Employment pundits say in today’s job market, it’s not enough to have skills and education. Today’s top employees must “dress for success.” What better time is there than the end of October to consider a bit of dress up?
Considering what character or idea you’re going to “play out” on the night of October 31st can really get your creative juices flowing. This characterization may even inspire the way you communicate with other employees…..especially when those “others” are the executives who make the major decisions that influence your company/organization.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 costumes recommended for quality professionals this season.
Costume #10: Wild Things (From “Where the Wild Things Are”)*
If you have children and are familiar with this popular story, you know how hairy, big, and toothy the wild things can be! Dress up as a wild thing and you may find yourself with a strange desire to romp off into distant unseen lands and roar at the top of your lungs! But how can dressing up as a wild thing inspire you to communicate more effectively with your practical and down-to-earth executives?
Dressing up as a wild thing this Halloween can remind you to think from different angles when you communicate. If you normally write emails in paragraph form, consider presenting your information in a bulleted list, with a quick introduction that includes a related article or with an image included. Goodness! Maybe you could even write a poem (okay, probably not….but think outside of the box!)
Costume #9: Break a Leg (The Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story)
Google this costume and you’ll find plenty of variations. This costume will take you back to that wonderful, somewhat cynical film about those weird and oh-so-memorable family Christmases! This costume can also inspire you to remember that as you communicate with your executives there WILL be mishaps and misunderstandings. Don’t worry about it! Shout out loud that you aren’t perfect and don’t care to be and then be quick to clear up any miscommunications. Your executives will surely notice that even when you make mistakes you readily admit to them and are quick to get things moving forward!
is article is related to the
5 Tips for Getting Executive Backing for a New or Expanded EQMS.
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Costume #8: Get Emotional (An Emoticons Mask)
We live in a world of digital emotion (i.e, emoticons) so why couldn’t you be an emoticon for Halloween? Actually, you could be a whole series of emoticons with some of the digital Halloween emoticon masks available (this is not an advertisement). These kinds of costumes remind us that even in the matter-of-fact business world it’s fun to put some emotion into things. When you present to your executives (even if you’ve only got 1-2 minutes to communicate an idea that is important to you) make your presentation short but don’t be afraid to put emotion into it! Make them shake a bit with fear, make them laugh, who knows….maybe you’ll make them cry!
Costume #7: The “Ginger” Bread Man/Woman (I’d Rather be Red than Dead)
If you’re a “ginger” (a redhead), try this unique costume. First, tie several loaves of French bread around your waist and to other areas of a simple shirt and pants and then tie a sign around your chest labeled the “Ginger” bread man/woman.
This costume reminds each of us to be ourselves. If you like dinosaurs, be a dinosaur. If you like rock stars, then be a rock star. If you communicate best through email, then send your executives emails most of the time but occasionally adjust your mode so you’re meeting your executives’ preferred styles of communication.
Costume #6: Wolverine (From the X-men Series)
up as Wolverine will tap into your
aggressive side. You may find an
urge to tear your house apart or
howl at the moon on Halloween evening.
Never fear though…..if you
get hurt you can quickly use your
Wolverine powers to heal yourself!
Bringing out your inner Wolverine can remind you to put a little more assertion into your communications just to spice them up a bit. Executives get bored, too, and if you change your communicative tone from time to time they will notice you. Just don’t hurt anybody!
Costume #5: Elsa (From the Movie “Frozen”)
If you plan to dress up as Elsa this year then you’re probably already focused on “letting things go.” Remember sometimes executives don’t always get the importance of quality and they might not remember how quality provides ROI just as R&D and engineering do. Despite all of your good intentions and all of the ROI calculators that you’ve developed and all of the information you’ve sent in the direction of your executives, remember that change can take time---especially when executives are used to thinking about quality as an expense. Just keep moving in the direction of change and keep trying new and unique methods of communication and eventually you’ll be seen as the initiator of a great change!
Costume #4: “What Does it Mean?” (from the Double Rainbow Video on YouTube)
If you’ve seen the infamous (and I certainly mean infamous) “double rainbow”video on YouTube, you know that if you dress as a rainbow this Halloween and then wear a sign draped across your back that says “What does it mean?” there are over 42 million viewers who are going to know exactly what you are referencing.
The Double Rainbow video (and costume) reminds us not to get too philosophical when we communicate with executives. We all know that executives are generally practical people who are “on the go” and only need to know the most important points required for them to make decisions so don’t focus on the philosophies or theories involving quality. Get to the “good stuff” as your executives define it and the “good stuff” to them generally means more money! (A good ROI calculator can help you tremendously).
Costume #3: Marie Antoinette (The Headless One)
Yes, there are Halloween costumes out there that will allow the a quality professional to walk around holding your decapitated head. This can be quite exciting as we generally cannot do this in polite society on any other day of the year.
Marie reminds us not to lose our heads, especially when it comes to the important things. To a quality professional the important things are building processes that produce products and services that truly offer a high level of quality. There is no need to be perfect, of course, but shooting for those Six Sigma levels of high quality is what you’re looking for. Keep focusing on that destination while simultaneously showing executives how this can help them make money in the long run and you won’t have your head handed to you on a cake plate.
Costume #2: The Roller Coaster (A Group Costume)
Some costumes are just too good not to share! This costume (check it out
here on YouTube) will certainly require some choreography, practice and coordination but if you like group costumes, this is the one of the year!
The roller coaster costume can inspire us to take some time every once in a while (perhaps put a reminder in your calendar) to network with others. Just talk. It’s amazing how when you talk to others in your work environment people’s ideas just start naturally synchronizing. This is why there is always one or two people in your organization whose entire jobs are devoted to networking but that doesn’t mean you can’t network too! Your networking observations will help you to communicate more effectively with executives in ways you might not even currently be able to anticipate!
Costume #1: The Trash Can Guy (Get Your Scary On!)
There’s always that “one guy” or that “one gal” (see past episodes of the ABC sitcom “Modern Family”) that wants to scare all the neighborhood children silly. This year you could be that guy or that gal! You know, shake it up a bit!
Dress yourself as a large dumpster and sit down on your driveway (perhaps you could snack on candy corns while you’re waiting) and when the unsuspecting children arrive, scare them to their heart’s delight! You’ll never forget that Halloween and they will certainly never forget you!
And how could this scary costume or scaring innocent children possibly inspire better communication with executives? Well, this is a bit of a long shot but the most important tip for communication is to never communicate through fear. Sure, you can do it on Halloween but when it comes to communicating with your executives, be prepared and be confident about all of the important messages you have to deliver!
Quality Professionals Have a Lot to Communicate
Sometimes quality executives forget how
important they are to other employees.
Take a step forward (how about a
step forward to the Christmas season)
and remember the old movie “It’s
a Wonderful Life.” If you haven’t
seen the movie or don’t celebrate
Christmas, no problem! Just imagine
this world and how it would look
without you. Something would definitely
be missing. Remember that and keep
communicating your message of quality.
Oh…and happy Halloween!
*Note: Many of the costumes mentioned in this article have been inspired by this article. Take a look and see what other scary and weird inspiration you can find!
Marci Crane is MasterControl's localization manager and a Halloween enthusiast! You may find her gallivanting about in any (or all) of the costumes mentioned in this article but she promises never to steal the kids’ candy! In her spare time Marci enjoys Latin dancing, reading, and laughing out loud (LOL).