At MercerBell, we’re continuously focusing on developing our team to reach their full potential. We facilitate fortnightly Lunchtime Lesson sessions that range from topics on data, strategy, creative and technology through to people management and business acumen. Recently, our HR Manager Jessica Farrell delivered a session on Personal Brand.
As a Customer Experience agency, we know lots about company branding… but what about your own personal brand? Truly understanding your personal brand, and recognising when you aren’t exhibiting traits that align with it, can support you in ensuring you’re a great people leader and contributor to your business and culture.
This Lunchtime Lesson focused on why personal branding is important, how our leaders can identify their own brands and the tools they can use to ensure they are the best versions of themselves, each and every day.
Personal branding is your trademark. It’s how you show up. It’s the total experience of someone having a relationship with you. It’s about who you are and what you represent as an individual and as a leader.
As a leader, it’s important that we are continually living through the ‘lens’ of our brand. This will mean your perspective will change and you will become more mindful about bridging the gap between how you believe you are perceived and how others truly perceive you. Why is this useful? Because a leader who lived by their personal brand will be able to:
- Identify how to showcase their best self – how can I be the best version of me in 2018?
- Understand their strengths and weaknesses – how can I capitalise on my strengths and build on the development areas?
- Elevate themsleves as a true leader – how can I be seen as a high potential leader ready for promotion?
- Be human and have more meaningful interactions with their team
- Establish credibility – am I always consistent in my approach?
- Convey their message and values – what do I stand for and what will my legacy be?
One model that is useful when discussing your personal brand is the Johari Window. Although the communications model was developed in 1955, it’s extremely relevant for anybody considering their personal brand in 2018.
For those not familiar with the model, it splits your knowledge of yourself into four: the open area (aspects of yourself that everybody sees), the hidden area (aspects of yourself that only you know about), the blind spot (aspects of yourself that others know but you’re unaware of), and the unknown self (aspects that neither you nor others are aware of).
In our session, we undertook a number of activities that involved opening our “blind self” and becoming more aware of our colleagues’ perceptions of us that we may not be aware of. The next step was for our people managers to consider this in the context of the personal brand and taking further tools that can be used to align their own Johari Window to their personal brand.
Our people managers found it insightful and thought-provoking – so much so we’ll be facilitating a similar session for the rest of the business soon. Remember, if you are not taking control and managing your own personal brand, it means others are doing it for you!