“You can't teach an old dog new tricks” Don't believe it! Learning should only stop the day you finally curl your toes up. This month we look at:
Join us for the unique:
“Secret Sisterhood Shopping” Experience
    You will discover from:
  • Professional Impressions – how to manipulate colour to enhance how you are perceived by others
  • Suzy J – the latest fashion trends – how to interpret them best to suit your lifestyle, personality and shape
  • Lunatic Fringe – how to update your hairstyle for the season
    You will obtain:
  • A colour intelligence wallet depicting your personal colours from Professional Impressions
  • A beaded Swarowsky crystal keyring from Suzy J
  • A R250 complimentary hair services voucher from Lunatic Fringe
  • A L’Oreal Professionnel Shampoo and conditioner
  • Refreshments
When: 13 May 2006 – 09h00-12h00
Where: Suzy J Studio, JHB
Investment: R 495
Limited Seats available. Bookings essential.
Contact: Lianne - 082 458 8354
Do not miss the opportunity to attend a public Workshop on:
Are you the Brand of Choice?
Outclass your competition with the ABC of Impression Management
to manage your Attitude, Business Etiquette, Corporate Image
9-10 May 2006 - Mercure Inn - Randburg Waterfront-Johannesburg.
For bookings and more information
Tel: 011 467 5126    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
12 Life lessons to learn
before you are 40
As you reach your 40's life appears simpler, mistakes have been made and learnt from. Experience has allowed us to grow and most of us have realised that it is pointless to “sweat the small stuff”. Here are a few of those important life lessons that you should add to your repertoire:
Learn how to Live on Purpose
We are placed on earth to find our purpose. It is your spirit seeking expression in some way or form. It is a calling on your life and even if you don't know it- it is there. Tune into your inner voice and have faith in your intuition. It won't come overnight -have patience.
“Your purpose is when the personality comes to help the energy of the soul”
Gary Zukav
Learn to “Play with Winners”
Surround yourself with only people who genuinely care about you. Friendships involve give and take. Any relationship that leaves a person feeling drained, guilty or "put upon" is personally destructive. It is better to have a small, close knit bunch of mates than a vast, energy sapping, time consuming network of acquaintances who add nothing to your life. Have your own support group of "winners". Each could be to support you in different areas of your life eg kids, spirituality, love or work.
Learn to always have a Plan B
Whether it is “What do I do if my kids lift fails to pitch up?” to “What happens if I get retrenched?” having a back up plan gives you more control over your own destiny. Just letting life happen will lead to some very unpleasant shocks. Better to be prepared.
Learn to get comfortable saying “No”
It may be turning down the awful guy asking for a date or saying you are unwilling to take on more responsibility being forced on you at work. Stop sacrificing your needs and happiness for the sake of others. Set boundaries with friends, family and colleagues. People will respect you a lot more knowing how you really feel.
Learn to Love your Looks
By the time you have made it through your 30's you will be less bedazzled by fashion and should be starting to collect great clothes that are flattering, stylish and really YOU. Your own personal style signature should be setting you apart. If you feel you have not quite got there yet, consider reinventing yourself ….and obtain a brand new style update. Contact us:
Tel: 011 467 5126    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Learn to put Music in your Life
Movement and music serve to soothe the weary soul and body and raise your energy levels. Consider signing up for the salsa, tango, cha-cha, hip hop - have a giggle, meet fun people and learn to wiggle those hips. You have 2 left feet? Beat a drum; it’s a great stress reliever. Communal drumming sessions raise a sweat and let you rediscover your primal self! For those sweet of voice join your local choir, start an arcopella group at work and share your gift with others.
Learn how to save a Life
Accidents happen in the blink of an eye- at work, on the road and at home. Ensure your cell phone is programmed with the relevant emergency numbers and that these numbers are prominently displayed at home. Best yet, why not enrol in a first aid or CPR course at your local recreation centre. The life you learn to save may be someone you love.
Learn to believe in a Higher Power
Research has shown that people who believe in a power greater than themselves are happier and more content than those who do not have a belief system. It may not be a mainstream religion; it may not require you to attend services. All religions advocate kindness, sharing and empathy with all humans – wonderful guiding principles to live by.
“When you have come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something to stand on, or you will be taught to fly.”
Barbara J. Winter
Learn another Language
If French, German, Spanish are too cosmopolitan for you-go local. Learn to speak, read and write one of our own eleven official languages. Whether through a Technikon, private lessons or audio tapes learning a new language will give you wonderful insight and appreciation of others cultures.
Learn to eat Healthily
Metabolisms slow down as you get older. Years of constant fad dieting, erratic eating habits and a lack of exercise result in the inability to budge those extra kilos. The by-products of this can be lack of energy, heart disease, destruction of our self – image and feelings of self –loathing. What you eat now will determine your well being in the next few decades. Consult a dietician; join organisations like Weigh-less, read the leading health expert Patrick Holford GL counter book!
Learn to do 1 new Thing
Every month attempt to learn /achieve to do 1 new thing. It’s about welcoming change in your life-uprooting you from your comfort zone and taking you closer to finding your purpose. Be courageous, adventurous, step out of the box! So if it’s a skydiving course, swimming with the dolphins or discovering a new country - do it. Imagine by the end of the year you can tell others (especially yourself) that you learnt 12 brand new “things” that year!
Learn to Live in the Present
“Achieve all you can, but remember that life is happening now and if you’re not present it happens without you”
Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery and today the Present- a Gift-do you see it that way? Most of the things we worry about cannot be changed or will never happen at all. Promise yourself that when you get to 70 that you won’t say “I wish I’d tried that-I’m sorry I didn’t”. Remember that what lies behind you and what lies before you are small things compared to what lies within you.
It’s that time of year again!
Looking for that Super Special Mothers Day gift? Pamper your mother, sister, wife with a personalised style consultation that will leave her looking and feeling as great as she deserves to be, all in the comfort of her own home. This experience will boost her confidence and self-esteem and she will love you so much more for it! Contact us for a tailor-made Personalised Consultation and make this year one that this mother is not likely to forget.
Tel: 011 467 5126    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Privacy Matters
I recently walked into someone’s office and had a good chuckle at a sign on her door which read: “Now what part of do not disturb do you not understand?”
The introduction of IT and the open plan system have led to a cultural revolution at the office. Productivity has increased, there is greater team work, but we have now become permanently visible and have much closer, ongoing contact with our colleagues. This brings its own set of challenges that need to be addressed.
  • Although you may work in an office that has no doors, you should never assume that colleagues have an “open door policy”. Don’t barge into the office space of others without first checking you are not interrupting – a verbal “knock, knock” should do it. Respect for others personal space is key to harmony in congested offices.
  • If you are working on a project of a confidential or sensitive nature-keep out of sight of prying eyes. Switch your computer to sleep mode, or lock with a password, place paperwork in a drawer if you are leaving your desk for any length of time.
  • In large offices with many co workers you are constantly in view and hearing distance of others. Ensure you leave your personal problems at home. Your neighbouring colleagues don’t need to hear about your errant boyfriend’s latest transgressions.
  • Keep telephone conversations muted/not on speaker phone unless involving colleagues on conference call. Attempt not to walk around the office speaking loudly on a cell phone.

