This blog was originally created at the request of Office Dynamics, for more great articles from Office Dynamics please visit http://officedynamics.com/blog/
You know that awkward moment in the interview when they ask you about your areas of excellence, or that moment you need to introduce yourself to someone new at a business networking event (and your response sounds a bit rehearsed) or you run into the CEO in the elevator and she wants to know who you are and what you do at the company.
If you have ever felt vulnerable or embarrassed in these situations you need a Brand Story and Part two of this series is just for you!
So what is a brand story?
Well, it is like an elevator pitch, just not as robotic or plastic! It is a true story about your talents and gifts. It is something that can be recited at will without rehearsal because it is TRUE and comes from your heart!
So let’s get practical.
Step 1 Make a list of what you are really good at/recent achievements (at least 10)
I am being literal here, so write down your areas of excellence and recent successes. Doing this on paper or on your laptop takes it out of your head and makes it more concrete.
Step 2 Stuck? That is totally normal. Time to consult with a friend or colleague
It is funny (but maybe sad) that I have done this exercise with hundreds of assistants from across the world and writing down their strengths is a major challenge, but on the flip side you can ask them about their development or problem areas and they can give you two dozen without missing a beat. If you are stuck, just know that this is normal.
The solution is to consult with a trusted friend or colleague to help you compile your list. This is very useful because they might mention things you have not even thought about and also help you do a reality check on your existing list.
The key is to be open to the feedback.
Step 3 Trim down the list to 6 (but NOT less than 4)
Go through the list and pick your top 6. Trim it down for maximum impact. Eliminate similar skills or merge items that can be grouped logically.
Step 4 Rank from 1 to 6 (1 being best)
As the title suggests look at your list and prioritise. Again the help of a trusted advisor will be valuable if you are unsure.
Step 5 Write a concise, strong, short and clear one liner about this skill
Do a one liner for each of the 6 skills/abilities. Keep it simple and direct (research has proven that people will rate you are more intelligent if you use simple language, so don’t try and be too fancy)
Avoid clichés like I am an excellent team player, I work well without supervision, I am a perfectionist. All of these things may be true but if you can’t find a more original way of expressing the same idea then please omit it altogether.
EXAMPLE OF A BRAND STORY
Test drive your brand story. Does it feel real? Would you be embarrassed to tell someone your brand story, if yes, it needs more work.
It should be true, it should be natural and easy to articulate. Get feedback from others once you are ready to share.
Use your brand story to update your cv, Linkedin or to position yourself for the next opportunity that comes your way. This is a very powerful tool to “sell” your brand in an authentic way and I hope that you find these tips useful.
If you have questions or problems with creating your brand story you are welcome to reach out to me via my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/PA-20-Upgrade-Yourself-530299150373650/ or Twitter @anelmartin I am always happy to help!
Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information and services www.anelmartin.co.za
It happens to all of us, you go through a day, a week (or sometimes longer) when you are simply not feeling it. This lack of motivation and enthusiasm can be caused by various factors but here are some common causes:
Life happens, it gets us down but we can't stay in this space and the sooner we get ourselves back on track the better.
So how can we reboot our mojo? There are some incredibly simple hacks that can help you get focused and back in the game.
1. Relax, take a time out, go for a walk. Distance from the problem and a bit of breathing room will definitely help, every time - no exceptions! Make time to chill especially when you feel you can least afford it because that is when you need it.
2. Get active, get your heart pumping. Cortisol and adrenaline build up is bad for you and exercise helps you burn these off (the natural and logical use for your fight or flight hormones)
3. Find perspective, ask yourself questions like "will this matter in five years", "what is the worst thing that can happen", "how do I approach this differently", "what can I resolve, what must I accept", "what am I not seeing about the situation" "what behaviour will they not expect from me" and "what can I do to shake things up"
4. Think about a time that you were in a flow state (when you enjoy a task so much you have no sense of time and you did the task with ease and enthusiasm) HOW DO WE CREATE MORE FLOW? HOW DO I BRING FLOW TO WORK?
5. Be grateful. Gratitude fixes so many things
6. Monitor your inner dialogue and avoid negative words and thoughts. Negativity will create and attract more negativity. This is very hard you will fall into this trap but reset and try again, do not wallow.
7. Procrastination is literally having your mojo for breakfast. Make a list of what needs to be done, do the most distasteful, challenging items FIRST. By doing the yucky stuff (like minutes) first you free up the rest of the day without the guilt of the items you have been putting off. Procrastination eats your joy, your confidence and your energy.
8. Get ORGANISED and START MAKING PLANS - by taking charge, making decisions and taking action you can move yourself from where you are to where you want to be. By blaming others or treading water you are accepting your current situation and you have chosen to be a victim. Choice is powerful, action even more so!
