Personal Brand

by Dawn Bentley

What do others think of you?

Now the test! Does how you want to be seen match up with how others see you?

Identify some colleagues or customers who will be honest with you and collect some feedback from them. In identifying people who might be able to help in this way, look at a range of people: peers, customers and clients, direct reports in your team and your boss, maybe even your boss’s boss! Also, make sure you ask a cross-section of people, including those you have a good relationship with, those you may not yet know that well and people you know with whom the relationship could be better. This will allow you to assess the consistency of your message and therefore your brand.

Use similar questions to those listed in What do you want your reputation to be?, so you can compare and contrast your findings:

  • What is it that I do that adds remarkable, measurable distinctive value to you?
  • What do you see me being proud of?
  • What am I the ‘go to’ person for?
  • What am I famous for?
  • What one word describes how you remember me?

Be prepared to ask follow-up questions too, as these will help you understand the grounds for their comments. Ask them to give you some examples to illustrate what they have said. You may not always agree with them, but what you need to bear in mind is that this is their perception as to how you come across and it is therefore very real to them.

By comparing the results – what your reputation is now – with how you want your reputation to be, you can identify the areas for you to dvelop and make more visible. You may only come up with one or two areas for development; however, if there are more, you must take some time to prioritise and decide where you want to focus. It’s easier to focus on one or two things than to aim to do everything and take a scattergun approach! Consider the following when prioritising activities:

  • What one area will allow me to make the biggest impact in terms of fulfilling my brand?
  • What activity or action can I do which will more easily fulfil my brand?