We All Have Labels… (and not the designer ones)

Posted on July 2, 2013 by

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We all have tags or labels, but the won’t define you personally or professionally based on how you manage them and yourself.  It’s important to recognize the labels that have been assigned to you by others so that you can effectively manage your brand.  You should feel empowered to overcome negative labels and capable of managing your personal and professional brand to maximize the positive ones.  Doing so requires a bit of work but the outcome is well worth the investment.

People make assumptions about you personally or professionally based on physical presentation, your behaviors and your values among other factors.  From a physical presentation, you should always look the part you wish to convey.  Make sure that your look matches your audience.  Creative, flashy or flamboyant styles send a message that is very different from tailored suits in neutral tones with polished leather shoes. Remember, your appearance is literally your first introduction to others and they will remember their perceptions of HOW you look versus what you say.

Behaviors are the same way.  Behaviors can actually undermine or further support your personal brand.  If there is a lack of congruence between how you look and what you actually do, you will confuse your audience. There are times where that can be eclectic and work to your advantage, but again, know your audience.  Also keep in mind that others will infer your values and beliefs based on your actions.

Remember that you are always on stage.  Whether you like it or not, people will constantly apply labels to you based on what they infer or their perceptions.  These labels can then either bolster or harm your image, your personal or professional brand.  Look to resources such as mentors, personal or professional coaches, friends and peers for feedback regarding the image you portray.  Ask for an honest assessment and then compare their feedback against what you believe your brand to be.  If there is a disconnect, you have an opportunity to course correct and re-brand yourself.  If RIM can rebrand itself to Blackberry or MySpace relaunch itself for the second or third time, you can rebrand yourself as well. Managing labels and rebranding yourself are ongoing activities, take time to revisit and revamp as you growth personally and professionally.

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