Knowing Your Brand Effectiveness Is Critical to Your Success
Julie was recently given the opportunity to play a lead role on a big project. She admitted that even with the success she experienced in her career this project was a bit intimidating. It was bigger than anything she worked on before, she was the most junior person on the team, and the client was high profile.
Do you notice where she is focused?
Julie knew how critical it was to gain the confidence of the team and her clients early in the process. She also knew she was the one that could fulfill the specific outcomes that were required of her. But somehow it didn’t translate when she went into meetings with the clients.
After the first meeting, Julie had an uneasy feeling although she dismissed it by telling herself it would get better. The client felt differently so the second meeting included her boss. The clients wanted her boss to see what they saw and obviously what Julie didn’t!
This was an important project and the clients weren’t willing to take the risk with a team member that couldn’t deliver, even though she came highly recommended.
When the meeting ended Julie’s boss pulled her aside. She told her she wasn’t cutting it and to date hadn’t earned the confidence of the client. Her boss said, “You clearly aren’t connecting with the client. I don’t know what is going on but you need to fix this and before the next meeting.”
On The Surface
Julie and I decided to meet in person. As she shared her story, she didn’t look at me while she was talking and was preoccupied with her hands.
She spoke softly and had an upward inflection at the end of her sentences, which made everything she said sound like a question, not a statement.
Julie was hunching over, held her arms close to her body, and only glanced up when she wasn’t talking.
Julie’s success record and position revealed she was capable and confident. She was currently demonstrating a different story.
‘Fixing’ The Obvious
Fifty-five percent of what you communicate is visual and that includes your body language. Body language delivers an unspoken message about how you feel.
When you speak, how you deliver your message is five times more important then what you are saying. Consciously or unconsciously others are observing and interpreting the messages you communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, all the time.
Julie needed to make a more positive impression and be more intentional about connecting with everyone around the table. The behaviours she implemented immediately were:
- Eye contact with everyone around the table when she spoke. When she was listening, she maintained eye contact with the speaker.
- She used her hands to express herself when speaking. When she wasn’t, she rested them on her lap or on the table in front of her.
- She projected her voice so everyone around the table could hear her. If she observed anyone straining to listen she raised her volume.
- She spoke with certainty. She delivered her statements with authority and asked her questions with directness. There was no misunderstanding.
- Her posture exuded confidence. She sat up straight, head up, made eye contact, and shoulders back. She even stood to talk when making an important point.
She articulated her brand and got clear about how she wanted to show up and become known. She began aligning everything she did with that!
The Voice In Your Head
The brain is an amazing organ ~ what gets programmed in, the input, is reflected in the output. It is the thoughts and ideas that run through our brains that influence our behaviours and the results you are able to achieve.
Julie was allowing the fact that she was the most junior person override the value of her contribution. She began to tell herself that the senior members of the team were better than she was. She let herself believe that working with such an important client was beyond what she was capable of doing.
The story that Julie was telling herself did not support her brand or her goals. She needed to become more mindful and disciplined about the thoughts she used to program her brain.
Changing the way she talked to herself was going to take more effort and greater self-awareness. Her thoughts would support the behaviour changes AND the behaviour changes would influence the way she thought. This creates a positive feedback loop and fuels the need to stay focused on what she wants to create instead of what she feels intimidated by.
The steps Julie took to begin to change her mindset were:
- Being purposeful by writing the story of what she wanted to create.
- Being mindful of the thoughts that were going on in her head.
- Being positive as it affected her ability to influence.
- Being focused on the goal as this helped push aside the doubt and fear.
You become your thoughts. Your thoughts play out just the way you think they will. Julie is an example. Your brain records what you feed it. What you feed your brain influences who you are and how you behave.
Who do you want to be? What do you appreciate about yourself? What are the positive statements you need to say to yourself when going after what you want?
Don’t wait, start today! Write out the answers to these questions. Review them daily to stay focused in the direction you are going. It is the best way to get there!
Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!
Are you interested in having a conversation to explore how you can define your personal brand and accelerate your growth as a leader, individually or as a team? Send an e-mail to book a complimentary 30-minute consultation.