wreaks insecurity, hostility, drama, and sadness.

What, then, does the “Cute Girl” convey?  How do you picture her?  Is she big or small?  How is she dressed?  Does her voice project during her speech?  Is her handshake firm or slight?  Why does this person think she is so “cute”?  And how can she change her brand to exude the adjectives she desires?

Hire me?  Wellllll, yessss, that’s what I do 😀  But what is it that I do to help others to create their Ideal Personal Brand?  We literally start with defining the adjectives you want others to use when describing you.  No joke.  Because that is how we start to gain control over/create that ideal personal brand.

Then we work on all non-verbal characteristics to emulate those adjectives:  clothing, hair, posture, voice tone and vocabulary, business etiquette, etc.

No one wants to be the exact copy of others, however we all want to be accepted.  So we make sure that you achieve that balance of being authentically you while drawing others toward you.

Just like a diet or an exercise routine, you will fall off the horse.  That is completely ok!  You do need that break of sitting with your legs spread wide, your shoulders slumped, and your hair tousled.  Learning to love yourself in both those instances is the key.  To try to be the BEST you you can be, you have to love yourself both ways and remember that the only reason we desire to show our best selves is so that others can receive our message.  If we didn’t have physical bodies, we’d still have a message to convey.  That message is your motivation.


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