Hello, this is Mark Gotsch.

As a contact, administrative, teaching or other professional, people expect certain behaviors from us. I don’t refer to what they want when they encounter us but what they expect.

For instance, there is what I call the DMV Concept. As one enters a Department of Motor Vehicles with an issue with vehicle licensing or driver licensing they want fast, friendly inexpensive service. What they think will happen, or expect, is a long wait, uncaring dull personnel, and plenty of forms and hoops to jump through. What are those wants and expectations with your position? And what do you think your customers or contacts think will happen?You are always “on” with people judging your behavior, people you may never know are watching.

This means that people see us as an extension of the organization and from past experience or urban legend a certain experience with us. We can project an image, of course, and we have control over that image. So we have to determine what we want to project. We can start with our personal professional mission and the mission of our organization. What do we do and why? Normally it’s related to serving people’s needs in a time where things aren’t going well for them. You need to solve a problem, offer information or advice, or elicit their cooperation to do something they probably don’t want to do. Can your image affect that? It certainly can.

As Vistelar’s Director of Training Gary Klugiewicz says, “You can create a reasonable doubt in their minds that you are a jerk.” This can be accomplished with your appearance, demeanor, tone of voice and words chosen. You can throw off their equilibrium and planned responses to your information if they are in an elevated mood or you can gain a proponent if they are expecting a friendly response. In addition, an untarnished professional organization reputation will have a positive effect on how your customers feel they will be treated. If there is a lack of trust or a negative expectation it may be because of a prior experience or rumor you had nothing to do with.

You are always “on” with people judging your behavior, people you may never know are watching. They may even be judging when you are not at work or providing a professional service. Practice the Art of Representation at all times and you will not be letting yourself or your organization down.

-Mark Gotsch, Verbal Defense & Influence Consultant