Everyone wants a strong personal brand. The one where you walk into your office, the boardroom or a networking event and people think all the right things about you.
Ironically, it’s the more subtle things at work that contribute most to a great brand. And a lot of it has to do with emotional intelligence.
Of course your business skills play a key role in your brand. But all that can go to waste without emphasis on emotional intelligence and how you present yourself. I recently discussed five subtle ways you can build a positive image with Psychology Today. Here are some highlights.
- Your word. Work hard to develop a reputation for keeping your word by exceeding expectations and staying on time and on budget. It’s always better to over-deliver than over-promise. Your brand and integrity precede you. While it takes a long time to build your brand, it can go south quickly when you break that trust.
- Your communication skills. The way you interact and speak with others greatly affects your image. When you’re swamped, how do you handle incoming messages? Do you take the time to let people know you’re busy but will get back to them as soon as you can? Everything from your texts to voice mails should convey warmth and professionalism.
- Your attire. Like it or not, the way you present yourself says a lot. Think about this: Would you trust the financial adviser in torn shorts, a t-shirt and flip-flops, or the one in a nice blouse/shirt and blazer? Aim to be well-groomed and wear nice accessories (great shoes, jewelry and belts can dress things up and give you many wardrobe options).
- Your network. In a LinkedIn global survey, about 80 percent of respondents said they consider professional networking to be important to career success. Step out beyond your usual group of work friends. It’s a wise career move to broaden your network both at the office and outside of it through social media and business events.
- Your authenticity. Be true to yourself. People can spot a fake a mile away! If you’re trying to create a personal brand that isn’t genuine, it will do more harm than good. Also show kindness and take an extra second to pay it forward, even in the face of stressful workdays and tight deadlines.
To learn more about using emotional intelligence to create an effective personal brand, be sure to read my full article on Psychology Today.