It is what makes us stand out that makes us interesting and compels others to lean in, listen and learn. By following these six simple steps, you can demonstrate your value to your audience, build trust, become more influential and be a better leader of people no matter your title.
Be authentically you
This is the most important thing that I can recommend to anyone. Too many of us try to emulate others. There is one problem with that: You are not them. You did not grow up the same way. You did not go to the same school or have the same friends or experiences.
So, why do you want to be like them? Embrace your past and present and learn how everything you have experienced to date has shaped you.
Be you and be proud of it! Understand what you are good at, what you are not and embrace it all.
Understand how your talents can make other people’s lives better and concentrate on that.
Focus on the little things that make you uniquely you. There will be those who resonate with this and will be drawn to you, while others will not. You cannot please everyone, and you should never try.
Understand your value to others
By understanding why you are valuable to others, your life will change. That simple fact of understanding why you draw people to you and how you can make their lives easier, and then doing something helpful, demonstrates your value to them.
People want to be near people who can help them. Make yourself indispensable and let people understand why. Trust me; it cements relationships.
Be consistent in voice, character, and image
Consistency is king or queen as the case may be. If you act one way and say something completely different, why should anyone trust you? Why should someone give you a job, a promotion, a seat on the board or the keys to the executive washroom if they do not think you are trustworthy?
Act consistently – in actions and speech – and people will know that you can be relied upon.
Get your thoughts out there
Do not be afraid to speak your mind. If you have an opinion, give it.
Those who take the time to comment on articles, post their own and engage in conversation are considered interesting and worth knowing. Those who have no opinion and have no voice of their own are not given much thought.
Be the person with ideas. It is okay to be wrong or to have a contrary opinion; it is yours, and you either need to be able to defend your position or concede gracefully.
Either way, you will be respected.
Have a signature story
People want to know where you came from, where you are currently and where you are going. They want to know what you believe in and what you are willing to fight against.
Tell that story. Make sure it is true and 100% about you, but always have that story at your fingertips.
Why? Because stories are engaging! They let people have a window into your soul and learn things about you that will resonate with them.
Stories are also repeatable. People will retell interesting stories and spread the word about you if you give them the opportunity.
Know your audience
Understanding your audience is another key to your success. Knowing who the people are in the room, what they believe, what they value and what their goals are can help you achieve yours.
By understanding who you are talking to, you can tailor the conversation so they find what you have to say relevant, interesting and engaging. If you can do this, then you can gain their trust and spread your influence.
Only so much can be said in a blog post on developing a Powerful Personal Brand, but I’ll leave you with one final thought: Be authentically you!
(Trying to be anyone else is a sure way to lose any trust or influence you may already developed.)
Editor’s Note: You can find Ben Baker’s new book here on Amazon.