Dress in a manner appropriate to your position in your company and to make a positive impression on the people with whom you interact. The casual wear you might adopt for the jobsite is not appropriate for conferences with customers, architects, bankers or business meetings. When attending association meetings, dress in a manner that represents success in your position as owner or manager.

Your dress, overall appearance and attitude will be the factors on which people base their first impression of you. You have only one chance to make a first impression - make it a good one!

Appearance also should apply to your employees. Good grooming, professional attire appropriate for their positions should be required. Management should dress in a manner that alerts visitors to their position - either a jacket and tie (if applicable) or a neat business shirt is appropriate at this level. Secretaries and other clerical staff should wear outfits that are suitable for office work. Many offices have a dress code that prohibits wearing blue jeans and tennis shoes, or other such casual styles of dress. Members of the shipping and receiving crews should also dress accordingly.

Excessive jewelry, such as dangling bracelets, is not recommended for offices in which computer equipment and typewriters are used. Not only is the jewelry distracting, it also poses a real danger in the event it becomes entangled in the equipment. Some may consider an office dress code to be a bit prudish, such as the requirement of many U.S. presidents that no one enter the oval office without a coat and tie on. Respect is earned in many ways - one step at a time.

Remember, appearance is the first thing noticed by customers or visitors to your office. It is important that all employees, especially those in the reception area, dress professionally and present a good overall appearance.

Mike Holt’s Comment: This newsletter was extracted from my Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we encourage your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. Please respond to

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