If your name is Rory then you must have red hair and be mischievous! Well, in my mind that’s the case. The reason for this has everything to do with association. Red-headed Rory was one of those boys at school who delighted in placing a snail in your lunch tin or lowering a plastic spider on a thread from the second floor window to cause mayhem in the classroom below. We associate names with the behaviours of people we encounter.
The ‘Rory Principle’ also applies to Corporate Brands. Woolworth’s for instance conjures up a perception of quality, Nando’s = humour, Red Bull = extreme sports, Eskom & SANRAL = *&^%&#. We associate these Brands with our experiences and dealings with them.
But back to young Rory. Although totally oblivious of the fact, he was creating a Personal Brand. Through his repeated actions, he was associated with mischief. Probably unjustly at times, but his was the first name to come to mind when you found that your pen Super Glued to your desk.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when people hear your name? Are you actively building a positive Personal Brand? Here are my favourite quick fixes.
The highest form of respect you can show anyone is to listen to them. And I mean really listen. Answering a phone call or a text message mid-way through a conversation is an indication that the person in front of you is not important enough for you to put any distractions momentarily on hold. People feel valued when they are heard. Listening is costless, but priceless to those that are heard. Dr. Brian Jude has a great article on Listening so pop over and have a quick read.
2. Sweat The Small Stuff
Make every form of interaction, be it a WhatsApp message, a formal business letter or the way you greet those you encounter, reflect nothing but excellence. The small stuff matters. Your communication style is a reflection of you. The receiver of that communication will make assumptions based on what they see or hear. I am not saying that all interactions need to be formal, in fact, quite the opposite. You are the most powerful and effective tool you own and your interactions are a platform for you to showcase your awesomeness. Show a little personality, but do it with style.
The most important function we have is to make a difference. The irony here is that when we change our focus to impacting positively on the lives of others, our lives are instantly uplifted. True leaders see themselves as servants to developing those they have the privilege of influencing. Serving is a state of mind. Tell people they are appreciated, share your knowledge selflessly, do the best job you possibly can every day.
How are you making a conscious effort to build your Personal Brand?