Spring Summer 2019 Fashion Trends and Pantone Color Report

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At FSI our tag line is “School Yourself in Style” and we believe that a skilled and knowledgeable consultant makes for a professional one. We empower our students with knowledge whenever we can from wherever we can find it. Our mission statement is:

We are committed to providing basic through advanced professional training and high-quality educational programs both online and at our physical campus in Sacramento (the Capital of California).

We are committed to providing our graduates with the precise materials and tools they will need to grow their independent businesses so that they can achieve their career goals swiftly and confidently.

We are committed to helping each individual craft a powerful and unique personal style and brand.

Therefore we constantly supply them with fashion and trend reports with the end goal being that they, in turn, help their clients to become confident, informed, and fashionable.

This month we are providing trend reports and videos for free to YOU so that you too can transmit this knowledge to your clients AND grow your business in the meantime.

Click the links below to download PDF’s:

London Fashion Week SS2019 by Edited

Milan Fashion Week SS2019 by Edited

Paris Fashion Week SS2019 by Edited

New York Fashion Week SS2019 by Edited

FSI Pantone Trend Report with Codes -SS2019

Being Best Dressed

Gillian Armour, Certified Master Stylist

What does it mean to dress well and how does one do it?  Dressing well means knowing exactly what type of body you have and knowing exactly how to clothe it, maximizing and accentuating the positive aspects of it; nothing more, nothing less.  But, how does one get this knowledge if not blessed with knowing it naturally?  One consults professionals. That’s it – if you want to look your absolute best you must find the best to show you how.  

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Whole industries are built around this – Hollywood stylists are billed as the current “experts.” However, there are other experts more accessible to those of us not in the glamour loop of Hollywood.  They can be found in Google under “Image Consultants.” Or, check out FSI’s directory of over 3000 consultants to find the best one for you.

You can also find good “Personal Shoppers” at the better department stores (for free) but I recommend that you find a “Personal Stylist“ interested in YOUR needs and who knows a thing or two about style and color.  Their goal should be a well-dressed you. Sure, you will have to pay for this but consider it a one-time investment in yourself. 

Think of all those times you bought clothing, accessories, makeup etc. that you seldom wore or used because, deep down, you knew they weren’t quite right for you.  Stop wasting your time and your money. Invest in a good consultant and join the best dressed!!

I Want To Be A Fashion Stylist What EDUCATION Do I Need?

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There are many fashion, art, design, photography and film schools ready to enroll students who show an interest in learning skills to launch careers.  Choosing which one to attend can be a daunting experience.  There are many factors involved when you set out to choose a school.  We cannot possibly cover the broad range of options available to future stylists here, BUT we can give you a few pointers to help you on your way.

First, narrow down your interests.  Think about your passions and analyze the direction they have taken you.  Ask yourself questions about the jobs you have had in the past and the experiences that have come your way – what did you like or not like?  What did you like enough to want to pursue further?

Keep in mind that formal education is not a requirement for a successful fashion styling career.  Work experience, contacts, good taste and a practiced “eye” are the most important talents you need to succeed.  Combine these assets with the previously mentioned enthusiasm and reliability and the fashion world is your oyster.

To learn the basics about fashion, color and image, I would recommend taking small courses to round out specific experience or knowledge you are lacking.  Many image consultants offer courses in these subjects.  You can get a complete listing of Fashion Styling and Image Consulting courses on line at www.aici.org.  This site is for the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), a global organization that upholds gold-standard certifications for Image and Style professionals.

You will also want to do a fair amount of “self-education” by studying the latest fashion magazines and periodicals to educate yourself on recent style movements, current trends, updates on designers and more.  The more you know about up to the minute trends in design and style, the more inventive you can be.  You can use this information for the creative components of your projects.

STYLIST TIP
Be plugged in. As a stylist, you influence trends and create new, exciting looks for fashion followers so, be plugged in to current events happening around you. Know who the hot new bands are, the latest eatery to open or who is dating whom for example. All these cultural threads can lead back to the work you do to create an exciting vision for the client.
— Gillian Armour, Master Fashion Stylist

Our Favorite Fashion Knowledge Websites This Week

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The business of image and style consists of more than just knowing how to shop, style and sell. Consultants also need to be schooled in fashion thinking. This week we have chosen a selection of deep thinking/ journalistic based web sites. These will give you professional knowledge and inspiration. After all, keeping up with fashion is what our clients expect of us so have a read of these quality writers:

Vestoj.com – the fashion journal for “critical thinking on fashion” with both fiction and non-fiction deep thinking articles.

