Fast Friday with Sheila, Mary and your own Reputation Management

Posted October 22, 2010 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

Today, we hosted an e-roundtable with our friends and elementk and the dynamic duo of leadership and career coaches Sheila Goldgrab and Mary Rosenbaum on the topic of reputation management and personal brand building.  Sheila and Mary left our audience with one key thought about personal branding…

Be unique.  Communicate who you are.

Sounds simple, right?  Unfortunately, to be unique and communicate who you are, you actually have to KNOW who you are.  Which again, might seem simple, but in my own experience, isn’t.  Here are some of the highlights of what I learned today:

When it comes to our reputations (personal or professional), a number of factors are at play:

  • your actions and behaviours  (what you do and how you do it);
  • stereotypes (people’s impressions of you from surface information… your education, your role, your gender, etc.); and,
  • your core values.

It’s easier to be “who you are” when you understand your core values.  If you’ve never explored your personal values, Sheila and Mary shared an exercise that helps you start to surface them.  Here’s what you do:

  1. Think about a high satisfaction event in your life.  What were you doing?  Who was with you?  Where were you?
  2. Then, think about why that particular set of circumstances gave you so much satisfaction?  What was going on?  Why was that particular event so significant?
  3. Identify your value “clusters”.  As you reflect on your answers, see if you can find the “clusters” of words that help you identify a set of values.

You can also do this exercise using an example of an experience that gave you low satisfaction which will also surface your values.

Having explored my own values over many years, I can definitely attest to the “value” in doing this type of exercise. It had such a big impact on me when I started exploring my own values over a decade ago, that I made it a core part of all the programs we run at The Executive Roundtable.  I would also say that I’ve found it incredibly helpful to work with coaches to help me clarify my values.  There’s nothing like a neutral sounding board to help you get to what’s important to you (and away from what you think you “should” be picking as a value).

In my personal experience, to enjoy your career to its fullest, your values have to be aligned to the work that you do, or else you’ll always feel a rub of discontent.

Happy leading!


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  1. Laila says:

    You describedthe peak experience (high satisfaction event) in your life as one excellent way to uncover your core values. Another way is to imagine one. Another is to consider ‘the must haves’ in your life. Another is to consider what has angered you in the past. All of these give you clues to your core values. I can send you a list of values. See http://www.InnerPeaceNow.ca. Submit your email address with a note and I will send it to you.
    Knowing your beliefs, which are often unconscious, is another way to know who you are. An easy exercise for determining your beliefs is to think of the first, say three, things that come to mind automatically, when I say the words: life , money, or success (i.e. 3 things that come up for you about each topic) This often reveals non-supportive beliefs, ones you weren’t even aware of. You can then reframe the non-supportive beliefs and re-write the scripts! For example, if life is hard is what came up for you, you can change it to: life is a gift, life is an adventure, etc.
    To your authentic and wonderful self,
    Laila Beaudoin, Montreal
    P.S. My upcoming book, Life Lessons you Never Learned at School, will be published by the end of this year. It is a self-coaching book with the essential tools I learned in professional coach training, to help you uncover your authentic self! To know yourself is indeed, the key for the most awesome and fulfilling life imaginable!