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What your objects say about you

The objects we choose to surround ourselves with, to decorate our spaces with, act as a reflection of who we are.

Whether we like it not, our clients, our teams, and even our own unconscious selves, are scanning them for meaning.

That first dollar bill from a paying customer. A festival wrist band. A photo of the first company office. Pictures of family.

“people’s possessions tell us even more about their personalities than face-to-face meetings”
– Sam Gosling, PhD and author of Snoop: What your stuff says about you

We keep these objects because they generally serve two functions:

  • they remind us of who we are or who we want to be
  • they signal to others who we are or who we want to be

What are the work-spaces of these two entrepreneurs signalling to you?

“This is why I love the octopus: 8 arms, tentacles that suck and never let go, nocturnal, 24/7, they blend in, they attack, they ink!” – Grant Cardone
Tony Hsieh, CEO at Zappos

What do the objects in your work space, your office, say about you and your business?

Have a look around at the artwork, photos, objects, the text on posters or notices, even the furniture and plants. What are they signalling to clients?

Is this messaging accurate? Desirable?

What do you want to signal? What could you add (or remove) from the space in order to convey that message more clearly?

(Bear in mind that this also applies to virtual meetings – what can clients and colleagues see in the background when you’re on Zoom? Take a minute to curate the space behind where you sit when you’re working remotely).

And remember, the objects signal in two directions – they communicate both to your clients AND to you and your team. Have a second look at your space to determine what you’re signalling internally – to your colleagues and to yourself. Is the messaging in line with the culture that you want to create? Does it serve to support the work that you are doing?

If you decide that the objects in your space aren’t supporting you and your work, I can recommend a great place to start shopping 😉