I’m not sure what’s going on in the business world these days, but when did it start becoming acceptable to go to work looking like a wrinkled, rumpled mess?
It seems everywhere I turn, I see people at work with wrinkled shirts, blouses, pants, etc. Is it because some label on their clothing says, “wrinkle free,” that they feel, despite the fact that their clothing is obviously wrinkled, the label trumps what they can obviously see? Or perhaps they feel resentful that they’ve been lied to and want to spite the company that made the clothing by refusing to iron it? Or maybe, because all their colleagues are rumpled, as I witnessed this past week while doing some consulting, that wrinkled is the new trend?
At this point, you might be wondering why I, as a communication expert who usually writes blog posts about how to listen, how to be an effective communicator, how to write better emails, etc., am writing a post about ironing.
Your appearance communicates.
When you or your employees wear clothes that look like they were pulled straight from the bottom of the laundry hamper, it sends a message to your customers and colleagues. Although the message received might not be the same to everyone, the message isn’t positive.
Here are some possible impressions others might have of you:
- You’re sloppy in appearance, so you’re probably sloppy in the work you do.
- You don’t care about your appearance, so you probably don’t care about your work either.
- You’re too lazy to iron, so how hard are you going to work for me as your customer?
- You’re disorganized and couldn’t find your iron, so you’re probably disorganized at work too, so I’m not going to hire you.
- Your appearance is representative of your thinking which is full of disorder and chaos.
- You don’t care that your appearance negatively represents your organization and yourself.
- You’re just not professional because you don’t look professional.
And by the way, some synonyms of wrinkled and rumpled include disheveled, bedraggled, withered, and deranged– is that what you want people to think of you?
Well, here’s my communication advice for this week.
Get an iron, people, and use it!