Coach: So John, I understand that you want to talk about Personal Branding in our meeting today?
John: Yes, that’s right coach. It’s a phrase that is being spoken about a lot around here. Everyone is talking about their personal brand. And after a recent meeting I was offered some feedback that I should pay more attention to my personal brand.
Coach: I see. Can you tell me more about that feedback please?
John: Sure. I um…I… lost my cool in the meeting. I felt like I wasn’t being heard so I just started speaking loudly and aggressively and over everyone else. I know it was rude. But I still don’t understand how it relates to my personal brand.
Coach: I see. And what do you know about personal branding John?
John: As far as I can tell, it’s just another name for reputation? Am I right? Initially I thought it was about how and what I share on social media but I don’t really share that much there.
Coach: Yes John. You’re right about that word ‘reputation’. I’ve heard it said like this; ‘Personal branding is what people are saying about you when you leave the room’ or ‘personal branding is what people say about you behind your back’. I know it’s not so easy to digest but yes, people do talk about us when we’re not around. So other people are giving us a brand whether we like it or not. And that’s what we call our Personal Brand.
John: That makes sense coach. But I can’t control what people say about me behind my back.
Coach: Really John? What do you think people said about you when you left that meeting room after talking loudly and agressively?
John: They probably said that I’m an arrogant prat who demands attention!
Coach: (smiles) Maybe. Maybe they said that John. Do you think that if you would have displayed a different set of behaviours, you could have changed the things people might have been saying about you?
John: Of course! I could have ignored my feelings of frustration and just allowed everyone to speak over me and then they could have said ‘John is a meek mouse!’
Coach: (smiles) Maybe. Maybe that is what they would say John. What would you love to have them say about you when you leave the room John?
John: That I’m a smart guy! That I have value to add! That what I say is brilliant! That how I present is ace!
Coach: Yes, wouldn’t that be cool! Smart, adding value, brilliant, ace presenter. These are the things that you’d like for people to say about you John?
John: Yes coach. And I know what your next question is going to be.
John: You’re going to ask me how I need to behave in order to have people speak about me in this new way?
Coach: Yes John! And I’m not only going to ask you how you would need to behave. I’m also going to ask you what kind of a person you need to be to behave that way? Our behaviour is an output that is informed by many things – our ambition, our attitude, our values, our fears, our emotions, our environment, our health. If we want to behave consistently in a certain way, in a way that is authentic and comes naturally, we need to get clear on the who we want to be.
John: Wow coach. This is deeper than I thought. It’s sounds like I have to do some work on my attitude to start with.
Coach: I think a great place to start John is to get really clear on a few things;
Where are you heading? Where do you want to see yourself in your career in 5 years time?
What kind of a reputation do you want to build for that future you John?
What kinds of behaviours will help you to develop that reputation John? What kinds of behaviours will help you to develop your personal brand?
What core values do you want your brand to reflect?
John: Ok. There’s homework for me to do! What do you mean by values coach?
Coach: Well, each person’s Values are a major influence on their behaviour and attitude. Think about them as the qualities that are truly valuable to us. They are like beacons of light that direct our path and influence decision-making. For example, if leadership is a value of yours John, one that you truly want to show up in all areas of your life, then you would take care how you are showing up as a leader in all situations.
John: I hear you coach. Leadership is something I do value and I need to be more aware of that.
Coach: Yes, awareness is key! You can learn more about your values and even take a free values assessment here: https://www.valuescentre.com/our-products/products-individuals/personal-values-assessment-pva
John: Thank you coach. I am feeling far more aware of personal branding after this conversation. I’ll tackle this homework. I am sure it will give me more clarity on who I really want to be.
Coach: Yes John, I think it will. To develop a strong personal brand is a journey. I’m excited to be on this journey with you.
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