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Looking the Part as a Manager

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 15 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Looking The Part As A Manager

The way a manager presents themselves, their clothes and their body language will all affect the ways in which employees perceive them and react to them. Dress for success as a manager and emanate confidence in order to get a positive reaction from staff.

Dress codes can vary between industries and businesses, as well as between countries. For instance, publishing, the media and design companies will often favour a more casual approach to dress, but long-established industries such as accountancy, banking and consultancy tend to be more formal in their dress style.

In many businesses, dress codes have undergone a bit of a revolution, with the suit being discarded in favour of informal wear in some industries. A manager has to adapt what they wear to match the organisation they work for, as the way they dress will affect how they are perceived by clients, colleagues and senior managers. Before meeting a customer, find out their dress code and be ready to adapt clothing to match.

First Impressions Last

It has been shown that people tend to form their first impressions within three minutes of meeting someone, being guided by dress, grooming, handshake, facial expressions, voice and accent. It is difficult to eradicate first impressions, so a manager should take care to ensure their appearance is smart and respectable in order to create a favourable impression and be seen as someone who is reliable and authoritative.

Take time to notice the way successful people within the company dress, as this can often provide some useful tips. Pick out clothes carefully, as they can contribute to the impression a manager makes. For instance, neutral colours can make a manager seem very approachable and so are particularly suitable for a people-orientated job. Yellow can inspire mental stimulation, whereas a red shirt with a dark suit can make a manager feel more dynamic.

Always choose smart clothes that are stylish and well co-ordinated, be sure to allow enough time for grooming each morning and always look respectable. Don’t ignore the difference body language can make either.

Look the Part

A manager will look the part if they can retain a relaxed, upright posture, but not if they slouche or lean on furniture. Relax face muscles, so that they are ready to break into a smile and, when greeting people, ask how they are and be ready to enquire about their families too.

If a manager has to dress in a formal manner for their line of work, they should choose well-fitting suits in quality materials and feel both confident and relaxed in what they wear. If a casual look is favoured in a workplace, a manager should still set a good example. Choose simple styles, avoid loud colours or patterns and remember that clothes should still be ironed.

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