The Power of Perception

Happy Fall! I love this time of year (except
all that ragweed). This month I would like to discuss knowing and promoting
your personal brand. I recently gave a key note speech (my first!) called “The
Power of Perception”. In my presentation, I discuss the power of perception as
well as the importance of being able to recognize and promote one’s personal
brand.
Perception is reality and your personal brand
shapes how people perceive you. It does not take long for others to perceive
you in a certain way… but you do have some power to shape that perception. Here
are a few tips in doing that:
1.   Don’t assume that your boss,
co-workers, or close friends know exactly what you do… and don’t assume that
they know exactly what you do. You never know that your weakness could be a
friend’s biggest strength unless you ask. Here’s an example: I reached out to a
friend of mine to help me with my presentation and when I asked her, she said
“Carey, of course I can help with that, I do that sort of work all the time.” I
had no idea even though we had worked together and been friends for years.
People have a lot on their minds and it’s your responsibility to remind them
what you are capable of rather than wait and assume they know that they can go
to you for help.
2.  There is a difference between
articulating your value and bragging. Embrace it. In a conversation with a
friend a few weeks ago, he mentioned that he is not comfortable talking about
what he is good at. He used the word “bragging” which usually has a negative
connotation. I responded with the simple question, “How are those around you
going to know what you are good at and what you are capable of if you don’t
tell them?” He was a bit taken aback by this question. We are taught to be
modest at a young age and when “bragging” is appropriate and necessary, we are
hesitant. It is possible to explain and demonstrate your strengths and value
without coming across as arrogant. It takes time and practice but it is an
important skill that can be mastered.
3.  Adopt a pitch or value
proposition. A pitch is a simple statement that sets you apart and shows what
makes you unique. When we film video resumes with our candidates, we ask one
question – “what will a company gain by hiring you?” – this is how we begin the
coaching process on a person’s pitch. As an employee or business owner, you
need to know what your value proposition is.
4.  You have to quantify your work,
Quantifiable results means that your contribution to the team or company
outweighs the costs of having you as an employee. They are measurable results
that articulate your value. My friend is in the fitness industry and his worth
can be quantified by how many lives he has changed through diet and exercise
changes as well as the total number of pounds his clients have lost. To be able
to say he has worked with over 1500 clients who have dropped 100,000 pounds combined
is quantifying his work!
5.  Shape your success stories. I
often counsel job seekers to have their resumes be a compilation of success
stories. Your resume should list your accomplishments and your skills. In order
to shape your success stories, you need to compile a list of key
accomplishments. Expand on these accomplishments by reaching out to friends,
family, managers, clients and co-workers to get their opinions. It’s best to do
this over the phone so you can hear their tone and words of encouragement.
     Your
attitude and self-perception combine to create your personal brand. They also
dictate the way you face challenges and experience the world. You can’t always
feel good about yourself or just plaster on a smile when you’re uncertain about
something but you can recognize that you are constantly making choices about
how your perceive things and how you are perceived by others. Those choices can
change your world in an instant. 

1 thought on “The Power of Perception”

  1. Indeed! You touch on this in your book, "Hire a Pro, Be a Pro" when you talk about being a good boss and presenting yourself in an interview…you have to be aware of how you're perceived by others in various situations. Tracy Spears' book, "What Exceptional Leaders Know" does a great job of explaining this and how it translates into your everyday environment and career.

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