Fashionista.com – pop culture references to all things fashion

Heartifb.com – fashion writers (ie: bloggers) join to network and show off their work. Most of it amateur but a few bright spots of exceptional writing. Like YouTube – you must hunt and peck through the content.

CupcakesandCashmere.com – Emily blogs about fashion and all its aspects – how to wear, what to where, when to where and why!

Suzymenkesvogue.com – long term leading fashion journalist gives perspectives on fashion that are quirky and original AND well-informed. She’s got the fashion lingo down and can teach us many a thing about Fashion Week, fashion history, sartorial references and more!

BusinessofFashion.com - the updated and modern take on Women’s Wear Daily but less industry and more lay-person. A decent selection of fashion people podcasts. Requires membership after first five free articles.

Using Diagonal Lines in Fashion Design and Styling

Using Diagonal Lines in Fashion Design and Styling

I like to explore a variety of principles and elements of fashion design to style a client and make her look her very best. As both a stylist and teacher, I've always been interested in showing the "how" of the key components of fashion. One of the trickiest elements of fashion design is the diagonal line.

Musings: Falling Out of Fashion and Landing in Style

Musings: Falling Out of Fashion and Landing in Style

I have always prided myself in being fashionable. I read every fashion magazine, book, how-to, and any other information I could get my manicured hands on. Plaids, tweeds, and houndstooth, Oh My! This is the fall season that has returned to my favorite materials and styles.

Fall 2018 Fashion News and Views

Fall 2018 Fashion News and Views

Everything from your hair cut and color to your home décor is in need of a refresh, and we will dive into the details to get you there.

Makeup Tips for Self Portraits

Makeup Tips for Self Portraits

In this weeks post we review makeup tips to give clients who seek guidance on how to get a better self portrait.

Today photography is technologically advanced. Powerful lenses with zoom and impeccable color reproduction capabilities create exact replicas of reality -- with all your tiny flaws captured as well. Getting the perfect photo can be a challenge. The following makeup tips can make you look photogenic and help hide any tiny imperfections that stand out in your high definition photographs and selfies!

Successful Self Portraits Depend on Good Lighting

Successful Self Portraits Depend on Good Lighting

Facial focus

Anybody looking at your photograph will focus on your face first. Use a primer to even out bumps and make your skin look smooth, then apply foundation on top. Make sure you only use matte-finish makeup to avoid shiny skin. If you do a lot of self-portraits consider investing in high definition foundation. It’s a little pricier but evens out the skin tone and creates a smooth and silky impression in photographs (works well for video photography too).

Attractive eyes

Once they've looked at your face, they'll focus on your eyes next. Make sure you use a good eyeliner to enhance the definition of your eyes. Use a complementary shade of eye shadow, and complete your eye makeup with mascara and a lash curler. False eyelashes can make your eyes look bigger in photographs but watch the thickness. If they are not natural looking you run the risk of looking weird.

Cheeks and brows

Fill in your eye brows with a dark brow pencil. Like high cheekbones, the brows emphasize your bone structure in a photograph. Blush on your cheeks is pretty, but make sure you blend the edges and avoid any blush with sparkles as this refracts the light hitting your face and can make you appear fuzzy in photographs.

Lips

Go with bold, bright colors to draw attention to your lips. Dark and matte shades are best avoided for photographs. If you have a good pout, your lips will tell their own story, but if you have thin lips you can bring out their definition with a lip liner. Avoid excess lip gloss as this creates white patterns when the light hits the gloss and can make lips look deformed.

Hair

Your hair is an important part of your personality and can do wonders for the image captured by a photographer's lens. Choose a color and style that complements both your personality and your features. Try to keep the style natural and avoid overly styled, curled or colored hair.

Neckline

Photographs can emphasize the color difference between your face and neck. When applying your foundation, make sure you extend it beyond your jaw line to the visible zones around your neck and chest. This is especially important if you are sure that the skin in those areas will be visible in the photos. Also be sure to apply makeup under the lights you will be using to get the photograph. Makeup applied to the face in a dark room will look entirely different when viewed with bright lights shining on it.

