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You might think this is a post focused on style or fashion. And it is, but not quite. Style and fashion are part of the workplace and that’s where I will take you. Inside work and work meetings in particular.
A meeting can be tedious enough, overwhelming enough, stressful or boring enough. But on top of that, why would you want to sit uncomfortably in your chair, or disappear in a sea of sameness? The instinct of most at routine meetings is to hide in plain sight. I’m daring you to do the opposite.
Why not have some fun.
Break the usual meeting landscape with your personal style. You can spice up the same old meeting with a dose of personality. Making it your chance to shine!Because projecting less than your true self makes you feel less than yourself, less assertive, less in control. In a meeting, that's a no-no. Click To Tweet
To rock your leather pants means less the specific items of clothing you wear and more the attitude with which you wear them. It is the way you show up to that work meeting and that workday, flaunting your millennial confidence.
Your place of work might fall at any point of the spectrum when it comes to dressing codes, and you should know and work within the limits of these codes, even when you don’t totally agree with them. Why?
First, they’re part of the job, workplace and possibly industry you’ve chosen. Part of a larger code of ethics. Second, and most importantly to this creative gal, these external limits are a way to spark your inner creativity. You can let your personal style and authentic self out despite dressing limitations, and that’s when things start to get interesting. It’s all in the details.
So, I’m about to do one of the things millennials love to do: state one thing as fact and immediately finding fault with it. It is true, the clothes don’t make the man or woman. Your personal brand and your personal style must go deeper than the clothes you wear, its name brand or price tag. Yet, the opposite is also true, what you wear speaks louder than your words.
In a work meeting, what you chose to wear will certainly speak for you before you say one word. And if it speaks the right way, what you say will make much more sense, will have a greater impact.
In these matters, you should take a page from the extrovert playbook. Pointing the light directly over your own head. So…
How to rock that work meeting?
Bring your self to the meeting:
Even in the smallest possible way you can add your version of “leather pants” to your personal style. Pops of color and prints are simple ways to enhance personality. A brooch, scarf, colorful bow-tie or funky socks.
These items will be noticed, especially as accessories of the most neutral outfits. A bright lip, the right amount of perfume or memorable cologne will help keep you top of mind. It’s not about being overpowering, is about being self-empowered enough.
Walk into that work meeting with the right attitude and the right posture. Empowering body language not only communicates assertiveness to others but boosts it within yourself.
Treat every meeting as a mini networking event, try to connect with people in your team before, during and after the meeting. This is a valuable opportunity to find more about their old or new skills, plans, goals, and dreams. This information will help you make collaborative connections across the board later on.
Have something valuable to say and add to the conversation. Have your notepad and pen, your tablet or laptop computer. Make notes during the work meeting and be engaged, actively listening and being present.
If you know the topic of the meeting, or is a routine debriefing bring comments or questions with you.
Shed the idea of being a suck-up, doing just what everybody else is doing, not wanting to be signaled out. Remember, every workplace interaction is an opportunity to grow your personal brand, your journey. It’s not about them (your coworkers) it’s about you.
What if moments:
What if you are asks questions you don’t know the answers to?
Be honest, jot the question down, say you will follow up on that question and send the information you find to everybody’s email by the end of the day/week. Having all the answers is not the mark of a leader. Being ready to search for answers to new questions is.
What if you are asked to present in the next meeting or head the meeting yourself?
Say yes and do it. You’ve been to many meeting before. You know what’s expected. Now you have a chance to lead. Take it. Add your touch. Use it as a learning opportunity.
What if others have negative comments about my outfit?
Self-assess. Was your outfit inappropriate in any way, did it stick with office dress codes, did you feel comfortable while wearing it? Was it consistent with your personal style, personal brand, and personality?
Other people’s negativity most times has nothing to do with you. If what you did and do keeps falling within the limits of their personal space and bring you joy, personal and professional satisfaction, You keep doing You.
I’d love to see pictures of your interpretation of “leather pants” at work and life. Tag me on IG @Creative_Atelier
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