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I’m The Business In My Tie

Have you ever wondered what the colour of your necktie might be saying about you? Actually it can be saying more than you might think, our choice of colour, clothes, hairstyles and other factors which affect our appearance are a considered a means of non-verbal communication.  Research on colour psychology now demonstrates that different colours can invoke different moods and deliver a powerful non-verbal message to others.

On January 20th 2009, President Barack Obama took the presidential oath of office, becoming the 44th president of the United States.  He appeared in a sombre dark suit wearing a red tie.

Was this combination, especially the tie, just by chance? President Obama had just taken up one of the powerful roles in the world and the choice of the red tie was most likely not by chance.  The message this combination gives is “I am strong, I will not give up or give in, I am a fighter”.  He was making a statement in non-verbal communication, the language of ties.

Neckties play an effective role in a business man’s wardrobe (and a business woman’s, I have my own collection) so what does each colour mean?

Red – Means passion, strength, energy and ambition, also indicates leadership and power.

Navy – Means unity, tranquillity and harmony.  Symbolizes a calm, cool and confident personality, this is a favourite colour of politicians and business men along with red.

Blue – Symbolizes co-operation, the ability to compromise, to be constructive and a “lets work together” attitude.

Pink – Symbolizes a romantic soul.

Yellow – Solid, reliable and earthy.  However can also symbolize anger and the ‘I’m ready to fight” attitude.

Brown – A solid reliable colour, indicates a genuine ‘down to earth’ person.

Gold – A wonderful colour in business, symbolizes the fact that you will never quit, and will always finish what you start.

So next time you are at a meeting or business function take a look at the coloured ties around you, this may be the first clue to the type of person you are about to meet.

So what colour is your favourite tie?

I am a Stress Management Coach (also a Holistic & Natural therapist and teacher). I am dedicated to managing stress, resilience and well-being, my training courses and consultancy are designed to help create a working (or home) environment where resilience is enhanced and well-being is protected, allowing people to respond positively to challenges and perform at their best. I provide in-house training courses, consultancy and workshops to private and public sector organisations (also one-on-one sessions). I specialise in providing practical training for managers and employees aimed at minimising the risk of stress and enhancing well-being within the organisation.

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  • Cool post Catherine! My favourite colours (and for ties too) is blue. Pity that politicians chose that one as well 🙂

  • Nice one Catherine! I’ll be sure to bear this in mind the next time I meet a new client

  • Great post. Well done Catherine . . .

  • Oh yeah, I just remembered that supposedly Tiger Woods used to always wear a Red Shirt on the final day of a Tournament as he felt Red symbolized Power, Energy,etc . . .

  • Oh yeah, I just remembered that supposedly Tiger Woods used to always wear a Red Shirt on the final day of a Tournament as he felt Red symbolized Power, Energy,etc . . .

  • Anonymous

    Not a tie man myself – but wear pink shirts 🙂

    Did wear a black tie at a recent wedding – do you know what black says about me?


  • My current favourite tie in my own wardrobe is pink, we must be romantic souls at heart Paul 🙂

    A black tie in our society usually stands for death or a funeral, which is a shame as a black tie is a wonderful addition to any wardrobe, as it can symbolize someone who is traditional and respectable but also carry a hint of mystery.

  • Thank you for the kind comment Daniel, Red is perhaps one of the most powerful colours in our wardrobe….

  • Blue is a great colour Fred, It isn’t an agressive colour, its calm and cool, and like I mentioned to @Niall Devitt today, the wearer of a blue tie is often someone who values honesty and honour….

  • Anonymous

    I’m chuckling a little as I think of how I prepare for a meeting at which I want to make a good impression. One of the items on my checklist is which outfit I wear. I have to say that navy blue is one of my go-to colours. I have noticed that different networking groups have different “dress codes.” Some are more funky, relaxed or serious and that makes quite a difference when you plan what to wear.