Angle and smile

The difference between a frontal shot and an angled shot can be substantial; a slight angle can give depth to your features. Saying "cheese" for an artificial smile is passé. If you can't manage a natural smile, talking with the photographer and sharing a joke can give a natural look to the picture.

These makeup tips can help give you a picture-perfect image. Try to follow them as a routine for every shoot, or carry an impromptu makeup kit with you in case you get caught for surprise photographs.

 

How To Dress To Impress Every Single Day And Attract Men Wherever You Go

How To Dress To Impress Every Single Day And Attract Men Wherever You Go

by Gillian Armour

As image consultants we are tasked daily with providing solutions for our clients. This week’s post is based on a request we received about dressing to attract a significant other.

We had a lot to say to the client (some of which is offered here for you to read) but the basic advice is this - what you attract is based on how you look – if you want Mr Sloppy then dress sloppy, if you want Mr Gorgeous, then be gorgeous!

First impressions count

When you meet a new colleague who can’t knot his tie correctly and wears his shirt untucked, you think, ‘This guy’s sloppy. I bet his work is like that too’ rather than, ‘This guy’s clearly a hard worker.’ Making a good impression at all times is hard work, but it will pay off. You never know who you might meet during the course of the day.  If you’ve recently been looking for Mr Right, it’s time to step up your attraction quotient.

Here are some tips to ensure that you look good every single day.

Think about your work wardrobe

You spend over 40 hours a week in the workplace. That’s a significant part of your life, and one not to be forgotten when trying to impress. Although your working life may be dull, you never know who you might meet. Give your work wardrobe a thorough examination. Is your knitwear starting to pill? Are your trousers looking a little worn? Are your clothes predominantly black, gray and white? Treating yourself to a quality work wardrobe won’t be wasted. Buy trousers and skirts that fit your proportions. Team basic items with colourful, and interesting accessories such as bright, fashion necklaces and bracelets. Your sophisticated look will not only set you apart from the rest, but it will also make you feel more confident.

Save the workout wear for the gym

The athleisure trend may seem tempting but lycra and sweatpants do not belong anywhere but the gym. Don’t be tempted to pull on gym-wear just because you’re popping out to the grocery store. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear casual clothing to run errands, but make sure that the clothing says something about you. A pair of jeans and retro sneakers looks effortlessly cool whilst being comfortable. If you do catch the attention of a handsome guy, he’s much more likely to engage in conversation with you if you don’t look like you’ve just been to the gym.

Enhance your beauty

Although some women enjoy wearing heavy make-up, not all women are the same. And, heavy makeup can scare a guy. Think of cosmetics as a tool to enhance your natural beauty and not something to hide imperfections. If you do nothing else, make sure that you wear a little mascara every day. Applying mascara will make your lashes look longer and deeper and draw attention to your eyes. If you feel confident wearing cosmetics, also apply a little blush. It will brighten your whole face which can have the added effect of making you look friendly and approachable. It’s also important to remember to not neglect your skincare routine. Cleansed, toned and moisturized skin will glow throughout the day.

Have your cut and styled

The one thing you wear every single day is your hairstyle. Don’t be afraid to pay a good stylist top dollar to give you an excellent cut. A talented stylist will cut your hair to suit your face shape and your lifestyle. No one wants to spend hours fixing up their hair in the morning, but hair that’s cut well from the start will be easier to style. Don’t be tempted to wear your hair in a ponytail every day. Mix it up a little and you’ll soon notice the new male attention coming your way.

Keep your evening wardrobe separate

It’s more difficult to ‘wow’ men when dressed in your work and casual wear than evening wear. If you meet a guy you’ve had your eye on while out with the girls, he’s going to be less impressed if he’s seen you in that dress at work many times before. Keep your evening wardrobe separate from your day-to-day wardrobe to ensure that your clothes give the maximum effect.

When dressing for the evening, it’s important to remember not to mix a low-cut neckline with a short hem if you want to make the right impression. As with your work wear, make sure that you liven up neutral suit and dress colors with bright accessories. You want to stand out and not fade into the background.

Dressing to impress needn’t be hard work. A few changes in habits and wardrobe will ensure that you look your very best at all times. You never know when you might bump into the perfect guy, so make sure that you’re always looking and feeling fabulous. Remember –  you attract what you dress for.

To Shape or Not to Shape?

To Shape or Not to Shape?

