Bring your whole self to workFred Kofman
We speak about it a lot in a business sense.
I don’t think that we use it enough in a personal sense.
What’s your personal brand?
We’ve been asking this question a lot with clients lately.
The results of spending some quality time working out the answer has produced staggering results.
Let’s be clear, by branding, I don’t mean anything flashy, artificial or inauthentic.
In any context, this is bad branding.
Rather, it’s about packaging what’s authentic and unique about you, harnessing and celebrating it.
Hiding your true self:
Too many people spend their time trying to cover up, water down or avoid altogether their unique core- deeming it inappropriate in a professional context.
We compare ourselves to others or industry conventions and try to emulate or fit those.
Our workplaces are far worse off for it.
“The injunction to “keep it professional” (means that) nobody feels comfortable being who they really are at work.”Jill Scott
No-one’s at their best and we miss out on the glorious variety that results from individuals embracing their idiosyncrasies and bringing their whole selves to work.
In the context of public speaking coaching, specifically, our work on personal brand has been transformational.
In an arena where people already feel vulnerable, the added vulnerability of “just being yourself” can initially feel far too exposing and a step too far.
Celebrating your true self:
However, not only is it ok to be yourself, but it’s a must to truly connect with your audience and get them to experience what you’re all about.
What personal branding does is turn acceptance of you into a celebration. It’s deliberate and empowering. It’s helped our clients feel confident to bring it in the public arena. Being themselves is being “on brand.” No longer, “ah well, it’s who I am so I better put up with it.” Rather, “this is who I am, and these are the specific qualities that make me unique and of great value.”
Try it out.
Spend some time outlining your unique values, qualities and strengths. Be specific. Write them down. Have them in a place that’s visible to you every day. These will form the basis of your brand. If you’d like to develop this work further, we’ve had huge success on this front with our Bespoke Development Programmes.
Focus on your strengths:
We exert so much energy on our weaknesses and trying to iron out those.
The reality is, those weaknesses will probably never be great strengths. But they definitely will be someone else’s.
Spend some more time on your strengths, honing those and using them to make a difference every day, in your unique way.
Don’t be a slightly worse version of someone else. Own your personal brand and be the best version of you.
By Chris Wickenden, 30th July, 2019.