Evolution is about differences, genetic to environmental influences shape who we are and our conduct. The appreciation of our differences and honing our capabilities allows us to formulate our personal brand.
According to Oxford dictionary, branding is: “A particular identity or image regarded as an asset”.
You need a starting point to build that particular asset, the visual image and the verbal identity. Well, the kick off is to find your purpose by asking a simple question: WHY? The answers are to recognize the underlying reasons by de-constructing your values, attributes and conduct. Once you are clear about your intentions you start cultivating your uniqueness and formulate your story.
Now, let’s start with polishing your everyday attire. Whether you have liberal political views wearing grungy fashion to laissez-faire capitalism of Haute Couture, you should be comfortable with your choice. Minimizing “decision fatigue” like Steve Jobs and creating a signature style or opting for self-expressing clothing, require well maintained routine.
How you carry yourself is another form of communicating your personal brand. Another word posture is power. Walking tall conveys confidence. Imagine you are participating in a networking event, walking into the centre of the room with a smile and a frame posture signals that it is safe to engage with you.
The way you interact in social engagements reflects your personal branding. An admired trait is being an active listener as it expands your opportunities to connect and learn, regardless of your point of views. Practice thinking pose such as praying hands, the connotation indicates that you are paying attention.
Where you position yourself in a meeting or in a seated social engagement also speaks of your trait. Try to be as close as possible to the centre of the room where you have maximum exposure.
Start a conversation with light and current events. Topics such as best seller book, travel to product recall are safe and ice breakers. Personal stories too create bonding. Choose few topics from your personal/family life or your professional experiences that you are comfortable sharing with strangers. This way you are helping other individual to be at ease as well as figuring out your message. Keep in mind that turning a negative thought to an uplifting conversation establishes emotional connections and strengthens your personal branding. Here are few questions to help you prepare for social/professional engagements:
- Your birthplace and where you reside
- A unique story that describe your schooling, career, or life experience
- A life changing experience
- Places you have traveled or plan to visit
- An interesting fact about your heritage
Last, decide on your voice volume and rhythm of your verbal communication and always close your mouth when you are listening.
…/ part 2 of personal branding will be published on Friday October 20, 2017