Help Your Clients Look and Feel Great

“It’s not about making you thinner, it’s about no lines!” Khloe Kardashian

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a shapewear revolution sweeping the country. Around for thousands of years, shapewear has suddenly become the new hot item of the day and has moved from the back of our collective lingerie drawer to its new place of honor, front and center. This is a revolution you don’t want to miss out on.

Why shapewear, why now?

By late 2015, baby boomers, people between the age of 44 and 62, were the largest portion of the workforce (41.5 percent). And what are boomers obsessed with? Looking and staying young and fit. Though fifty may be the new forty or even the new thirty, nature and gravity will still have their way. Regardless of how young in spirit you are, your body will eventually give you away. One delightfully simple strategy for recapturing a more youthful silhouette and renewed sense of vigor is to slip into one of today’s shapewear creations. Instantly the years melt away. Your butt is lifted, the girls are perkier and your tummy is flatter. What could be better! Baby boomers while not alone in their interest in shapewear are certainly driving this trend.

The renewed interest in shapewear may also reflect a healthy rejection of the recent trend toward slovenliness. For some time, we’ve all been subjected to a seemingly endless stream of muffin tops, back fat and belly rolls. Everywhere you look, at the mall, the grocery store or driving down the street, you are visually assaulted by unruly mounds of flesh spilling over and out. When did it become OK to, literally, let it all hang out!? Judging by the growing shapewear industry sales statistics, fewer and fewer women are comfortable being quite so relaxed!    

It helps that today’s shapewear is, in every way, not your grandma’s girdle. In fact, most manufacturers don’t even use the term girdle today, preferring instead terms like panty shaper or body re-shaper (even the brand name Spanx has now become the generic noun for all things body shaping)!. Today it’s possible to look sleek, trim and curvy without giving up the comfort you’ve grow to expect.

And don’t think shapewear is only for the plus size woman or the over 40 crowd. Compression shapewear is very popular among young women who want a little extra smoothing out. Young and trim does not necessarily mean fit and as a friend who lives in New York said, ‘Thin is never thin enough.’ Shapewear can be any woman’s secret for looking great in their clothes. With more women than ever wearing shapewear and more choices than ever to consider, it’s a great time to take another look at your options.

Are You Red Carpet Ready?

If you’ve ever looked in wonder and amazement at the Hollywood glitterati on Oscar or Emmy night, understand that beneath all the finery, there is very likely more than a perfectly toned body. Wardrobe stylists work closely with the stars and know what’s underneath.

“[Shapewear] is their armor on the red carpet,” says celebrity stylist Tara Swennen, whose celebrity clients include Kristen Stewart, Emily Ratajkowski, and Modern Family’s Julie Bowen. “It makes them feel locked and loaded. It makes them feel solid. They’re jiggle-proof and wardrobe-malfunction-proof. It gives them an air of confidence.”

We are all influenced by the hip and glossy style that originates in Hollywood and is popularized in the media. The truth is, we all have red carpet moments in our lives, times when we want to dazzle and to create an illusion of perfection. Take a tip from the stylist and let shapewear work its magic.

Shapewear Isn’t New

Over the centuries, men, women and even children as young as seven or eight years old have regularly worn garments for the sole purpose of coaxing their body into the socially desirable silhouette of the day. The history of shapewear reflects the history of fashion, the ever changing ideals of beauty and the social attitudes of the day.

Shapewear has always had a lot to do with women’s breasts, at some times glorifying and at others diminishing their importance. Some of the earliest known examples date back roughly 4000 years to the ancient Minoans who lived on what is today the Greek island of Crete. This was a time when a woman wore their corset on the outside rather than underneath her clothes. If you thought Madonna started the trend, think again. Not only did the Minoans beat her to it, they also out did her. Minoan corsets cinched in the waist, raised the breasts and left them fully exposed for all to see. What today would be considered pornographic seemed natural in a culture that worshiped female divinities.

Now you see them, now you don’t. During the Middle Ages the spread of Christianity and the idea of original sin, redefined attitudes about the human body. The body became something to be distrusted rather than glorified and this attitude was reflected in the shapewear of the day. By the 1300’s, French high society was wearing a form of corset designed to straighten and tame the figure. Still worn over a woman’s outwear, the goal now was to minimize a woman’s curves, especially her breasts. The word corset itself derives from the French word cors, a diminutive meaning body.

