You’ve seen it in the news. Someone is caught drinking and driving, and they say something they did not mean. Is it possible to say something we don’t store deep inside just because we’re drunk? Maybe we did not mean to say it. Deep inside there was something unresolved that bubbled to the surface when prodded.
In vino veritas is the expression. Do we really say the truth only when inebriated? It’s a possibility. The other possibility is that when our guard is down, we say things we’d manage to dissimulate strategically were our wits about us. There are evolutionary reasons of why it works that way and I'll talk about that in a later post.
Yesterday I talked about storytelling in wine marketing. Once we buy the story, we enjoy the product and go back for more. So experience joins story and invites us to seek additional permutations of the product and service. In fact, in the last couple of days, I’ve been talking about the language of persuasion inherent with brands. We read about what works, and we took a look at what may need improvement.
I joined a conversation hosted by Michael Wagner at Own Your Brand that can help you think about your personal brand. Mike talks about thin slicing, the expression we all became familiar with after reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. In his post, he outlined 5 observations on situations and behaviors that would lodge in our unconscious mind to provide instantaneous information about a business.
My comment to Mike’s post was directed towards understanding how those insights provide us information on people. This can be helpful in managing personal brands. Here’s what I suggested you consider the first time you meet someone and someone meets you:
- Does this person care about themselves? What’s their spirit as they relate to you? This is not merely a question of exterior presentation, rather a matter of interior representation.
- Is the person in the moment with me? Are they looking at showing off their knowledge and keen on having their say vs. letting the conversation take us both to a new place?
- Is this person creating a space where novel ideas are welcome? Are they open to learning about your point of view? Will they think with you?
- This is huge on a personal level. How can you connect with this person? What percentage of the time do they come to you when *they* need something compared to the instances when they just offer a service –- in whatever form, advice, information, knowledge-sharing, staying in touch for the pleasure of doing so with no particular agenda in mind, etc.
- Does the individual feel accountable for the experience of them? Do they think about the impact their thinking, words and actions have on others?
Our personal brand is a determining factor in today’s commerce –- regardless of work status (free agent, full time employee, thought leader, etc.). It is not acceptable to delegate the control over what we choose to become to external factors. What our personal brand brings to the conversation, turns out to be an enormous source of influence over the environment(s) in which we select to do our work–- and that has remarkable consequences over the output.
This year I will tap into my personal network to present more conversations with remarkable people who are doing great work. They are not necessarily the usual suspects. In fact, they will be mostly hidden treasures -- people who have strong personal brands and very interesting stories to tell; stories that have become part of the fabric of my living over time. The language of persuasion begins with story, extends to experience, and comes back to new thinking.
[that is the magnificent Piazza del Campo in Siena, which was recently voted the most livable city in Italy]