You are unique.
Yes, you are. You’re one of a kind. There is no one else like you. Some people may have similar attributes, but they are still different from you. Even if you are an identical twin, you are not a clone (well, I am pretty sure you aren’t). Good personal branding is communicating through words and actions those things that show who you are: your unique self. Today’s Attitude Adjustment post looks at 4 things that, when put together, call out what makes you UNIQUE: Expertise, Perception, Personality, and Presence.
To describe our brand, we need to look at the combination of characteristic features that make us, us. We must be able to describe our personal traits: the distinguishing features of our personal nature, our personality, that we alone possess. It is through analyzing our traits, strengths, weaknesses, and other differentiating qualities, that we construct our personal brand statement and show people the unique value we bring to things.
We have all heard people say things like “it is his nature to help others,” or “she is a natural-born communicator.” Well it is our nature that determines our actions and reactions to things and it is through understanding ourselves to this degree, that we are best able to craft a compelling and authentic personal brand statement.
The Brand of YOU
To get you started on thinking about personality traits, here is a list of some of the more common ones. Do any of them fit you?
When I ask people what their personal brand is, many can not tell me. They can talk about their technical or business expertise and they can recite their work and life resumes, but they lack the details of what they uniquely bring to the world – their personal twist – their brand. When pushed they can tell me their moral and ethical values, and their passions, but they have never tried to create a personal brand image. And, you first need to develop your personal brand image before you will be able to create a digital one.
Attitude Adjustment Homework: Crafting Your Personal Brand Image.
In your notebook make a list of the following information.
1, Expertise: Include here your competencies: general knowledge, point of view on things, technical knowledge, and your critical thinking ability.
“An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to avoid them.”
― Werner Heisenberg
2. Perception: What do other people think you’re an expert in? What are you known for doing well? What strengths do others perceive you possess?
Understanding how people see us is enlightening, and is the best way to investigate and improve our image, especially when it comes to branding. I regularly survey my mentors, managers, colleagues, and clients to ensure that I have a good feedback loop between what I think I project and what I really project.
This makes me think of a line from a Robert Burns poem:
- “O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”
(O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.)
- Robert Burns, Poem “To a Louse” – verse 8
Scottish national poet (1759 – 1796)
3. Personality: What are your personality strengths and weaknesses? Describe your core personality traits.
Personal strengths, unlike skills and expertise, are based on who you are, not what you know. These are the personality traits that I mentioned above. Once you understand your personality traits, your natural talents, you can apply them to your personal definition.
Take me for example: my top personal strength is “Individualization.” I am intrigued with the unique qualities of each person and have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively. (Gallup StrengthFinder) This talent has served me well in my role as a global program manager, in customizing projects for clients. and in identifying different approaches to everything from data analysis to personal problems.
4. Presence. Your personal image depends on how you appear in the world. Presence or appearance includes things like how you dress, the way your carry yourself, your posture, your gestures, even your facial expressions. Influence demands on personal presence. You can have all the other factors, but without the proper presence you may never be able to ‘sell’ the Brand of You, “Presence is not an all-or-nothing commodity. Consider it a continuum, with your physical attributes, natural talents, communication skills, and character traits plotted along the way somewhere from one end to the other between “low presence/low impact” and “high presence/high impact.” (Dianna Booher, Creating a Powerful Personal Presence to Influence and Engage, American Management Association, March 6, 2012)
Once you have a solid list in all 4 categories, you can begin to create a strawman of your brand profile. But I think that is enough homework for a couple of days.
Keep up the good attitude. See you next blog.
(All the Social Butterfly’s views are her own)
- My personality traits (kamako31haru.wordpress.com)