Case History: Personal Power

By Sherry Maysonave, author of Casual Power

True personal power comes from within.  It can be enhanced and developed, but it cannot be given.   However, with the right haircut and empowering clothing, one’s body shifts and a sense of  power just pops out.

Rebecca, an attorney, graduated from law school six years ago but failed to graduate her girlish collegiate look. The senior partner of her law firm, also a woman, asked Rebecca to upgrade her image. The firm was rapidly growing and she needed to introduce Rebecca to new clients — all wealthy.

First, we gave Rebecca a new hair style. Getting rid of the sweet-little-girl hairdo, including barrettes, gave her a sophisticated look instantly. The long floral skirts and soft-shirt jackets of her college days had to go.

To bring her up to date, we dressed her in a high-quality, businesslike pantsuit. The jacket, exquisitely tailored, adds a sense of potency to Rebecca's image. Her I’m-just-a-girl flats were traded in for low-heeled classic pumps that exude high-dollar class. Even though dressed down from conventional lawyer garb, Rebecca exudes personal power and commands respect.

After upgrading her image, Rebecca’s success soared. She was made a partner in only one year, a time frame that broke all precedents for that firm.


Excerpted with permission from Casual Power: How to Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication & Dress Down for Success by Sherry Maysonave.

Copyright 1999 and 2000 Sherry Maysonave
Empowerment Enterprises. All Rights Reserved