What is Your Character’s Costume?

It’s time to perform – to step into a role. Getting suited up tells the world that we are “on” – that we are in character. Our “work” persona.

By acting our role, we operate from a different set of priorities – or even values – than we do in our personal lives. Most often these aren’t in conflict – just expressions of different skills and goals. We continue to care, or value collaboration, but when we are in our role we may need to prioritize speed or bottom-line over relationships. When playing sports, we focus like a laser beam on our role and don’t worry about accidentally bumping into teammates or competitors. Wearing the uniform helps.

No wonder there are Academy Awards for best costume design. It tells so much of the story.

Sometimes the ‘costume’ is more of an attitude or stance. At its simplest – there have been many times when I am enjoying family time and it becomes clear that I needed to step into my official “mom” role. So I give the cues – the lower voice, the serious eyes. The kids knew who had just stepped into the room. I didn’t need a uniform or hat. They knew this person very well.

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