Thursday, February 2, 2017

What Are Others Saying About You Behind Your Back?

In the case of Donald Trump many people are saying many things to his face and behind his back. His personal brand – whether you loathe him or love him has not been amended in any way since becoming US President. Discerning leaders listen to others and understand what positive and not so positive qualities need to be addressed to succeed.

I don’t think any of you would be described as, “dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president. As quoted by a psychologist in the press recently about Trump. On a local level though I have heard a team member being described as, “good at this job out a pain in the xxx to deal with.” I hope this is not the perception others have of you.

We all have a brand image. The question is what does it say about you?

In the course of your career no doubt you’ve been subjected to a personality test or two. I remember one of the very first ones I ever did asked questions like, “Am I a morning or night person,” and “Do I read the telephone book for fun”? I’m still not sure of the relevance and I don’t remember the name of the assessment tool, but you would know of several including, Myer Briggs and DiSC.

Psychometric testing has been used for a very long time and whatever the relevance to your career it still can be useful to understand more about your personal brand.

Many personal branding programs used today are based on the Johari Window, developed in the 1950s by two psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. Jo and Hari. It’s quite simple and makes the process of understanding yourself clearer. 

They came up with the four elements of self we need to look at.

  • The public self is the part of you that everyone sees, what we show to the outside world. It’s the part everybody knows and understands about you.It includes your visual Image, first impressions, how we dress, groom and how we interact with people; your social skills, customer service and people skills.

  • The private self – your hidden image. It’s the part only you know about. It may include your attitude, self confidence level, experiences, anxieties and fears. These are the areas you don’t want others to know about. The private self is also about your goals, dreams and hopes.

  • The blind spots. Let’s face it – we all have them. These are the parts of ourselves others see that we cannot see ourselves. This is your reputation, what you are known for and what other people say about you behind your back. This may include your attitude, ego, annoying habits or sloppy appearance.

  • The unknown self.This is the untapped potential which is unknown to you and others. It is the part of us that is not clear. Perhaps we don’t yet realise what we can achieve or others haven’t recognised our potential. Perhaps they see something in us that we don’t.  As an example we might feel confident but it’s not coming through – or the behaviour we’re unaware of is giving out the wrong signals.

The idea is to work on your private self and look into some of those hidden areas.What is it you need to improve on? What do you want to achieve and what do you want to project to others? Then look at your public self – how others see you. Can you get some honest feedback of how people perceive you to uncover some of the blind spots?

We need to tap into some of these areas and once we’re satisfied that the image we’re projecting is working well for us then we can start to uncover the unknown self and unlock some of your unknown potential.

It is a matter of being aware of our true selves and allowing the positive YOU to come through – peeling the onion layer by layer until we reveal that true essence.

If you would like to understand more about Personal Branding download your free eBook – The power of Personal Public Relations. 

Read last week’s blog How to Shine as a Business Brand Ambassador 

Sue Currie is a personal branding specialist providing solutions to business owners and organisations to boost their image, renown, brand and business. She is the founder of Shine Academy™, providing education and professional development training and Shine Agency™ a firm providing personal branding and public relations services to help businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an impactful professional brand. Through speaking, corporate workshops, and consulting, Sue helps businesses and individuals to stand out and shine.



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