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Casual Dressing
THE BEST DEFINITION OF ANY ATTIRE WOULD BE “CLEAN, PRESSED AND FRESH.”

How do you define what is acceptable as Friday casual dressing?
 
The issue of casual dressing is once again becoming a “hot issue”. The company dress codes seem to be getting weightier with do’s and don’ts and still employees are showing up with less acceptable choices. How do you correct this problem?

1. Look to the dress code with a critical eye and evaluate the problems you have had.
2. Leadership and management must look closely at the standard they are setting. It is said that employees will duplicate what we do wrong to the 10th but follow our example by ½.

The best definition of any attire would be “clean, pressed and fresh”. Business casual does not include “dirty, old and ripped”.
Business casual may be divided into three main categories Baseline, Mainstream, and Executive Casual.

It is in the Baseline category that you would find denim (although I do not believe in most office environments denim should be accepted), casual khaki’s, polo shirts and deck shoes – never sandals or runners.

Mainstream goes up in quality, excludes denim add shirts and higher quality sweaters and goes to flats and loafers.

Executive goes to impeccable quality, blazers and high quality wools and wool blends in pants, trousers, sweaters and cardigans, fine leather shoes and pumps.

I have found that the best solution is still to educate rather than constantly adding to the “don’ts” in a dress code. Lunch and teach sessions, corporate sponsored Image Enhancement sessions can be a great forum to solve many issues both in the areas of dressing, personal care and professionalism.

Mari McLaughlin
President, Full Closet/Nothing to Wear, email: marim_pbs@sympatico.ca


Intuiting Patterns
OFTEN WE DEFER TO OUR RATIONAL BRAIN OVER OUR INTUITION

How can I tap into my intuition instead of following the rational solution?

When we use our intuition we make decisions using our whole brain. Often we defer to our rational brain over our intuition and the results are often not as good as using our intuition. Our rational mind is one of our tools, our senses and right brain can add to the information and the result is a better solution. When we tap into our intuition our solutions become more effective than just using our rational brain alone.

Intuition demonstrates itself when we have a pervasive thought or feeling about something, when we recognize patterns, watch body language for congruence with spoken communication or use our collective senses. It is when we trust our inner knowing about a situation. It has been described as a subconscious visceral feeling, hunch, inner voice, gut instinct, or professional judgment.

Various management studies have found that executives routinely rely on their intuition to solve complex problems when logical methods simply don’t work. We all need well-honed business instincts. When problems get more complex and ambiguous, intuition can help. The power of pattern recognition increases with the amount of experience the person has. It takes trust and courage to listen to your intuition because it may not seem fully logical or rational. We actually tap into more than just our rational mind.

One explanation of intuition is that our minds are continuously processing information that we are not consciously aware of. We feel a sense of surprise when our conscious mind becomes aware of what our subconscious mind already knew. We feel that yes, this is the correct answer, that the intuitive answer has unearthed some inner wisdom.

Our left brain is the conscious part. It is rational, logical and looks at parts of a problem. The right brain is emotional, intuitive, subconscious, and looks at the whole. When we get a whole answer from our intuition we are often surprised because our rational mind has been looking at the parts and has not come up with the answer.

Questions to Ask:

  • What are some bigger patterns that are occurring repeatedly for employees, teams or the entire organization?

  • Do you remember times when you trusted your intuition and things worked out well for you?

  • Do you have examples of times when you went against your intuition and things turned out badly?

    What have I learned, i.e. pattern recognition that could help me if similar situations occur in the future?


    Many people have learned to tap into their right-brain thinking by meditating, relaxing, exercising, walking or hiking, or listening to music. It is good to set aside time to just puddle around, because intuitive answers come forward when our brains are more relaxed. Bigger brain waves occur that encompass more of the brain when we are in a more relaxed state.

    We also need to reflect on decisions. Which ones have been good and which ones have been bad decisions? It’s important not to fall in love with your own decisions, self-checking or feedback from others will help you come to better decisions.


    On-the-Job Exercises:

  • Bring up an intuitive insight you have using a mutually respectful attitude and tone with employees or teams. See blocks get removed and progress made.

  • Notice when listening to your intuition has helped you. Times when we made more money, things went smoother, maybe our health improved, we had a lot of energy, doors opened, or synchronistic events occurred because we followed our intuition.

  • Trust an intuitive answer when it occurs. Assess the result of taking this stance.

  • Assess what answer your body would give in a situation. If your body tightens up or closes down the answer would be no and if the opposite occurs the answer would be yes. Assess the percentage of correct answers come from your body.


    Mary-Ann can be reached at (403) 220-1240
    Resources:
    “When to Trust Your Gut” by Alden M. Hayahi Harvard Business Review February 2001
    “Using Your Intuition at Work” Workshop Ellen Hayakawa


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