Your experience is not what happened to you, but rather, how you responded to what happened to you.
A - Attitude
Attitude is how your mind works, and responds. If you have a positive attitude, you will respond positively, even when things go wrong. For example, after you trip and fall, do you get up and glare at the people who are laughing, or do you join in their laughter? The first response is negative, and leaves a bad impression. It also makes you more negative, since you feel that people do not have sensitivity, and are ready to make fun of others. The second response is positive, and leaves a good impression. It indicates that life may trip you up, but it cannot keep you down. You will bounce back and learn from your fall. In some way or other, everything starts with your thinking, and your thinking is determined by your beliefs and your experiences. Citing the example above, your experience of the fall, could be angry, or happy, depending on how you responded to it.
The next two parts - Behaviour and Communication, flow from your Attitude. Stay positive and think and read good things and you will surely be positive. Having a group of friends and relatives who are positive will help you stay positive. You too can similarly influence your world.
B - Behaviour
Your behaviour is what the world sees of you. People will judge you by what you do. For example, when you are happy you will wear more vibrant colours, and dress well. When depressed you will probably be shabbily dressed, and may not even follow the basics of hygiene. People will assume that you are doing badly if you are not well dressed.
On the other hand, if you are nattily dressed, you will appear to be a person who is successful. Are your clothes well matched, ironed, and of a good quality? Are you shoes polished and in good condition? Is your hair well kept? Skin glowing? A Smile is a curve that can set anything straight. Confident people maintain good, friendly eye contact. Dominating people speak loud. Insecure people speak soft and mumble a lot.
Good indication of how others see you is to check the following:
How do people respond to you when you enter a crowded room? Do people get up and wait to greet you, or do they continue talking as though you did not exist.
Do you bring happiness WHEREVER you go? Or, WHENEVER you go? In other words, does the mood in the room brighten when you enter.... or when you leave? Making a note of how others treat you will give you a clear indication of how they have positioned you in their minds. Correspondingly, if you want to be positioned well, do good and say good things.
C - Communication Skills
As stated earlier, the things that you say, and way in which you say them are indicative of how you think. If you refer to ISSUES as PROBLEMS, you will be seen to be negative. If you see ISSUES as CHALLENGES you will be positively positioned. Do you come to the table with problems... or solutions? Do you talk more about the PAST or the FUTURE? Do you speak about things as one who is a PLAYER... or a SPECTATOR? Do you praise people or criticize them? Is your voice friendly, or commanding? Do you speak comfortably, or do you rush? Is your diction clear, or do you swallow your words? People understand you best through how you communicate, and in the corporate world, a good communicator is best placed to rise quickly up the corporate ladder. In the business world, good communication skills are worth their weight in gold. Do check the earlier articles I have written in earlier issues of Business Gyan.
The best investment you can make in yourself is to invest in improving and polishing up your communication skills.
I - IMPACT
The impact you have is the impression you create in the minds of others.
Advertising refers to this as POSITIONING. People will remember you by what you have done (or not done). The good news is - by employing the ABC formula, you set up the "I" part.
How does the world see your Brand?
1. Ask a few of your best friends to describe you in 10 words.
What 10 words would they use? Also check how many of these were positive, and how many were negative words. Do not forget to consider that the people who like you, will generally be more positive in their comments, and you may have to take the opinion with a pinch of salt. The people who do not like you will be a lot more critical... make a note of these comments and work on them. The results you get will give you an edge that you will benefit from.
2. Ask for specific feedback to improve your brand. The best way to understand how the world sees you, is to ask them to tell you a few points each under the three different headings:
# What should you START?
# What should you STOP?
# What should you CONTINUE?
Can you enhance your Brand?
You can enhance the impact you create by doing things for others - the community, the less fortunate, or even your friends. This will build your impact on the universe. Remember that each and every interaction you have with people gives you an opportunity to create a new impression in their minds.
Your brand is a continuously evolving entity, just as you are... and so you need to continually work on your brand and ensure that it is always positive and memorable.
We owe it to ourselves to not just build a great brand... but also to maintain it.
Ian Faria. Success Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer. Feedback at :firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue BG91 Oct 08