By the 1500s, corsets were widespread throughout Europe. Since then, styles have evolved and changed to reflect the fashion of the day but one thing remained constant. With few exceptions; a brief period following the French revolution, the heyday of the flat-chested 1920’s and the feminist bra burning 1960’s; shapewear has continued in vogue.

A Shapewear Revolution

So if shapewear has been around for thousands of years, what sets the shapewear of today apart from those earlier versions? Well, quite a lot actually. 

Shapewear was originally fashioned using generally unsympathetic materials. When women first stepped into something like a corset, probably during the Bronze Age, the garments were been made of Bronze Age materials. Wood, bronze, and stiff animal hide were likely the materials of choice and you can bet, comfort was not top of mind. Later corsets relied on cane, whalebone, iron, stiff canvas and paste to provide the requisite rigidity. It’s not surprising that by the 1870’s, corsets were seen as having a disciplinary function as well as a fashion role. By holding the body in a constrained and upright position the corset was believed to encourage restrained and upright social behavior.

Luckily for us, everything began to change in 1939 when Polyamide (aka nylon), the first commercial synthetic fabric, hit the scene. Suddenly there was this new material that was both lightweight and strong. In 1959 another giant leap forward occurred with the introduction of Elastane (aka Spandex or Lycra). As the name suggests, it has extraordinary elasticity. It can stretch up to 500 percent, and has a recovery rate of 95 percent. Shapewear designers began to combine Polyamide and Elastane, modern shapewear was born and its slow and steady rise in popularity began.  

Comfort is the mantra of our day. Of course you want to look good but are you willing to give up comfort in the process? Most women want to have it all and why shouldn’t they? But when forced to make a choice, comfort almost always wins out. Luckily, you no longer have to choose. Compression garments made of Elastane and Polyamide have largely replaced more traditional corsetry. They deliver figure flattering results and they do it with maximum comfort.

If, however, you’re after the ultimate va-va-va-voom experience, then a corset or corset inspired garment is still your best choice. Even today’s corsets deliver a brand new level of comfort due to the new materials and fabrications now available.

Health & Fitness Benefits

Increased awareness around issues of health and fitness is another factor driving the shapewear revolution. Manufacturers advertise that shapewear can improve your posture, help you lose pounds and inches, drop dress sizes, improve your general health and wellness and even boost your athletic performance. While some of these claims may be inflated, it’s also clear that shapewear can have positive health benefits.

Orthopedic specialists have collaborated on many new shapewear designs with the express goal of creating garments that provide increased back support. If you’ve ever put on a corset, a panty reshaper designed for lumbar support or even a well designed compression garment, you know that your back immediately feels more supported. Some shapewear garments, for example, the Body Magic and Men’s Abdomen Shirt by Ardyss International, are recognized by the insurance industry as reimbursable when prescribed by your doctor. If you suffer from back pain, experiment with various shapewear options. Back pain relief may be only a shapewear garment away.  

Look Younger & Thinner Instantly!

As years pass, muscle tone is lost and posture suffers. Additionally, women must often deal with the effects of osteoporosis which weakens bones. The result is a stooped silhouette in which the distance between the bustline and waistline is reduced. This creates a very matronly stance. As soon as the girls start pointing at the floor, you are certain to be offered the senior discount when go to pay the check. I’m all for a discount but if you’re not ready to flash your AARP card just yet, shapewear can save the day!

As you add years and life experience, you’re also likely to add pounds. I know it’s not fair. A few of you will even manage to avoid those dreaded extra pounds but for most of us, the ticking of the clock, childbirth and menopause eventually result in an increase and a redistribution of weight. You’ll start to look in the mirror and wonder where you went and where this slightly chunky evil twin came from.

Not to worry. You won’t have to look hard to find body cinching shapewear that can actually take you down in inches and dress sizes. You can recapture your former waistline.  ‘How much can I lose,’ you ask? The answer, ‘More than you imagined.’ Ardyss International is one manufacturer that advertizes an instant reduction of between two to three dress sizes. You will of course give up something in comfort if you want to achieve such dramatic results but seeing yourself so utterly transformed can make it all worthwhile, especially if there is a red carpet event in the near future.