  • Open plan offices are very conducive to “can I just borrow it for a sec” staplers, pens, telephone directories etc. Never assume that people won’t mind as others can be very possessive about the strangest things! First ask permission, always return promptly and offer something in lieu of eg “let me get you a cup of coffee”
  • Before you move anything that belongs to a colleague first ask permission “Do you mind if I move these 2 files to give us more space?” Messing with someone else’s territory and possessions can lead to a nasty snap.
  • Even if you do have an enclosed office keep your own possessions, handbag, cell phone etc secure and out of sight.

Personal Boundaries
  • All humans have a space bubble which surrounds them. Everyone’s space is different, depending on factors such as culture, socialization, location, etc. Invasion of a person’s space bubble can lead to aggression, hostility and discomfort. For initial business most people are comfortable maintaining a distance of 1-3m. Moving in nearer 45cm-1m is acceptable if you have a closer-long term relationship with the person. Closer than 45cm is far too intimate for business-it is a zone reserved for close friends and family.
  • Offices with many employees force people with very different space requirements into close proximity, resulting in certain staff feeling uncomfortable. So before you plonk your behind on someone’s desk or look over their shoulder at their new screen saver, ascertain how comfortable they are with your proximity.
  • It is easy to pick up unease in someone whose space has been invaded by watching their body language. They may lean back, away from you. Turn in their chair to face you, using their legs as a barrier. They might move things towards you-files, a mug, almost pushing you away extending their boundaries. Much of this behaviour is unconscious, but if you take note and respect the space requirements of your co workers the office environment often becomes more harmonious.
  • If forced to sit next to someone at their desk try and employ the triangular seating arrangement. Knees are close but bodies are angled away. This encourages cooperation but gives plenty of room to the “space conscious”.
Other factors important in the office environment:
  • Even if your company does not have a “clean desk policy” ensure your desk is neat and tidy at all times. Your tidiness forms part of the “halo effect” and your overall professionalism. If your office area always looks like a rubbish dump – people will start to think “Imagine what her house looks like?”
  • Avoid eating at your desk – clean away used mugs and plates promptly.

Body Language
  • Sit upright at your desk – no slouching, no feet on the desk or under each other etc
  • Avoid inflicting all personal body functions on your colleagues – picking your nose, filing nails, burping etc. rather go to the rest room for this

Abuse of company resources
  • Open plan offices are easier to police than closed offices. Remember only your personal belongings are yours - everything else- your files, notes, e-mails belong to the company. The company has the right to search these and discipline your for abusing e-mail, phone calls, inter office memos etc. Taking home office stationary for your child’s school project or your husband's new business is not going to be seen in the most positive light.
Working in an open space environment can be fun, productive even nurturing but it requires personal discipline and a huge respect for others privacy and confidentiality. At all times let your colleagues view you as a person with immaculate etiquette, courtesy and consideration.
These and other etiquette issues are handled in our Power Etiquette workshops.
For more information please contact us:
Tel: 011 467 5126    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Professional Impressions would like to credit the following for information and images used in this article:
CosmopolitanApril 2006
OprahMay 2006
True LoveMay 2006
Health March 2004
DiscoverySummer 2004
CosmopolitanNovember 2003
Body Language Teach yourself series
Body Talk at work Judi James
Need to know Body Language Collins
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