Stand Tall for Success

Your ability to create positive personal impact is one of the key to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.  If you want to create positive personal impact, you need to do three things.  1) Create, build and nurture your personal brand.  2) Be impeccable in your presentation of self.  3) Know and follow the basic rules of etiquette. 

In previous posts I've discussed being impeccable in your presentation of self from the perspective of what you wear and your on line presence.  However, there is a third component of impeccable presentation of self — standing tall.  You convey confidence and self assurance when you stand tall.

This is a lesson I've learned and relearned over the years.  My friend, Debra Benton, a terriffic executive coach reminds me of the importance of standing tall and smiling every time she sees me.  Do three things to stand tall:

• Straighten your spine.
• Roll back your shoulders.
• Raise your chin.

Paula Niedenthal, a French psychology professor says…

"Holding your chin up and throwing back your shoulders helps you feel better about yourself in ambiguous situations.   People with their chins down and shoulders rounded are going to be less receptive to potentially good information." 

My mom's funeral was yesterday.  Our family entered the church with the casket at the beginning of the service.  As we began our walk down the aisle, I straightened my spine, rolled back my shoulders and raised my chin.  This made me feel a little better — and I think seeing me standing this way helped my dad a little.  I wanted the people in the church to realize that we were there to celebrate my mom's life — not to mourn her passing – because we were.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people create positive personal impact.  Being impeccable in your presentation of self is one important key to creating positive personal impact.  If you want to be impeccable in your presentation of self, you need to do three things: dress for success, manage your on line presence, and stand tall.  There are three things that will help you to stand tall—straighten your spine, roll back your shoulders, and raise your chin.  Standing tall is especially important when you are facing something tough, or are feeling less than confident.

That’s my take on standing tall and positive personal impact.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.  Thanks to all of you who have sent your condolences on the passing of my mom.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. Tom Thomson says:

    I’d like to distinguish between standing tall rigidly and standing tall openly. I have found that the experience of lifting my chin, opening my chest and rolling the shoulders back as a way of “consciously” relaxing opens me to the world and others. I suspect that it is this openness that impacts the other positively.
    Conversely, I have had the experience of raising my chin, straightening my back etc. as way of “steeling myself” or manifesting a “stiff upper lip.” At these times, I have felt less open, less engaged with the other and locked in what might be called the rigid enclave of my own body.
    For me the mantra is: relax, take a deep breath, open the chest, relax the shoulders and stand tall, limber and open. It sounds to me as though that is what you did and what you communicated to others at your mother’s funeral.
    Thanks for your reflections Bud.

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