Reclaiming Sassy

It can be a challenge to look in the mirror when you’re 30, 40, 50, 60 or more years old and like what you see. As the decades pass things start going south. Your butt, your breasts, everything really, starts shifting as gravity has its way. What was up is, if not down, at least headed in that direction. So what’s a girl to do? If you’re not ready to become invisible, and I hope you’re not, you’re probably already looking for ways to inject new life and vigor into your style. Today’s new shapewear is an affordable, effective and noninvasive strategy for reclaiming your sassy former self.

Say Yes to the Shapewear!

For over 4000 years’ women have been saying yes to shapewear. It’s been how women have re-define their silhouette, boosted their confidence, expressed their personal style and fashion sense. But never before have there been so many options to choose from and never before has shapewear been so comfortable to wear.

Today there is a shapewear option for every ‘body’ and every figure challenge. There are corsets that will give you an hourglass figure to rival the most voluptuous Hollywood hottie and there are light weight compression garments that will ‘oh so gently’ smooth out offending bumps and bulges. Whether you want to achieve dramatic results or subtle changes, there’s a product that’s right for you.

So what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to stock your lingerie drawer with shapewear. Try on styles you’ve never worn before. Step out of your comfort zone and be adventurous. As a reward, you’ll be ready for your next red carpet moment. Just as importantly, you’ll be prepared to look and feel your personal best every day of the week.

 

Why I Want to Be a Fashion Stylist

Why I Want to Be a Fashion Stylist

posted by grad student Giulia-Christina, Fashion Stylist and Blogger readytoglare.com

I was drawn to this course because fashion has been a strong determining factor in my moods and self-confidence. While I was always highly invested in fashion, whether it be to learn about it historically or take note on current trends, I was recently confronted with its true significance.

As someone who took a hard hit to her self confidence, I soon realized that my choice of outfit, including my comfort level and satisfaction with the outfit, made an extreme difference in how I view myself and how well or badly my days go.

Of course, fashion cannot always create a good day, but it can create a day in which someone feels empowered and attractive. These two things, empowerment and feeling attractive go a very long way in terms of helping men and women achieve their goals since it gives them the confidence they might need to push harder than ever.

I want to be a Certified Fashion Stylist because I am very aware of how terrible it can feel to wear clothes that make one feel badly about themselves or clothes that do not truly reflect who that person is. In becoming a Certified Fashion Stylist, I would be able to help people, who like myself, may be struggling with self-confidence and body image.

Particularly in this time, when it seems like being a size 0 and 6ft tall is expected of women, I would like to be a source for people to turn to in order to re-gain confidence and love who they are and what they wear.

In this way, being a stylist is far more than choosing clothes off a rack and matching them to a body type, a stylist can really change people's lives and their self-perception.

New Course - Become a Makeup Consultant/ Makeup Stylist

New Course - Become a Makeup Consultant/ Makeup Stylist

Fashion Stylist Institute Team is thrilled to be releasing our latest course. Many hands were on this project and its one we are really proud and happy about. Sign up today to learn this key skill and start providing your clients with a true makeover!

Social Etiquette Tips for the Socially Awkward

Social Etiquette Tips for the Socially Awkward

I recently spearheaded a workshop for a local teens group and was struck by their shyness and other signs of awkwardness. Today's blog addresses some of the issues facing teens and young adults today as they make their way into social situations where they HAVE to interact with others.


How difficult is it to simply meet someone new at a party or gathering, get acquainted and part with good feelings? It can be hard when you don't think about what you're doing and you are feeling socially awkward. You can make jokes at the wrong time, make the wrong decisions about offering praise and act too confident, all in an attempt to be liked.

Here's what you might be doing wrong and what you can do better.

Social Mistake #1 - Trying to find common ground through complaining

Many people try breaking the ice with the person sitting next to them by complaining about something. They feel that they feel could establish common ground by sharing a gripe that the other person may have sympathy for. They've seen Seinfeld monologues in which the comedian launches into funny complaints about the Olympics, junk food, cigarettes, travel or anything else, all to applause. Unfortunately, what works for a standup routine doesn't work for personal relationships.

When people come to see a comedian, they are already receptive to listening to his complaints - they've paid for it. With the stranger sitting next to you, though, trying complaints out as a way to find common ground runs the risk of sounding negative. Rather than try to introduce yourself to someone by making fun of tasteless catered food or tacky party music selections, then, it could be a better idea to try coming up with ideas for what would be good party music or catered food. It can make a huge difference to a stranger listening to you whether you say, "Seriously, who comes up with these playlists" instead of "The beat on Need U (100%) sure would work for this party right now."

