In an earlier posting we discussed how physical miscues like a lack of a smile, a lack of a firm handshake, or a lack of eye contact can negatively impact an executive’s image. The feedback that I have received about other things that could compromise an executive’s image is worth sharing. Three more image killers to consider: 1) poor posture; 2) bad breath; and 3) unruly nose hair. Poor posture is an obvious one; it suggests the executive is sloppy, too casual, and not confident. Bad breath is something to which we all can fall victim and sometimes perpetrate upon others. Remember how you feel when you have to engage in an up-close conversation with someone who has foul breath – not a pleasant experience. It is hard to listen closely to someone when your nose is being assaulted, and you will invariably have a negative association about Mr. Stinky Breath.
My wife reminds me never to eat a tuna fish sandwich before talking to someone; I guess that goes for salmon and bagels at a morning meeting or crab cake hors d’oeuvres at an evening reception. Your long or overly visible nose hairs waiving at everyone are not only distracting to your co-conversationalists, but they simply are not aesthetically pleasing. A bathroom mirror inspection first thing in the morning before that important customer presentation or job interview would be prudent.
Again, fair or not, superficial or not, your poor posture, stinky breath, or conspicuous nose hairs could cost you an opportunity. You can boost and preserve your image by eliminating these image killers.