As I mentioned in the last post, the first step to understanding your personal brand is to conduct an assessment of your skills and attributes. While this may seem easy, I assure you it isn't.
You'll understand what I mean by the end of this post but for now, let's ground us by defining skills and attributes so we are on the same page.
PERSONAL BRAND SKILLS
A skill is a learned power of doing something competently: a developed aptitude or ability. These are the “things” you DO at work such as Trainer, Sales, Leader, Team Builder, etc. Because these are “things” that we learn, this means we can grow them if we choose.
PERSONAL BRAND ATTRIBUTES
Attributes, or traits, are inherited characteristics or distinguishing qualities that define you as a person. Notice that they are not learned like skills. Attributes consist of characteristics such as quiet, frugal, lazy, or patient. You can thank your parents for your attributes.
In short a skill is WHAT you do at work while your attributes define HOW you do it (whatever IT is). It's your attributes that give people an impression (perception) of what it is like to work with you.
3 STEPS TO IDENTIFY YOUR PERSONAL SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES
So my first task was to list out 5 skills and 5 attributes that I believe I am currently most known for..Say what? Fortunately, the exercise came with a “Cheat Sheet” listing both skills and attributes to use as starting points.
Keep in mind that the list is not exhaustive and was only to be used to stimulate thought. My top 5 skills and attributes that I identified are listed below.
After completing the first task, which was harder than I would have thought, my next task was to list out the 5 skills and attributes that I believe my friends and colleagues would choose to describe me.
Are you kidding me? What I think other people believe are my skills and attributes? My first thought was, I have no idea, so I cheated (Don't tell Kathy)..sort of.
You see one of my top five STRENGTHS is being Restorative. This means that I am hardwired to detect specific opportunities to change things for the better. As a result, I will engage in self-improvement activities once I've identified things I need to know more about or do better.
So it shouldn't surprise you that I have kept all of my performance reviews over that last several years as well as the feedback I have received from 360 reviews or my former employees. Go ahead and laugh I know I'm a geek. Anyway, I went through each of the reviews lines by line and came up with the following list.
Task Three: While the first two tasks were challenging the third task was even more so. I needed to send an email to 15 people whose opinion matters to me and ask them to do what I had just done.
Follow me here, task three is essentially either validating what I did in tasks one and two or it could rock my world. What if I was way off base on what people thought my skills and attributes really are?
I was not allowed to send the cheat sheet to them for reference. I would be asking them to take the time write out short phrases or just words that they would use to describe me.
Identifying the people was slightly difficult, not because I didn't have 15 friends but because I wanted to also pick people that I thought would respond. After some deliberation, I chose my 15, typed a personal email to each and sent them out not knowing what
I would get back. I can tell you now that what came back was humbling and surprising. I'll share the results in the next post.
QUESTION: What would you list as your top five skills and attributes? What do you believe others would say they are?
Click HERE to read the previous post