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Looking Beyond the Suits and Smiles

‘All that glisters is not gold’ – quote from The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Business smiles

Even with the growing popularity of workplace changes such as Casual Friday there is still an overwhelming tendency for business professionals at all levels to wear suits and more formal clothing. For some it is due to tradition, and for others it is an indication of status. Many are impressed and even intimidated by the outer appearance and fail to look beyond the surface.

In reality clothing and jewellery can serve as distractions, while labels and logos are often decoys – serving the phenomenon known as ‘peacocking’. Regardless of the context, when we meet another human being it is vital we learn to look ‘behind the veil’. In many cases, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz we may find the real figure is anything but impressive or substantial. To negotiate, recruit or build successful long term business relationships we need to take a calm clear look at the person, not their outer appearance.

In particular I strongly recommend you pay close attention to the eyes. Making eye contact and reading the eyes provides us with key information about each individual we meet. Confidence, happiness, deception, evasion,sadness, depression, vitality, and low energy are all visible if we allow ourselves to see. We should especially be alert to spot warmth, coldness or even an absence of emotion. The latter two qualities give immediate cause for concern in any putative business relationship!

There is an old saying that ‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’. Without being too metaphysical we can gain greatly by simply opening our eyes to see what is revealed in clear sight, thus strengthening our position in all interactions.

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Joseph McGuire is the owner of Clearsight Communications who provide personal evaluation services and training in the areas of senior level recruitment/promotion, negotiations, sales communications and HR. He is also the author of the soon to be published book ‘Face Facts:The Art of Reading Your Clients and Prospects for Sales, Negotiation and Recruitment’.Individual consultation sessions are available both in person and via Skype. He is also in demand for group presentations, private functions and conferences.

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