A New Perspective on Professional Styling, Fashion & Corporate Careers  

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” Anais Nin

Image Source Instagram @graffiterati

This quote rang very true for me this week. After many lockdowns in Victoria, I finally managed to progress with a booking to see Professional Styling expert Samantha La Porte from Style Union StyleUnion.com.au   some time back. While I was reluctant to move forward with it, given like many I am in recovery mode, my initial commitment to the stylist and a desire to support small businesses kicked in.  I found the courage to invest some energy and time in pursuing an uncomfortable area for me being fashion.

How profound an experience it was to have someone who is an expert in their field, feed back to me what my image says about my professional image. To challenge me on how I dress and why, and to provide other fashion perspectives that may be more relevant for me where I am at in my career right now.  So many aspects of our lives are driven by habit, some conscious some unconscious. For me fashion has been one of those. While I like to look neat and professional, I have a somewhat utilitarian view to clothing. Since being a small child, I have had a love of boots and clothing with pockets!  

On the career front I have been privileged to have worked successfully for many years as a coach helping my clients develop their personal brand from an employment perspective, capturing their career stories, their unique value proposition, their career purpose, and goals. My work with clients is often at an intellectual and emotional level.  Not so much on a physical image level.

It was a powerful experience to be on the other end as a client going through effectively an image and emotional coaching experience.  To learn so much about how I approach my clothing choices based on largely unconscious influences and behaviours from my past.  While some have served me well, others not so greatly.

The value of having someone who is an expert in their field, provide an honest and insightful perspective of how they see me visually and the messages this sends to them about my personal brand was confronting. It was uncomfortable however also hugely useful, to help me move out of my comfort zone and challenge some of my thoughts about my image and brand.

I will admit I felt very vulnerable through the experience, and it also seemed somewhat decadent to be spending money on such a service. However, I could also see what a worthwhile time and financial investment I was making in myself and my career.  As someone more analytical and less visual I had glossed over this aspect of personal branding to my own detriment for too long! Not since my twenties have I dedicated such time to the pursuit of fashion and image.   I now have a style summary and know what to look for when I do go shopping, which will ultimately save me time and money. I have cleared out the clothes and shoes no longer serving me, or my brand (with the help of my stylist doing a wardrobe consult) and I do overall feel clearer and more positive about my personal brand going into 2022.

Having had the professional styling experience with Samantha, I do honestly feel better about myself and my visual image. There is a renewed positivity towards clothing, and I am looking forward to taking on the advice and applying it more frequently to my clothing choices and checking in more frequently with how others see and experience my brand on a visual level, not just a technical and emotional level.

Should you wish to explore engaging a Professional Stylist you can find Samantha’s details below. Samantha La Porte , Founder | Style Union Email: samantha@styleunion.com.au Instagram: style.union

Ikigai, Your Life’s Purpose & Career Happiness

What is my life’s purpose? This is a question we often explore with our coaching clients when they are stuck or have no ‘conscious’ goal in life at that point in time. Most people may not know how to easily define their life’s purpose which is understandable, it is a big question. The problem is often not knowing how to go about defining their life’s purpose and then being motivated to take the actions make it happen.

To learn more, Get Your Complimentary ‘Ikigai’ Life Purpose Resource

Some people may also feel that they cannot have what they want, or the answer is too complex. Others tend to focus on what is available, rather than what they want. A more empowering and successful approach is saying, “This is who I am and what is important to me; this is the value I bring and problems I can solve. Who is looking for people like me?” This shift in mind set opens a whole range of career possibilities and creates an increased level of confidence and focus. In essence, getting ‘on track’ in life requires several factors to be working together and a positive mindset to make it happen!

Essentially, your life’s purpose is a key driver to career success as it acts as a guide to your career choices. It is really the basis of what you are interested in your career. It may change over time too.

The image summarises the core ingredients to finding your life purpose and how they are interrelated and how they combine to reach your Ikigai. The concept of Ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy) was developed by clinical psychologist, Akihiro Hasegama based on Japanese life philosophy. It roughly translates into English as ‘your purpose in life’ or ‘your reason for being’.

Are you ready to start defining your life’s purpose & be motivated to make positive changes?

To learn more, Get Your Complimentary ‘Ikigai’ Life Purpose Resource

Interested in exploring working with a career strategist & coach?

