Join Lida Citroën for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining your current brand, part of Creating Your Personal Brand.
- I remember my client, Mark, a few years ago. Mark didn't realize he had a personal branding problem until we started looking at what was happening in his company. A lot of people were leaving the company and not really giving a lot of details on why. So we started asking, "What was it "about the way Mark was interacting with his teams "that might have been sending the wrong message?" I sat in on a couple meetings, and I watched Mark be very efficient, very direct, not ask for a lot of input and collaboration from his team and make decisions decisively in the moment.
To Mark, that was efficient. That was a very streamlined way of moving his team back out into the field so that they could do their job. But what the team was experiencing is that Mark wasn't very collaborative. He wasn't asking for their input, or getting them to give ideas that maybe could have made things work differently. In Mark's opinion of himself, he was efficient. His team's opinion, he was non-collaborative and a little pushy. He was the smartest person in the room, but it wasn't about proving that to his team, so they left.
We had to change that with Mark because he wanted his team to stay. Personal branding is about the way you are perceived by others. It doesn't always matter what you think, it matters what your audience perceives. So, there's a lot of judgement in personal branding. Honestly, I was that mom who told my kids, "It doesn't matter what other people think "about you, it matters what's in your heart." And yes, and no. It does matter what's in your heart, but if other people perceive you as pushy and non-collaborative, they might make decisions that affect your career and your companies future based on that.
A lot of the executives that I work with, haven't necessarily been mindful of the way that they're perceived. They admit to taking advantage of opportunities, sometimes because of timing or increased salary, or not things that felt like a lot of control to them. What we're giving you now, is an opportunity to take control, to think about where you are right now. Take an assessment of how you think people perceive you. If you were to ask 10 of your closest colleagues or friends or business associates, how would they describe you? Would they describe you as someone who is collaborative and approachable? Or might they say that they feel like you kind of take over in meetings and don't really solicit a lot of input from those around you? How would you like to be remembered, and is that the way you're known today? These are some questions to start asking yourself to get an idea of who you are, in terms of perception, at this moment in time.
You can't go back and change it, because yesterday you might not have known about personal branding. So it's really about taking a stake of time, right now, to understand what your perception looks like. What is your reputation look like, right now? Take some time and think about what questions you might ask to assess your reputation.