It follows you, it traps you and in this specific case (like so many others) it can ruin your life. There is no trash bin on social media. Yet it seems to happen time and time again. And the offenders are shocked all the same when they become the victims of their own ignorance. Here is a short primer on how to avoid a bout of public shaming. It's certainly not the authoritative volume on how to avoid and rectify situations like this, but let's use this as a friendly reminder of how to stay out of trouble.
Likeability is not the ability to make people laugh or take centre stage all the time. It is about considerate behaviour and keeping promises that make people feel comfortable around you. You win them over by fuelling their belief that you are a trustworthy person who they can count on to do the right thing.
The impressions we leave with people will usually determine our success or failure at engaging them further to create opportunities to enhance or restart our careers. Our handshake, ability to relate to others, the way we speak and dress and how we make others feel around us are all factors in the judgement process. They are also all factors that we have control over by establishing a strong personal brand.
Some might interpret your silence in the face of the steady flow of conversation as indifference or disapproval because the conversation does not meet your intellectual standards. In fact, you may be very interested in all that's being said. You just don't have the confidence or energy to jump into the conversational fray.
Let me fill you in on a secret: It's because you are too busy focusing on you, your company and your brand. You. You. More you. Forget about yourself for a second. Focus on the scintillating stars around you. They are gorgeous, captivating and brilliant! There is so much to discover. It is there waiting, just like you. All you have to do is open years eyes, click and share.
Let's face it: it's always personal. Even when it's not. Even in business. Every business owner is first and foremost a person and the way we view the world is through our unique human perspective. We put a lot of ourselves into our businesses and careers, and therefore, by default it is personal. Enter the personal brand.
Imagine you're on a romantic date with your dream match. He or she looks incredible and has a stellar background; a high paying job at a respectable firm, solid values, impeccable style and similar interests to you. But there's one small caveat: You have no emotional connection. Zero chemistry. It's like you're talking to a dead fish! Well, you can forget about having a relationship.
The book includes the recommendation that professional women dress "smexy" (the author's word for smart and sexy). Most of the powerful women I know look professional, but don't invest a lot of time into looking fabulously sexy. They're too busy kicking ass and getting shit done. I'm willing to overlook our disagreement on this issue, however, because other parts of the book are good.
We can all think of excuses for postponing work on our personal brands. Students are overwhelmed with university work, and just want a few tips on how to sound credible to a recruiter. Thinking about the brand you are developing in a self-reflecting and strategic way is the antidote to finding yourself left behind.
A personal branding strategy is built around success. Knowing what you're good at, articulating the value you can deliver, and getting recognized for that value are the three key elements in creating a brand. But we all fail from time to time. The project is delivered late, the client selects a different supplier, the product launch flops. How do you, and your personal brand, recover? Here are some suggestions.
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, probably has the best personal brand of anyone in Canada right now. Carney has created a spotlight for himself by taking some risks, all of which could have blown up in his face. I think he managed to avoid disaster by focussing on some key principles about personal branding.