If you are interested to explore working with a career strategist and coach on your Ikigai, you may like to book a complimentary 30 minute coaching session with one of our coaches via calendly.

Simple Weekly Reflections to Refocus Your Career, Energy & Mindset

Reflection involves serious thought or consideration being given to experiences, which can be difficult to do given the busy lives we all lead. Many of us are stuck in a cycle of action &/or re-action with little time for reflection.  For more information see The Triangle of Responding to Change & Stress!  

Reflecting on our experiences is a way to understand and know ourselves better. While thinking is a cognitive activity, reflection involves the emotional and physical dimension which can be lost, particularly in our work. Exploring with curiosity issues from a different perspective can help challenge our assumptions and preconceptions, while encouraging the growth of new ideas and opinions.

*Give yourself permission to spend 10-15 minutes at the end of each work week to capture in a notebook your reflections.
Below are some grouped reflection prompter questions to start with. Focus on up to four questions each sitting.

How was my work week?

– Have I experienced any internal resistance at work?  What did it feel like?

How did I overcome this resistance?

– What strategies are working for me now at work?

For more reflection prompters download the attached document.

Want to be a successful Leader? Start with Personality Profiling

Like a thumbprint, personality type provides an instant snapshot of a person’s uniqueness’ Isabel Briggs Myers

Being a coach gives us the privilege of supporting inspiring professionals and executives throughout their challenging and rewarding careers. We are often introduced to a new client when they are leveraging their technical brilliance and transitioning to a leadership role. However, while the technical brilliance has taken them far, their people skills have not often been sufficiently developed to succeed as a leader. Hence, they seek the expertise of a Career & Executive Coach to help them explore and understand themselves in a safe space.

The trigger for seeking help can be a myriad of things. As they reach midlife it is natural to question who they are and our place in the world, to re-asses their values and their purpose in life.   Or, it may be that they are unable to progress to the next level due to decision makers believing that they are not competent to take on people responsibility.  Other drivers for help include support to undo bad career habits or to help develop or re-build more authentic relationships in their work and personal lives.

The challenge is that most of our clients have never been provided with a framework or the tools to develop high level people skills. Unfortunately, organisations often can justify technical career development training, but struggle to invest in people skills development.

Personality Profiling assessments are a well validated and reliable tool that we use to help our clients to develop their people skills and become an effective leader across all stakeholder relationships.

 

The role of Personality Profiling in coaching leaders

We often start a coaching program with a new client by completing a feedback session on a personality profiling assessment (MBTI, The Majors or Birkman). This exercise helps our clients to review their preferences on career drivers, their leadership style, team interaction style, how they live their life and also an indication on what might cause them stress.

The assessment provides an objective view on themselves, something that they have not often experienced. This is the first stage of being true to self and thinking about ourselves as an individual rather than labelling, just like job titles and functions.

When exploring personality preferences clients gain deep insights into how they can be more effective in their work and personal life. These insights can help clients to become focussed on their true purpose and gives them confidence to be true to themselves.

Unfortunately, society sets perceptions of what we should do with our life to be accepted. As humans, we want acceptance but sometimes we lose who we truly are in the process. Personality profiling helps us to find the right balance and be true to who we are.

 

Why are we afraid of finding out who we truly are?

Labels are just the beginning of understanding ourselves. Unfortunately, much of the training provided in the workplace does not go beyond the first step of describing the personality type. If a type tool is used (for example MBTI®), then describing the 16 categories is the end of the learning session. To really understand your ‘type’, you need to go beyond this and dig deeper into the analysis of the results and explore how the preferences are used for each individual. Whilst we are labelled with one of the 16 types, we actually use all of the opposite preferences too. The secret to using type is learning how each individual uses all the different preferences, and in what order.

Secondly, the type assessment helps us to understand others. By using the Type framework, we can read behaviours of other people and assess what drives them. If you are working with multiple stakeholders or leading people, this framework will be an invaluable tool to help you to read others’ needs. For example, if you are selling to someone with an S (Sensing) preference they will want evidence or data to convince them to buy. They are unlikely to tell you their preference.  However, their questions or your well-crafted questions will give you clues on their preference.

Contact us to understand more about the range of coaching packages we have on understanding your personal preferences to develop your leadership skills and develop a greater understanding of yourself, your team, management and clients.

When your personality is aligned with what your soul is here to do, nobody can beat you at it’– Oprah Winfrey