Social Mistake #2 - Pretending that you don't know anything about the person you're meeting when you do

With social media connecting everyone today, it isn't unusual to know something about the people you run into at parties and gatherings through Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or something. When you meet someone whom you know through their social media presence, though, your first instinct can often be to not say anything about it. You can hold back about what you know for a number of reasons - you might worry that it looks disturbingly like stalking to know a lot about someone who isn't a friend. You might be uncomfortable about having to come up with praise for what they've said or posted when you don't really feel much admiration, too.

Whatever your reasons, it isn't a good idea to pretend that you don't know someone when you do know them. It can be difficult to hide anything on social media. Even if you don't admit that you've read a person's posts on Facebook, it's possible that they know that you have.

If you're meeting someone for the first time but you know them through their social media presence, it would be a good idea to acknowledge it. A word of praise in moderation wouldn't be out of place, either. People do love to be followed, Liked and Pinned, after all.

Social Mistake #3 - Not knowing when to tone the confidence down

Standing up straight, looking people in the eye and acting fearless in general can make a strong impression at a job interview or when meeting people for negotiations. It may not make the right kind of impression on a date, though. It isn't the best idea when you want to introduce yourself to new people in social situations, either. If you are the confident type, you don't need to put your strength on display in a social situation. You can simply let it show through in whatever way it will.

In social situations, you need to exclude other kinds of quality to strike up friendships. Projecting trust, for instance, would be a good idea. According to Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy, projecting trust is a better idea if you're trying to break the ice and make friends. If you come off as someone who easily trusts people, you'll attract easy friendships. If you're trusting, innocent and accepting, you can draw in people who want to be understood.

Social Mistake #4 - Introducing the wrong person first

If you have an important person in the room that you wish to introduce your friend to, would you bring your friend up and then proceed to first say, "This is School President Williams?" Many people do make this mistake - they keep the important person waiting to be introduced, while they tell their friend who they are. The important person wonders if he isn't important enough to be spoken to, first. The rule, rather, should be to first speak to the most important person in the gathering. Not keeping him waiting is what matters.

Social Mistake #5 – Hiding in Your Cell Phone

If after practicing these tips you still feel socially awkward do resist the urge to hide in your phone by playing games, checking texts or even texting someone in the same room. This kind of behavior shuts you our immediately from meeting others. They can see you are not interested in engaging. This doesn’t help your cause to make new friends or meet others – instead it signals non-verbally to others that you are indeed awkward. Put the phone away, shut it off and take a step toward meeting one new person in the room.

Keep practicing engaging with others in social situations and you will learn to avoid social mistakes that work against you. Stay friendly and at ease and soon you will find that others are drawn to you as you engage them in correct conversation with skilled social etiquette.

The Job Interview: Your Image and Your Energy Matter

The Job Interview: Your Image and Your Energy Matter

By Gillian Armour, CMFS

In Part 6 of our ongoing series "You're Hired" we review energy management:

You expect a potential employer to look at your resume, your experience, your qualifications, and your training. But did you know they’ll also be looking at your energy?  Dave Watson defines energy as the ability to make something happen. Certainly an employer needs people who can make things happen. Without energy business and the world would grind to a halt. 

Not only does energy get things done, it is contagious. It is magnetic and attractive. As a general rule, we prefer being around people who are energetic. An interview, whether consciously or unconsciously, will be looking for energy signals. If you don’t communicate great energy it’s impossible to have a successful job interview. 

So how can you non-verbally send the message that you’re a high energy person? It’s not just one thing but your whole presentation that tells the interviewer what kind of energy you have to contribute. An interviewer will make judgments about your energy based on:

§  The vigor of your stride

§  Your handshake

§  Your eye contact

§  Your posture

§  Your listening skills

§  The quality of your voice

When you can show an interviewer you have a steady flow of energy, you’ll stand out from the completion. Catherine Pratt explains that, “If a company has the option between choosing someone with the skills but with no energy and someone who doesn’t quite have all the skills but has a lot of enthusiasm, they will choose the enthusiastic one every time. You can teach people the skills and knowledge to do a job, personality and high energy is much harder to teach someone.” Preparing for a Job Interview – How Your Actions Speak Louder Than Your Résumé

But did you know not all energy is equal? Robert K. Cooper, Ph.D., explains that research has identified two very different kinds of energy. As with cholesterol there is both a good and a bad kind of energy.  The good energy is calm energy and the bad energy is tense energy. Calm energy is what an interviewer will want to see.

