Image Check

Profit Through ProfessionalismSM
Harness the 5 R’s of Personal Power and Influence

In today’s turn-style existence that guarantees neither security nor longevity, it is important that smart professionals create internal, self-empowering climates for success. By applying the portable mechanisms of the 5 R’s, we profit from an enhanced professional image, credibility, and influence-ability.

To leverage the Wisdom of Image, I invite you to consider that you already have an image! It’s not something you need to get – you create it every single day with every single choice you make. Altering it to fit your life’s vision requires a conscious choice and consistent action. It takes personal responsibility and keeping a constant eye on the image-building question – What message am I sending?


Taking 100% responsibility means you own your choices. It is developing an attitude of willingness to do what it takes to make a difference in something without regard for who’s right or who will get the credit. Eliminate “yes buts” from your vocabulary. There are no “yes buts” or in the land of total responsibility. You either accept 100% responsibility or not. If you do not, then there’s always room for blame.

Events happen. Your mind registers an interpretation of the way things are. How you see the way things are creates a belief. Your belief triggers a response. Your response nets an outcome.

Change the response, not the event to get a different outcome. Think about the people in your office. How often do you hear comments like, “I could do better but my boss doesn’t understand me.” “How can they expect us to do a good job with all these changes!” I’m miserable, my mate doesn’t give me what I want” Don’t blame the “E”! Attempting to change someone rarely works and always expends precious energy. Events will keep on happening–it’s your response to them that will deliver a different outcome. What you think, imagine, say and do are possible responses. Change any of these and your outcome will change.

Remember the Wisdom of Responsibility: we judge ourselves by our intentions; others judge us by our actions. Choosing responsibility creates consistent behavior and action. Consistent action builds trust. Trust is a basis for building a credible image.


Embedded in office environments throughout the United States is the Rodney Dangerfield lament, “I ain’t got no respect”. The late Rodney Dangerfield used to use it as keynote to his stand up comedy routine, but in the real world, getting “no respect” is not funny.

At the heart of respect is the commonality of being acknowledged for who we are as a person and what we do as a professional. On surveys I’ve conducted repetitively nationwide, employees mention the little things as significantly important in how they feel acknowledged. Some Respect-Setters are: offering a simple greeting, asking about family, hobbies and interests, saying thank you, asking permission for someone’s time, sharing relevant information, appreciating and remaining open to differences, seeking input from others and praising a job well done.

Respect is also about putting on what I refer to as the LimeGreen Shoes of Empathy. Imagining these fluorescent shoes when up against people-challenging times, allows you to see life through the eyes of another and have compassion for “their side”. Those Lime Greeners do much to ward off jealousy, comparison, backstabbing and gossip. After a while your forward progress stops because your step becomes heavy and your eyes are fixed-frozen backwards. Eventually, you learn: What you hold onto, holds onto you!


We don’t act alone. We are always in relationship to others and to ourselves. At the core of relationship wisdom is a keen knowledge of ourselves. Without our own “inner sonar”, the sound of our own voice and values we have no reference to bounce off what we pick up “out there”. Spend time getting to know your most important coach and critic–yourself! Journal on a daily bases. Reflect on your actions. Apply the dip-stick test: What am I feeling? Thinking? Wanting? Sensing? What do I know? Then trust actions based on your own “knowing”.

Explore your interpersonal communication style. There are many instruments from which to select. Each has these concepts in common: all of us have a preferred style of communication gleaned from modeling and experience; no one style is better than another; and all styles are needed to get things done effectively. Knowledge of each style’s strengths and weaknesses helps you to effectively adapt to and influence another

Keep these Relationship Wisdoms in mind when interacting with others. The person with the most wisdom should speak first—model the change you wish to see.

Let relationships serve you. Even our enemies serve us in offering us a mirror of those things we might change in ourselves.

People cannot change if they don’t know what your expectations are.


Office and home settings abound with challenge, conflict and change. Keeping centered when all else seems to be going crazy is part of becoming resilient. Grounding can be achieved by keeping your eye on your purpose–the WHY you do what you do. This higher vision perspective keeps you from getting caught up in the daily aggravations that drag you down and redirects your energy forward.

Recall a time when change happened on your doorstep and although you didn’t want it, you got through it. What is your pattern of adjustment and acceptance? I find people get amnesia at the first hit of change and forget they’ve lived through every other event in their lives. Let your past pattern of bouncing back serve you in the present. Tap into your stories of courage and wisdom.

Celebrate little successes often. Achievement is a human need. I believe that it’s difficult to feel a sense of achievement without having a sense of completion. Yet in these challenging times, projects change mid-stream and there is initiative after another initiative. We zone out on more of the same and lose our bounce. I challenge you to create completion even when there is none, by pausing for a moment to reflect on what you’ve learned, what new skill you’ve acquired, what people you’ve gotten to know better. Then you can turn forward and reach out your hand for tomorrow.


Trying is not getting results. Trying is effort and busy-ness. Results are getting the right things done. Focus on what you can influence. Energize yourself by crafting a vision of how you want a project to look like. Imagine it in detail. Act as if it were here now. Ask what would you be doing and saying differently and do it now.

Review your processes often. Weed out those steps that don’t add value. Constantly be on the look out for fresh ways to do something. Create value. You will enhance your promote-ability.

Keep a log of what challenges you’ve faced, what solutions you’ve crafted and what results they’ve created. This process helps you focus on what’s going well, enhances your personal power and offers proof of your professional achievements which you can leverage for advancement.

What message are you sending? Let it be one of professionalism. Put the 5 R’s into practice and profit through their wisdom–personally and professionally.