Chapter 10. Image

We all make split-second judgments. They are part of our everyday life. You probably think you have an idea about someone's income bracket, family background, and even his state of mind after walking past him in the street.

Your image, to a certain degree, helps determine your level of success—both through how others perceive you and, more importantly, how you perceive yourself. You obviously want to project an image of confidence and success. This is particularly true of business seduction and soft skills training. Positive first impressions are crucial in fostering trust and confidence in potential clients and customers or when interviewing for a desirable job. The slightest misstep in your appearance might well lead to not winning a big account or losing out on a promotion, whereas if you present yourself with style, poise, and control, you can rest assured you'll close just about any deal.

Decades of studies and statistical analysis show that people who present a positive image and are universally considered better looking do better in life. In Why Men Lie and Women Cry, authors Allan and Barbara Pease write about how "attractive men are paid twelve to fourteen percent more" than their ordinary-looking colleagues in the United States. A different study in Pennsylvania discovered that better-looking suspects received lighter sentences, and often no jail time at all, compared to unattractive defendants accused of the same crimes. And in Malcom Gladwell's Outliers ...

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