Image Ability | Blog: Navigating leadership style: communicate with awareness and colour
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People talk of branding and style in numerous ways: it all depends on who you ask. Is it about dressing, leading, writing, planning, conversing, or dreaming?

We communicate all those in a flash: an impression which becomes a vector of direction to tell the world who we are.

When did you last look at the multiple colour grains in your eyes? Recently, high above the streets of London, I spent time with young, ambitious bankers on the up: some stood out also because of how the colours they were wearing instinctively reflected not only their eyes but their inner-selves, too; yes, in a flash. They didn’t know precisely why, scientifically, but they knew they felt good and empowered, and, in their mind and heart, they knew that the colours they were wearing had something to do with how they felt! Attention and awareness are treasured abilities – even when we are unaware of them.

H, a mum-to-be and host extraordinaire, was brimming with joy and happiness wearing a bright yellow blazer. She was shining from the inside out, communicating with people and with uncomplicated leadership.

Then there was C1, with an immaculate complexion and presence in powerful monochrome, communicating 100% interest in people and genuinely wanting to know more. The ultimate gift for any organisation that needs clarity and engagement at the top.

Then, C2′s blend of green and khaki: relaxed while conversing with similar minds. The unassuming, but so strong glue in a team.

I find such meetings very telling and sometimes poignant, and I no longer wonder why. We all interact with our various other selves, and those we help:  some resolute doers, others who might have been waiting on the bench for a while but keeping their eyes on the ball; others exceptionally alive inside, but not communicating their goodness on the outside.

When we meet, we interact and feel about it in specific ways. It is good to record that for future learning: who do you learn from and are inspired by? Why does this matter?

How we interact, make eye contact, stay engaged, and sustain conversation are skills that start with awareness. Networking training is only possible with this first learning step: noticing and paying attention.

Expert tips may give you a gloss, a one-thing-to-do at that moment, but the natural ingredients are more subtle and learnable. Italians have a word, sprezzatura, an all-encompassing term for effortlessness which transcends into our behaviours; so conversations – weather, colours, and dresses – flew nicely, effortlessly and uncomplicated. Events like this were exemplary of feminine leadership, where everyone was crafting, testing (i.e. sharing with others) and owning their sprezzatura. Everyone was doing just that, effortlessly and with no agenda.

Sometimes, we talk colour; other times, it is about the joy and challenge of being a young mum or, indeed, how to package all the talent and ambition to supercharge our personal power. What transcends all such conversations is one’s ability to solve immediate problems and add value for the more significant good.

Every interaction is a learning opportunity, a chance for our minds and hearts to expand. It’s a reminder of the vast knowledge and experiences that we all can offer. And it makes me wonder who else is out there, ready to embrace that extra value and take themselves to new heights?

Whether you feel like the second violin in an orchestra, or more in the audience than on stage, take the chance to meet people and learn from them. You can learn gratitude, grace, and goodness—your sprezzatura.

We are all micro-universes, and, unsurprisingly, we have so much in common.

This is why I wholeheartedly enjoy what I do. I’ve experienced first-hand the transformative power that mentoring and support can have on a young woman’s growth, and on her ability to uplift others. And it’s this transformation that I wish for all those I meet and have the privilege to support.

At Image Ability, we specialise in a unique approach to our clients’ image. We view it as an authentic alchemy of behaviour, communication, and appearance – all highly influential areas of life.

Our approach is grounded in the practical application of the Vitruvian® values of proportionality. These values, which emphasise balance, symmetry and harmony, are not just theoretical concepts. We apply them when developing personal and social habits, making decision-making more enjoyable, and enhancing self-expression.