How to reveal your personality?

August 4, 2008
Revealing your personality is the key.

Revealing your personality is the key.

For the past three posts I’ve been talking about why you should reveal your personality when you talk with your constituents. Check out the reasons here, here and here. So now we’ve got the reasons down… we know why it makes good business sense. Let’s come up with ideas for exactly HOW to inject a little personality into your communications. To get us started:

  • Do your friends have a “typical you” story about you? Something that demonstrates how or why you are the way you are? For instance, my parents like to tell people that my first grade teacher called me a “little Hitler.” No, this is not really about facial hair… it’s more about the fact that I was a know-it-all bossy-pants who tried to run everything during playtime. (Well, and all the time really.) Sometimes I tell this story when my bossiness tries to rear its ugly head. It’s like a warning and a cry for help all in one: I’m about to get all dictatorial, but knowing I’m like that, help me reign it in, will ya? My point (I do have one): Learn how to tell that story about you well enough that you could rattle it right off, because it makes you human and shows you have enough of a sense of humor that you can poke a little fun at yourself.
  • What does your spouse (or maybe your assistant?) tease you about? Are you always losing your keys? Do you practice your backswing when you think no one’s watching? Did they catch you humming a Barry Manilow tune? Whatever it is, sharing it with people is similar to the story-sharing above. It helps people relate to you as a person and not just as “my manager” or “the CEO.”

What other ideas do you have? Managers and leaders, what are you doing to reveal your personality at work?

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Allow your personality to shine through! Part 3

July 29, 2008
Telling Stories by Enoch Mukiibi

Telling Stories by Enoch Mukiibi

My last two posts gave you two reasons to reveal your personality when you talk to your stakeholders (here and here). If you’re still not convinced, another reason to reveal your personality is to hold attention:

“When you stand up and speak to any audience, as their leader you have their attention. But keeping their attention is another challenge. If you are official, dispassionate, concerned about articulating your messages clearly, you will tend to have a flat, focused-on-the-facts presentation. No matter how significant your facts — how relevant, how dramatic — facts after awhile are exhausting, not compelling.

“When you strive to reveal your personality you will have a more conversational tone. You will have more rhythms and more gestures. You will include your stories. You will create the peaks and valleys you need to keep your audience engaged and, at moments, personally inspired.”

Again, Anett D. Grant‘s insight is valuable. First, if you allow yourself to relax and just BE, you’ll be more comfortable. And everyone works better when they’re comfortable, right? And second, notice where the inspiration comes into play. It’s not back there with the facts and figures. Instead, the inspiring happens with the conversational tone, the gestures, the stories. Your stories! The stories are where the connections happen, and that might be the best reason yet to reveal your personality as a leader.


Allow your personality to shine through! Part 2

July 28, 2008

Role Model by Joan Hasselman

In my last post, I gave you one good reason why you, as a leader, should reveal your personality when you talk to your stakeholders. As if that weren’t convincing enough, here’s another benefit of letting the real you shine through:

“When you want your values to guide the organization, you need more than carefully articulated words. The more you reveal your personality, the more your people will see you’re a whole person, understand what you really mean and then, like you, demonstrate those values in their thoughts and actions. If you communicate candor in your own personal way, you will provide the model your organization needs — to follow the leader. People get values from people, not from statements.”

Again, this idea belongs to Anett D. Grant, and I love it because it’s so true. To be effective, be genuine with your people to demonstrate that you expect authenticity from others as well. Here’s a terrific instance in which the most effective communication is allowing your actions to speak for you.

At least one more post on this… see you then.


Allow your personality to shine through! — Part 1

July 25, 2008
Karen Combs quilt Inner Glow

Karen Combs quilt Inner Glow

 

I found a very compelling argument that explains why you, as a leader, should reveal your personality when you talk to your stakeholders, whether they are employees, shareholders, customers or community members. I’m tackling this is three parts, and here’s the first:

 

Reveal your personality to inspire trust.

“When you work closely with people, one-on-one or in small groups, you establish trust in a natural, evolutionary way. But as your span increases, relationship-building over months transforms into impression-making in just a few minutes. Rather than having your people get to know you and then trust you, your people have to feel they know you and then trust you. By revealing your personality, moving from official to authentic, you will be able to establish that feeling, and build trust.”

This idea belongs to Anett D. Grant, whose executive speaking program was highly praised by my PR professor. He shared one of her speeches* as a model of effective speech construction, but the content itself is what captured my attention, obviously!

Managers, how many of you find yourselves in this situation? Many of you are lucky enough to build those relationships with teams over time. But for those of you out there whose span has increased a bit, how are you making it work? My next two posts — at least — will cover more on allowing your personality to shine through. See ya then.

* Note: If this speech has a home online, I’ve been unable to find it. I have a Word doc I’d share with anyone who wants it, complete with Ms. Grant’s copyright.

Another aside: Anyone who digs the image above should check out the work of Karen Combs, whose quilts are like none I’ve seen.