8. How you sleep really matters. If you don't feel energetic and well rested you will be much more vulnerable to stress, less creative and resilient. IF YOU HAVE SLEEP ISSUES YOU NEED TO LOOK INTO IT!
9. Have some fun, change your routine, try something new, learn something!
10. Focus on creating connections with people. Say hello to people or simply smile. Reach out to that friend you have been meaning to call since last week. Send your mother some flowers!
11. Volunteer, step up, accept a challenge, do something you don't think you can do - your comfort zone is what keeps you stuck. If it scares you a little you should really consider trying it out!
I really hope that these tips will help you as much as they have helped me. Find the love again this Feb. Get excited about your life, have some adventures!
And may the Mojo be with you!
So until next time
HUGS FROM DXB
This blog was originally created at the request of Office Dynamics
For more great articles from Office Dynamics please visit https://officedynamics.com/blog/
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room” – Jeff Bezos.
I have to thank Jeff, as I have not found a better way to explain personal brands in all the years I have been exploring the subject.
There are a few things we need to understand (from my point of view and experience) when it comes to brand:
6.A powerful brand relies on confidence (not to be confused with arrogance)
So how do we authentically enhance our brand value?
B –Build skill sets
The working world has changed so much in the last few years and will continue to do so. In fact the prediction is that in 5 years’ time, only 15% of what you know right now will still be relevant. So, continuous development is not a “nice to have” but a survival strategy. Development no longer has to cost money; there are tons of free resources available. It will now require time, discipline and commitment.
We also need to be aware that in the future there will be more focus on what we called “soft skills” a few years ago (as it will be assumed that you already have the technical ability) [See WEF Top 10 Skills for 2020 - https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/) so take that into account when planning your development.
We have also just entered the Connection Economy (check out Seth Godin’s video for more information about this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKXZgTzEyWY) which will bring radical shifts in the way we work and connect with others. Creating new skills sets and being able to apply them with generosity and enthusiasm will definitely give you the edge.
R – Reputation management
When we look at reputation management we need to think about how we communicate (in the real world and online), the standard of work we consistently produce, our ethics, how organised and punctual we are and most importantly OUR attitude.
It is not what you do on the days you feel good that determines your reputation; it is what you do daily. The small activities, words and actions accumulate to form the picture. The old saying goes “Hard work beats talent, when talent does not work hard”
These are major factors that influence not only our own brands but also the co-brand that we have with our manager/s, but that is a blog for another day.
A – Authenticity
No one likes a fake; it is true no matter where you go in the world. A truly amazing brand cannot be a projection, imitation or a mirage. It is ok to talk a good game but you MUST be able to back it up with consistent action. Find your own voice, your own unique talents and contributions and bring them into your work. Don’t be a copy. People pay good money for originals, not cheap knock-offs.
In our roles “who you know” is extremely important. Having a strong, reliable network helps you solve problems, find opportunities, grow relationships and organically enhances your brand (IF YOU ARE ADDING VALUE TO YOUR NETWORK).
Networking should be done online (there is a very dynamic, active and diverse group of assistants online from across the globe and it is easy to plug into these groups via LinkedIn or Facebook) but importantly, networking should also be done in the real world. Take time to attend events, speak to people you have not met before in the office (even just a friendly greeting will do) and take opportunities to grow your circle. Your network = your net worth, it doesn’t matter how great you are if no one knows about you. I am not encouraging you to brag but to be confident and to OWN IT!
D – Dependability
A brand is nothing if you are not consistent. Being phenomenal today and poor tomorrow doesn’t serve you, as you are not dependable and you are therefore eroding trust. If you can’t be a star everyday then pick a level you are comfortable with and stay in that zone until you are ready to level up. This applies to work that you produce; commitments made and kept, communication, your personal appearance and emotional intelligence.
If you are wondering how healthy your current brand is please feel free to do the FREE Brand Health Assessment at http://www.anelmartin.co.za/brand-health-assessment.html
There are things we want, things we richly deserve and opportunities which present, which we simply do not take.
Why? What is REALLY holding us back?
If you look back on 2017 you will no doubt have some unfinished business. A goal you only partially achieved (or not at all), an opportunity you did not take (and regret) or a project you started and did not complete. We tell ourselves things like; I got busy or I did not have enough...(insert your perceived lack here). While some of this may be true we are actually held back by deeper issues.
My hope is that by shining a light on these factors we can set the scene for 2018, making this our YEAR OF GOAL ACHIEVING
This is in my opinion our biggest stumbling block. Fear has a purpose, our bodies are engineered to feel and respond to fear as it ensures the survival of the species. Fear is a primal and necessary driver but in the modern age it can hold us back from many magnificent things.
Fear manifests as the belief that we cannot do it, we don't deserve it, people will laugh at us. I should not stand out, I should not speak up. Fear can also present in a much more sly way, it can present as procrastination or what appears to be a lack of focus. Fear will create excuses, fear will erode confidence.
