Don’t Have a Coach? Four Quick Strategies to Independently Develop Your Personal Brand
Working with an executive coach that specializes in personal branding affords you the advantage of having a qualified professional lead you through a process to develop the best version of you.
If you aren’t getting that expert guidance from a coach how do you know if the personal brand you are developing really connects with the best version of you and how you ultimately want to be known?
And after you establish the fundamental elements that give you a direction, how do you stay on track and see what you can’t on your own?
Here are four powerful strategies you can use to eliminate the blind spots and allow you to self-coach:
#1 PERFORM A GUT CHECK
When working with leaders to develop their personal brand, I facilitate an exercise where they write a list of descriptive words they would love to hear other people use to describe them. Then they narrow their list to the top four to six words. These are the words they want to own in the minds of their audience, whether it is one person or many. It is how they want to be known.
You could write your list now! Make sure you write words that raise the bar for you and hold you in an elevated state of being. It could be confident or dynamic instead of professional or interesting.
Words carry meaning. They can influence your attitude, the way you see yourself and the way you showcase your value.
To know if you’ve got it when you look at your top words do you find yourself saying, “That’s good.” Or, is your internal voice shouting, “THAT IS TOTALLY THE WAY I WANT OTHERS TO SEE ME!”
If your gut check is revealing, “that’s good”, keep working at it until you get the second response. If you have the second response to your top words put them into practice and start making them your reality!
#2 PAY ATTENTION
To know if you are on track in living your brand pay close attention to how people respond to you and what you are saying. It will provide you with clues.
If you are leading a presentation or conducting a meeting, are you getting the response you desire? Are participants actively engaged or do they appear disinterested? When you share your point of view, do others shake their head in agreement or become defensive?
If the response isn’t what you are going for this is the perfect opportunity to consider making a few minor adjustments. Are you providing too much detail and overwhelming your audience? Are you speaking in an aggressive tone or a condescending manner?
This can happen without you even realizing it, so how do you change people rolling their eyes to nodding their heads in agreement? Think of someone who is easily able to engage their audience and model his or her communication style.
Caution: Model ~ don’t copy! This is not about you being someone else, it is about you learning from someone you feel who has already mastered a quality you want to own.
#3 ASK PEOPLE YOU RESPECT
Another way to find out if you are aligned with your personal brand is to be proactive in approaching people whose opinion you value and ask them, “What five words would you use to describe me?”
Give them time to think without interrupting. Also be prepared to share why you’re asking for their input as some may be curious.
Your response to their curiosity could be as simple as; I want to be more aware of the impression I make and feel the best way to find out is ask people I respect.
Regardless, if you are delighted or disappointed with the five words they share, thank them for sharing and for their honesty.
Remember you are asking someone you respect and whose opinion you value. If the feedback isn’t aligned with the personal brand you want to create see the input as an opportunity to recalibrate and grow.
#4 GET CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK
Many leaders share they are often disappointed that the feedback they get isn’t constructive. You can’t do anything with “your doing fine” or “nothing stands out”. The responsibility in getting constructive feedback lies in asking specifically what you want feedback on.
If you ask a general question about how you are doing, you will get a general response. However, if you make a request for feedback on specifics of your personal brand it is easier for someone to give you information that is useful.
To make this process easy, let several colleagues you trust know the personal brand image you want to project. Then ask for feedback after you get off calls or when leaving a meeting.
If it is more confidence you are going for, ask if you came across as confident. If you are looking to eliminate being defensive and working on being open-minded ask if you came across as being open-minded.
To improve the quality of feedback you get, ask before the call or meeting. This gives them the opportunity to pay attention to your behaviours and provide you with specifics.
What if they have something to share that isn’t positive? Maybe one of their observations was that you interrupted several times. Don’t go into making an excuse about why you interrupt (this is being defensive and lacks confidence). Thank your colleague for sharing and let them know how much you appreciate their support.
To take your expression of appreciation one step further, make the changes that more closely align with your personal brand. Taking action on the feedback you get can be the greatest compliment to the people you respect and who provided support.
Keep in mind you are doing this as a self-coaching exercise to build a remarkable brand and be fully aligned with how you want to be known. This is your work, with or without a coach!
Take action on one of the strategies above that will help you remove any blind spots and have you living by your personal brand standards.
Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!
Are you interested in having a conversation to explore how you can define your personal brand and accelerate your growth as a leader, individually or as a team? Send an e-mail to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation.