SRK is most definitely not the finest actor out there- and, yet, he’s indisputably one of the biggest superstars of global entertainment. No one knows who the real Salman Khan is, but to the world, he’s one of the most benevolent actors of the world!!
So what is it that differentiates these- and many more- from those who may be better than them, but fail to grasp as many eyeballs? The ability to ‘manage’ the image they project to the world!
Image management is an important aspect of public relations and self-development: the ability to control and maneuver people’s perception of you is sometimes all it takes to travel from the “gracious loser” to “jubilant winner”!
Keeping in mind the aforementioned importance of the subject, we got in touch with Nancy Katyal, founder of The Perfect You and a renowned image consultant.
Here is what she had to say on the subject:
#1. You have your own company “The Perfect You” which works in the field of Image management,personality management, and other Soft skills related areas. How did this idea strike you? From where did it start?
I believe that ultimately you don’t choose your passion, it chooses you. I started my career working with ICICI prudential in a small district – Karnal in Haryana. During my experience, I observed some brilliant people around me with a lot of potential but lacking something that was not getting them the desired results. From Insurance to finance, I moved to the education stream as an Admin Officer in a well-renowned school. I saw a similar trend there as well. Many talented teachers with great potential were not able to create the kind of results they were capable of. This made me think what that gap really was. This thought stayed in me, until in year 2011 I moved with my family to Mumbai. In a new city, I decided to take a step back and invest in myself before I look for a new job. I enrolled into a couple of courses on Storytelling and Image management as a learning investment. That learning turned out to be a life changer as it made me reflect deeply on my inner self and make the connection between how I feel about myself and how the outside world sees me. It stuck me that is it the answer that in our busy lives we fail to understand the importance of sincerely knowing ourselves and how can we improve the message we are sending to the outside world.
Your image is you in the eyes of others and the skills associated with sincerely improving and communicating our image makes all the difference when it comes to achieving great results. I started to compile modules of my own based on the learnings that I had gathered from ICBI, the institute from where I did my international certification in Image consulting. I did a number of sessions with shopping malls staff, school students, small corporates and eventually my passion chose me and I started my own venture ‘The perfect you’ to take a full-time plunge to touch the lives of others and help them benefit for these skills the way I have been benefited.
#2. What difference do you see in the need of image management today as compared to the previous decade?
We are living in a world where presenting ourselves as whole matters. It is no more just about presenting our knowledge only. We are living in a connection-oriented economy where values like information, knowledge sharing and teamwork are more important than anytime in the past. You need to showcase and let people around you notice what you stand for. You cannot hide behind a desk job as you are out there in the open and seen. Your image is your narrative that will make people notice you make impressions about you. Another key dimension of change is the need for people to intrinsically connect with their work and contribute by giving ideas and innovate. This requires the connection from the heart and as a leader, it is your image that will decide if people contribute from the heart and not just their minds.
#3. How would you connect image management with industry readiness? Do you think every college should have workshops for it?
Teachers are in unique position as they are dealing with students who have access to so much information and opportunities. I don’t think our colleges are doing enough to make our students industry ready. I remember my own days, where the curriculum used to take centre stage and that’s it. I don’t think it has changed much. I do believe that schools and colleges should invest in teaching people skills to students. These skills if taught well, will encourage students to reflect back and bring a change in the way they connect and work with others. Through role plays and other exercises we can emphasise the importance of presenting the image as a whole and not just knowledge.
#4. You have trained professionals of multiple age groups. How has been the experience so far?
I really enjoy this opportunity as it allows me to interact and learn from a diverse set of audience. I believe delivering the same message to a different set of audiences is very interesting. The flow, content, and exercises need to be tailored to the needs. Before every session (no matter how many times I have done it) I take some time in the morning to be ready for the session and be aware of how can I make the maximum impact with my audience. I don’t have pre-conceived notions about people based on their age. I have seen young people display a lot of maturity in thought and also senior people displaying a lot of youthful ideas in the sessions. So it is a very interesting learning experience for me while handling all these dimensions.
#5. You have brought up an amazing daughter- Ishita Katyal. What do you think should be the approach of parents towards motivating their kids for living their dreams?
During my growing up years, my parents and elders always encouraged me to never look at my abilities as fixed and to keep improving. As parents, we encourage Ishita to also believe in that. We allow her the freedom to express herself freely and make her choices. I believe that children who see their abilities as fixed ( due to peer pressure or parent/teacher scolding ) give up easily after failures. We should make the children strive to improve and give them varied experience so that they can develop a firm sense of their own self and exposure to what matters in the world we live in today. You are not taking their childhood away, instead, it will make their childhood more vibrant as they come in contact with many new things encouraged by you as a parent.
#6. Any tips you would like to give to our readers on image management?
Image management is an Inside out approach. If we are not happy from within, even the best of the attire would not look good on us and we will not be in a position to communicate properly, hence it is very important to start working on our innermost layer first. If we are happy from within, it reflects outside as well.
Respecting yourself and being open to making a sincere effort to look at yourself and feel inspired to change for the better. In one of my corporate training, a participant opened up and told the class that he was a total introvert and was shy of giving any presentation. He was passionate about sharing his knowledge and so he spent a lot of time observing and practising talks in front of small groups. With a sincere effort giving a perfect talk gradually became his second nature. That was a wonderful thing where with a lot of sincerity he was able to bring change in the way others perceived him. That for me is a great example of working on our image.
It was a wonderful interacting with Ms. Nancy Katyal and understand about image management. We thank her for giving us her valuable time. Hope it helped you- the students in an interesting way. Just one thing, start working on how you project yourself in front of others.
Featured Image Credits: B. Krishna Karthik