So how do we engage with fear?
2. Lack of self confidence
As adults the message has become so ingrained that you MUST NOT MAKE MISTAKES, if you do, you are a failure. But sadly this teaching has created people who innovate less, create less and have no self confidence. This is the little voice that holds you back from trying to do something in a new way or making a suggestion in a management meeting. It is the thing that holds you back from asking for help or feeling that you deserve the thing you are striving for. Critically for us this is also the factor that holds us back from new (and often great) opportunities. This is a big factor that sabotages your success.
Engaging with low confidence:
3. Lack of Resources
As a coach (who does a lot of work with clients on goal setting) I can tell you for free today that if you start the goal with needing resources, you will NEVER achieve it. If you focus on resources (you don't have) you automatically give away control to external forces and already set your excuses up for not doing the thing you really want.
Yes, some goals will require money, time or a solid network but you need to focus on what you can control which is your own resourcefulness.
4. Lack of Focus, Motivation and Discipline
I love the Mel Robbin's Ted Talk in which she says "you need to parent yourself because you are NEVER going to feel like it" You are going to have to make it happen. It will not magically manifest without you doing the work.
Getting it DONE!
I really hope that these observations, thoughts and tips will help you during 2018 (OUR YEAR OF GOAL ACHIEVING) but feel free to get in touch if you need one on one coaching with your goals in 2018. This is my passion and I would really like to help you create the life and career you really want.
WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY
So, until next time
HUGS FROM DXB
I often use the analogy in my coaching with assistants that we need "big match temperament" so what does this mean?
When a rugby or soccer player misses a kick they need to regroup as soon as possible to avoid more mistakes and missed chances. They need to get their head back in the game as quickly as possible to ensure the best result. This ability is immensely valuable in sport but also in life!
But what do most assistants do once they have made a mistake? They obsess about the mistake for days (who are we kidding...sometimes weeks), we feel that we have failed and thus we are a failure. This erodes confidence and creates a VERY unhelpful inner dialogue. The voice in your head then starts to create drama, havoc and intrigue where none originally existed.
By focusing on the mistake we often stress ourselves out and make even MORE mistakes. When instead, we can (AND SHOULD) do the following:
1. Own up to the mistake (no excuses and no blame)
2. FIX the mistake
3. Do a proper review of what led to the mistake
4. Formulate a plan of how we avoid making a similar error (once is a mistake, twice is a choice)
5. Gain the lesson and experience
6. GET BACK IN THE GAME AND FOCUS FORWARD
This process requires honesty, accountability and confidence.
REMEMBER : We are all human beings, we all make mistakes! In fact mistakes are proof that you are trying, doing and creating. Just look at how many failed attempts SpaceX had before they succeeded in their first rocket launch (AND LANDING) something everyone said could not be done!
Imagine what would have happened if the engineers sat down after the first attempt and said "well, that's it folks we failed"
Failure and mistakes don't feel good but it really is how we learn.
In a world where innovation will be valued we will need to learn to embrace painful learning through failure, embrace the discomfort and let go of the judgement, perfectionism and hateful inner dialogue, apply the experience and always face and focus forward!
So until next time
Hugs from DXB
As assistants we spend our lives caring for the well being of others. If you are a parent this load is multiplied. To be successful as an assistant or in any of the care giving/service orientated professions you need to be concerned with and devoted to the welfare of others, but recently I have encountered more and more PAs who are neglecting themselves physically but more importantly on an emotional level. This always leads to a level of discontent, a feeling of being uninspired and stuck. Our routine and our laser focus on others leads a growing disconnect with ourselves and our purpose...
When I ask questions like:
Having fun is necessary to reduce stress, find creative juices and fire up your mojo, especially this time of year when we all feel a bit run down and ready for a break. Taking time out for a bit of fun or self care is necessary, not a waste of time as many of us see it.
As the old saying goes, if your jug is empty you cannot fill anyone else's glass!
So be a bit selfish and have a bit of fun, PLEASE
So until next time,
Hugs from DXB
I often wonder how work ethic and discipline is developed. Are some people just better at it? Perhaps born with the committed gene? In my life I have concluded that my childhood, education and family were the main driving forces. But I have also (very recently) observed that discipline is a muscle that can be practiced and improved.
Like everyone else I have things in my life that I am immensely undisciplined about and let's be honest the majority of the time these items have to do with self-care or personal maintenance items like looking after your health, getting to the gym, finishing your studies or making that dreaded doctor's appointment (you get my drift). So I started a little experiment, using myself as the lab rat.
And this is what I have observed/learnt so far:
Well, I will keep you posted on this "project" as time goes on, but in the meantime, decide what you want and get after it. Don't spend another year dreaming about it, don't wait till New Year's to put it back on your resolutions list.
It is time for all of us to take charge and get it DONE!
So until next time,
HUGS FROM DXB
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