Though performance and quality of work are the most important factors, while evaluating a person in a workplace, personal appearance is no less important either. Personal appearance has an immediate effect on the all the stakeholders which share the same work environment, they may be co-workers, bosses or the clients.
Personal appearance is the first thing a person gives out to other people; it is the beginning of interpretation of an individual’s personality by others. The first impression itself regulates how people will communicate and react to the individual’s presence, when he goes to meet them or gets involved in a communication with them. It is thought that a good personal appearance conveys a message of professionalism among the people who are professionally related. To the people working outside of the organisation the personal appearance of an individual serves as an image reflection of the company whom the individual represents.
In a professional environment people like to work or do business with someone who they can trust, people who appear professional in their appearance project a sense of trust and responsibility. A good personal appearance makes an individual feel good and positive about his environment and builds his confidence in meeting and influencing people.
As personal appearance of a person include formal, informal and semi-formal dresses, hair style, gestures and personal hygiene etc. A properly dressed individual by his appearance projects an image that he is well-organised and gives importance to details. The appearance also effects the reputation of the individual in a professional setting, people with good appearance are judged above the others.
“Whether you are speaking to one person face to face or to a group in a meeting, personal appearance and the appearance of the surroundings convey nonverbal stimuli that affect attitudes—even emotions—toward the spoken words,” according to *Murphy and Hildebrandt.
*Murphy, Herta A., and Herbert W. Hildebrandt; Effective Business Communications. Seventh Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1997.