Volume 6, Issue 3

Coach Vickie Bevenour, PCC  - www.CoachVickie.com

April 2008

This Newsletter

... is a quick tip ezine for Managers who believe in "Results Derived from Within"
Written by: Vickie Bevenour, a Professional Certified Coach, PCC

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Coach Vickie Bevenour
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The RDW Group, Inc.
114 Partheni Court
Cary , NC 27519

April 2008

Your Personal Brand – Part 1 Persona   

Last month’s newsletter discussion was about using more precise language to communicate what your individual strengths are and how to use them to maximize performance. How successful were you at increasing the precision of your communication? In this newsletter, I would like to expand on that idea, all the way to creating a personal brand for you.

Recently I was introduced to Susan Hodgkinson’s book, The Leader’s Edge, Using Personal Branding to Drive Performance and Profit. She makes the point that the most successful business professionals actively manage their careers. The way that they accomplish this is to think of themselves and their careers as “brands” and they are relentless in managing their brands. Her concept is that the old employment-for-life contract is gone. This means that developing and managing your personal brand is YOUR CHOICE and is, therefore, 100% controllable.

The method that she uses to help business professionals understand, define and leverage their brands is called the 5 P’s of Leadership; which are: persona, product, packaging, promotion and permission. In this newsletter, I would like to focus on the first of these, persona. Per Hodgkinson, “Persona is the emotive emotional connection and reaction that you elicit in other people”.

In the exercise below, imagine yourself in each of the following scenarios:

· You are working late in the office, when the phone rings. You reach to pick it up, when at that split second you see the caller ID; it is your coworker Joe. Your hand instinctively recoils and you let the call go to voice mail.

· You are at the airport with your family, ready to board a plane to your two-week annual vacation when your cell phone rings. You are not in the mode to take any business calls, and then you notice that it is your coworker Joe calling. You instinctively answer and you notice a sight smile coming to your lips.

· You are at a networking event and have had a very pertinent conversation with prominent leaders in your field. You are walking towards the food table (you are starving) when you spot your coworker Joe out of the corner of your eye. He is walking towards you. You instinctively make a u-turn and quickly engage in conversation with the next person in your path.

What is it about Joe that INSTINCTIVELY makes us feel the way that we do about him? The answer is that he has a way of operating that either grates on our nerves (examples 1 and 3), or makes us feel good (example 2). Our reaction could result from any number of things: his tone, his comments, his edginess, his interaction with others, his sense of humor. In Hodgkinson’s words, Joe’s “…persona elicits a visceral (positive or negative) reaction by the hundreds of small things that he says and does. This in turn has an on-going effect (detrimental or encouraging) on him and his ability to achieve on behalf of his organization and its customers.”

The question is, what visceral reactions are you eliciting by the hundreds of small messages that you send out daily? What feedback have you been given in the past that might help you identify the reactions you elicit?

I believe that, to a degree we have all trained ourselves to ignore these reactions as we still have to deal with that difficult customer or offensive boss. This idea of a truly visceral reaction is an enlightening concept and would like to suggest the following exercise:

Notice as you go through the day, who gives you a positive reaction and who gives you a negative visceral reaction. Write them down, and then take a quiet moment to reflect on what it is that you are specifically reacting to. Could it be that this person:

· Embraces the same values that you have, or not?
· Has a pleasing self-confidence about them or not?
· Has an emotional connection with you or not?
· Has a similar vision to yours or not?

Now let’s think about the reaction that your persona elicits. In Hodgkinson’s words, what are your:

· Brand Attributes?
· Brand Drags?
· Desired Changes?
· Action Required?

In short, do you want to be the caller ID that everyone picks up, or the one that goes to voice mail? Do you want to be the person that others walk towards or the person that they try to avoid? Remember, the perception that others have about you is reality.

Congratulations, you have taken the next step to deriving results from within.

If you like the tip, let us know but more important, share it with a friend or colleague. As always, YOUR SUCCESS IS MY GREATEST PLEASURE.

© Copyright 2008  The RDW Group, Inc.

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