Free agent thinking is about thinking of yourself as a business, even
if you work for another company. It's about building your personal
brand, and creating your unique identity in whatever work you choose.
Personal Branding - If you haven't yet made the time to focus on creating your personal brand, a great place to start is with Steve Pavlina's recent article. Check it out here
Personal Brand Blog - Dan Schawbel has created an entire blog dedicated to personal branding. Subscribe to his RSS feed and keep yourself up to date on what's going on in the world of personal branding. Check it out here
Effective Internet Presence - Have you Googled your name lately? If not, do it now and see what you come up with. Right after that, go download Ted Demopoulos' complimentary ebook about how to create an effective internet presence. It's right here
That's it for this time! Post your favorite resources and I'll share them!
When was the last time you thought about the impressions you leave behind after an ordinary conversation?
Usually making a good first impression is a no-brainer. We plan, think it through, and maybe even rehearse. You know the drill. Smile. Make eye contact. Show interest. Be interesting. Keep the conversation moving. Be on your best behavior. Use your lint brush, your breath spray, etc. Same rules – different type of date :)
I rarely hear from people who need help making a great first impression. When they reach out to me for coaching, it’s often because the honeymoon is over and they get too comfortable. They forget the importance of leaving other people with positive impressions every day. And in some cases, they even dismiss the value of being kind, considerate, and generous.
Take Bob for example. When Bob first joined a world-class consulting firm, he was on top of the world. He was a fabulous consultant, and he went out of his way to make sure that every person he touched felt like they really mattered. Clients, colleagues, and even the nighttime cleaning people all raved about how great they felt after they talked to Bob.
A couple of years down the road, Bob’s self-confidence soared. His record of accomplishments was extraordinary. There was even talk of adding him to the list of partners in development. Bob felt like he finally made it.
That was until he saw the results of his annual feedback ratings. The ratings from his clients, colleagues, and even his boss were all in sync, but they were distinctly different from Bob’s self-assessment.
Unfortunately, we rarely see ourselves how other people see us. That’s why so many companies, large and small, rely on feedback tools to get different perspectives and a clear picture, about what’s going well, and what needs to change.
It turns out that Bob was too comfortable. He forgot about the interpersonal skills that contributed to his success. He started to take people (including his clients) for granted. He returned calls when he got around to it. He seldom made time to communicate more than a sound byte. And the friendly Bob that people once knew, seemed more like a self absorbed stranger.
Bob needed to make some changes before he could move on in his career. Cases like Bob’s are more common than you can imagine, and that’s why I share this story with you.
Take a minute to think about your relationships. When people talk about their impressions of you, what do you think they say? You won’t know for sure unless you ask for feedback, but how would you feel if you ended up blindsided like Bob?
We all know that we can't control the perception of another person, but we certainly have the power to influence it. It's a matter of self-awareness and self-management…and it takes a lot of hard work!
It's worth it though, because other peoples’ impression of you impacts your reputation. And as some people say, your reputation precedes you.
Think of it this way. Every interaction with another person creates an experience. You can influence that experience positively, negatively, or somewhere in between. Experiences leave lasting impressions. Whatever you decide, just be intentional about the impressions that you leave.