  • I think we all have an “outfit” that we go to when we need an extra boost of confidence. I teach my Confidence clients that wearing something you know flatters your shape, size and colouring means it’s one less thing to stress about! And, when you receive more compliments that day than usual, say “thank-you”!

  • Ray

    I like to wear a red tie after a late night out as it co-ordinates well with my eyes!!!

  • Julieanne Lawler

    Have to say – dont wear ties myself – but red shoes/bags are my weakness – Love them!
    Really interesting read Catherine!

  • Great Advice Derbhile!

  • Anonymous

    Great post Derbhile. I suggest you also look at the search engine rankings of the forum as some do really well in searches and may provide valuable links back to your site for search engine optimization as well as bringing traffic. Just remember posting links to your own site may be prohibited by the forum or may be ‘no follow’ (most links in signatures are) and not provide as much seo value. You will have to be creative to include links to your site without appearing spammy. Build your relationships first and only post if relevant to the topic.

  • Nidhi

    Nice article Derbhile. I second your thoughts on building trust and relationship with others based on the value and help you can provide.Participation on forums is like Giver’s gain. The more you help others with your expertise the more you will gain. Thanks for sharing your views,Nidhi

  • Hi Derbhile,nnOnline forums are excellent, because you are speaking to potential clients directly, when they have a concern. Even better – you can see and respond to their concern in real-time. I do find however, that you have to be super quick! Responses build up by the second and yours can easily become lost. nnAlso, if you are adding your email address, be careful – others take these and spam you (v.annoying). Responders can and do challenge you and may use negative comments – be strong and confident. Don’t lower yourself to their standards.nnThe signatures for trackbacks – also a good idea. Do check website policies though, as many sites approve comments and remove signatures. Some limit personal advertising until you have reached a certain number of responses.nnA note on time – forums are not a quick buck – they take time and require a sales technique which is not too pushy. But, they are worth investing time into (as you have mentioned – you’ve made money).

  • Derbhile

    Thanks everyone – hadn’t realised that some forums blocked websites as signatures – Irish Business Women doesn’t!

  • Ann Johnson

    Derbhile, thanks for the article. Kindest Regards, Ann

  • Bonzie

    Terrific Article Derbhile, very informative. nnThanks for sharing! nkind regardsnBonzie

  • I meant to add that I used Cork.ning network for a while and met a fab company down the road from me called Little Giggles – The girls and I have become great friends.nI also set up a mini section on website support and gained one client. nSo – it does work. You gotta give a lot, but you get a lot in return! : 0 )

  • Forums are great. One thing I would add under the “Do Use Your Time Well” category, is not to spread yourself too thin. As you mentioned, there are a gazillion forums out there, and it can be tempting to try and participate on as many as possible. But that may lead to lower quality on your part.nnOne forum that I participate quite a bit on, and would highly recommend, is It’s a forum dedicated to startups and small businesses.

  • Facundo

    Compelling article Des. Loads to work on. This mus definitely be the “Year of Local” Thanks for sharing

  • Plenty of great advice there Des. Will check out Whitespark.nnHow would you keep track of all the pages that your business can claim? Do you think this activity is fair or ethical – to advertise a site without permission? Just curious.n

  • Hi Des, Local Citation Finder looks like a great tool. I read somewhere that whether you include http:// piece in listings has a separate effect, You should stick to a single approach as Google will look upon both differently? – Niall

  • Des

    Thanks Facundo! n

  • Des

    Thanks Christina,nnnSorry for the late reply. Only just back from Mexico.nnnYou can only claim the listings relevant to your business. Hijacking other listings is against Google’s Terms of Service. They have a zero tolerance policy so I would strongly advise against claiming someone else s listing or creating a fake listing.nnnCan you explain what you mean by advertising a site with out permission?nn n

  • Heather Morgan

    A great tip especially for us as a person working everyday to find lead prospects. I’ll do apply this Nikhil. This will help a lot.

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