So, the obvious question is, can you do anything to increase you calm energy. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do. They include things you can do on the day of an interview and also include things you can do on an ongoing basis that, over time, will improve your overall energy. Not all strategies work for everyone so you’ll need to experiment and find what works best for you. 

Let’s look at some of the most successful ongoing strategies.

A healthy diet is the source of your energy flow. You’ve probably heard the expression; junk in junk out. This expression certainly applies to your body. If you eat a junk food diet you can’t expect to have high energy - junk food in, low energy out.

Right up there with diet is exercise in its ability to create a positive energy flow. With energy and exercise going hand in hand, it makes sense to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Sad but true, exercise will not have the desired effect if you wait until the day of the interview to begin your exercise program. 

Drink plenty of water. You’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating. Your body is approximately 70% water. Your brain has an even higher percentage of water, somewhere between 75 and 85% depending on who you believe. This means you must stay hydrated just to function properly. Without enough water both your physical and your metal energy is impaired. Eight to ten glasses of water a day is what most experts say you need.

Practicing some form of meditation or visualization has also been shown to increase energy levels. People who mediate have more energy, are healthier, live longer, sleep better, and have more mental clarity. It sounds like we should all be meditating! These effects are so pronounced and well documented that some insurance companies have actually instituted reduced insurance rates for policy holders who meditate.

Maintaining happy, healthy personal relationships with friends and family is another way to keep your energy high. If you are happy and fulfilled in your personal life you’ll have more energy and optimism to bring to the workplace. An interviewer will be alert to the subtle non-verbal signals you send that indicate how satisfied you are with your life in general. Employers know when an employee is unfulfilled in their personal life there is a high probability it will negatively impact their job performance.

Now let’s look at energy boosting strategies you can use on the day of an interview.

Breathe! Well that sounds easy enough. You’re breathing right now, right? But it’s not enough just to breathe. You need to breathe in a certain way. Deep slow breaths relax and at the same time, energize your body. Notice how your breathing changes the next time you’re stressed. Your breathing becomes both shallower and more rapid. Shallow, rapid breathing places a greater demand on the muscles responsible for breathing. It actually burns up more energy. So, if your breathing is shallow and rapid during an interview, you’ll have less energy to focus on the interview.

Get a good night’s sleep the night before an interview. Plan on going to bed a little earlier than usual. Don’t schedule a special event or a big night out with friends the night before an interview. Instead, go to bed with a something to read (but not a page turner), something warm to drink (preferably non-alcoholic) or invoke any other ritual that you know will help you relax and fall asleep quickly.  

Wake up early. This is especially important if your interview is in the early part of the day. Don’t get off to a bad start by oversleeping and then feeling rushed. If you’re a very sound sleeper you might even ask someone to give you a wake-up call. Waking up to music rather than an alarm can also help you start your day on the right note. 

Start your day with a good breakfast. Even if you usually get going without breakfast, do yourself a favor and take the time to eat breakfast on the day of an interview. Choose something nutritious but light. Remember, junk in junk out. Not only will you have more energy, you’ll eliminate the need to snack on the run which could be disastrous if you’re unlucky enough to spill food on your interview clothes.

It’s natural to have some pre-interview jitters. You can minimize nerves by making time for some light exercise in the morning before an interview. If you still feel tense just before your interview do some simple stretches to help you relax and get energized.

If you do only one thing for yourself on the day of an interview, organize your day so you can avoid feeling rushed. If you are worried about being late, your focus will be scattered and your energy will be tense rather than calm.

Beware of taking in too much caffeine before an interview. Everyone has a slightly different tolerance to caffeine but whatever your tolerance level, be careful not to exceed it. Too much coffee or high caffeine soda can quickly change your energy from calm to tense. 

You can often calm your nerves just by focusing your attention outside of yourself. So, during an interview, direct your attention to the interviewer. This is easy to do when you practice active listening. Active listening is a special kind of listening in which you:

§  Focus all of your attention on the interviewer

§  Non-verbally signal your acknowledgement and involvement,  for example, by nodding your head or leaning slightly forward

§  Observe the interviewer’s body language cue

Next week  Interview Etiquette points will be reviewed.

 

 

 

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