Do you know that knot you get in your stomach when anticipating a difficult or challenging person or situation?
Last week, I had that feeling as I was expecting a phone call. I was pretty sure of the outcome, but I also knew there was a slight chance it could go either way. In this situation, it wasn’t the person who made me anxious because we’re friends…have been for a long time, and I suspect we will continue to be for even longer.
The knot in my stomach was because the discussion was about something I really wanted to happen. It would have made my week (okay, my year) to get good news about this project. I really wanted it. I won’t share what it was because much of what I do I consider confidential because of my focus on the legal profession.
As I anticipated how I could react should the call not go the way I wanted it to, I decided that, whatever the outcome, I needed just to be me.
Just Be Me
Long story short, rather than just sit and feel nervous until the call came in, I sat back for a moment and thought about the words that describe how I strive to act, and how I want those actions to come across to those with whom I come in contact. I also decided I would be true to those characteristics because they are a thousand times more important than any project. They are my brand…or at least part of it. If others don’t know my brand, it is my responsibility to let that brand show.
Just as with firm and company brands, I also know personal brands can’t be faked…at least not for long. You and I can’t make up characteristics that we are not and expect others to believe they belong to us. Those characteristics are either you, they are characteristics you are teaching yourself to adopt, or they are not. We can’t fool the masses for long, nor should we try. That would be exhausting, not to mention confusing to others. Even worse, it would be confusing to us.
- Be gracious.
- Be happy.
- Be smart.
- Be positive.
- Be professional.
- Be respectful.
Is There Ever Reason To Stray?
You betcha. There are times in our lives when people decide they want to push our buttons. It is my practice to go as long as I can without letting mine be pushed. Every once in a while, I will encounter someone who wants to be difficult, nasty, or confrontational. It typically disappoints me because I know people are capable of so much more, but this is life, and people are human, so they stray from their ideals now and then. Not one of us is perfect.
I do my best to stay above it all, even when pushed, but I will share just enough with you to let you know that I also believe in respect of other human beings, and I’m one of those human beings, too.
Decide what your brand is, and do your best to let that show in all situations.
Write down the top 5 words that describe you and your interaction with others.
- Print it out.
- Look at it often.
- Revisit the list when you are preparing for a difficult situation.
- If something is missing that would serve you well, then make a note to work on that characteristic until it deserves a place on your list.
- Update it if anything needs to be added or subtracted.
What Are Yours?
I shared mine. As I mentioned above, I know I’m not perfect, and I never will be, but I try really hard to stay true to my 5.
What are yours?
Here…I’ll give you some space to write them in. If you use the Print Friendly button below, you can work on yours, too.
Let me know what you come up with. If listing them in the comments is too public, then feel free to email or private message them to me, okay?
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Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers grow their practices by integrating the right marketing practices in order to build their reputations and their relationships, which leads to building their practices.
Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, Nancy is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social, and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients.
She is also the founder of the hybrid self-study and live online course, LinkedIn Course For Lawyers, where she personally guides lawyers through the sequential creation of their LinkedIn profile and presence.
As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, and livestreaming. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.
She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.