Yes, You Can Change Your Personal Brand!

Do you wish your brand could be different, at least in the eyes of some? Have you worried about how someone important in your organization perceives you – you want to change that person’s impression – but you aren’t sure how to do it? This is a critical component of personal branding.

There is a straightforward process to changing someone’s perception of you – a process that works very well for people who want to change their brand. In most cases it is very doable, to be sure, and here are the four key steps to making it happen:

  1. Define the problem/what you want to change ​
    • What is the perception you want to change? Who is the person(s) who holds that perception about you? For example, is the issue that you are not seen as passionate enough about your business? Often tardy to meetings? Need to improve your public speaking skills? Getting the answers to this requires some primary research on your end: ask the person(s) themselves to help you understand their concern, or said more constructively, what your development opportunity is.
  2. Create your action plan: decide what you need to Start or Stop Doing to genuinely create a change in yourself as a result of the issue you’ve identified.   Create a concrete action plan to make the change in your personal brand.
  3. Share your action plan with the person(s) whose impression you seek to change. Share it upstream, and ask him/her for feedback. Ask, “Does this plan make sense to you? Anything missing/something you’d add or change?”Ask the person(s) to keep an eye out for evidence and success of you implementing your plan as you work to change your personal brand.NOTE: With personal branding, it is sometimes true that you don’t need to change anything other than the person’s actual perception. Perhaps your detractor is operating on ‘old tapes’ about you (outdated information), but he or she simply hasn’t noticed you’re different. In this case, all you need to do is call the person’s attention to you doing things right.
  4. Check in with the person(s) whose perception you are trying to change every three or four weeks, for a period of about six months.  Hopefully, you’ll be hearing feedback that you’re indeed making the changes you’ve committed to, and are being seen in a new light.

As you can see from these four steps, changing someone’s negative impression of you can be done, as long as:

  1. You commit to changing the person’s perception, accepting that their perception is their reality;
  2. You create and implement a thoughtful and sustained change effort, actively engaging the individuals whose perception of your personal brand you want to change.

Return to Good Reads

  • Define what you want/need to change
  • Create an action plan
  • Share your action plan and ask for feedback
  • Frequent check-ins

- Susan Hodgkinson

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