3 Reasons to Change Your Communication Style

YOU MAY BE thinking that your communication style is just part of who you are, but it is a skill learned like any other. You can change your style when you learn new skills, but you may be reluctant to make the effort. Let me give you three simple reasons to change:

1. Your relationships depend on it,

2. Your career success relies on it

3. Your lifelong happiness is de ned by it.

Does that help you rethink your resistance to change?

I know that change can be challenging, frustrating, and even risky at times. But stop for a moment and think about a time when you resisted change. What happened? Things around you changed anyway, didn’t they? Then you followed suit only to realize that if you had made the change, you would have been ahead of the game. And that’s what you want—to get ahead by knowing how to effectively communicate your way through any situation. There are few things that I can say with certainty in life, and this is one of them: You will gain command over your life as a result of assertively communicating.

Click the link to get your copy. 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want.  

Copyrights 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.

 

5 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’ve Been Fired

I received an urgent call. ’ll call her Dr. Dee. Recently, due to new leadership, Dr. Dee had been released from her responsibilities in academia. She called me after months of applying for jobs she was well qualified for but failing to get even an acknowledgment of her interest. After earning a terminal degree, accumulating years of experience, and having a published book under her belt, she expressed to me that she felt invisible.

We decided that a reasonable goal would be for her to get interviews. I requested that she email me the current materials she was sending to potential employers along with a few job descriptions.

After careful review, I could clearly see why she wasn’t landing any job interviews. Her materials were well written. Like most people, they communicated her experience, but they didn’t reflect the results she created. I decided that the most time-effective strategy would be to interview her.

After I had gathered the data, she was astounded by how much she had contributed to increasing profits through student retention, negotiation, and leadership. She had implemented student development programs that increased student retention. She had increased productivity by bridging the communication gap between the administration and faculty. Her motivational style and reward system created healthy competition and focus within her department.

After we packaged and positioned her value, I was confident that she had a competitive advantage. Within a week, she had her first interview. Before the 14th day, she sent me an email saying she was a finalist for a vice president position. She didn’t get that position, but within 30 days, she was named the vice president of student affairs at a university.

Like a lawyer shaping a story in the minds of a judge and jury, building a brand requires a story. Your story should pique a person’s interest because of its human elements and value to the organization. Your answers to the following questions will help shape your story:

*  Who do you help?

*  Why do you help them?

*  How do you help them?

*  What results do you create when you help them?

Keep in mind that the “why” component is enormously important. How many times during an interview have you been asked, “What motivates you?” On the surface, it appears to be a simple get-to-know-you question — a question that’s seeking to determine whether you’ll show up every day for work. But for the person who has to make a ruling about being around you for conceivably years to come, the question really being asked is “Why did you wake up today?”

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. Visit www.srenee.com to learn more about my coaching services.

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. S. Renee Smith

It’s My Fault?! How Internal Issues Trigger Negative Responses

Becoming aware of yourself, your internal barriers, and what triggers them changes your view of the world and the world’s view of you. The reason is this: If an external event bothers you, it’s caused by your internal interpretation of the event.

When you look to and within yourself first for understanding of what’s driving you to think and feel the way you do, you grow in your understanding of yourself and become more likable because you feel freer to be yourself and others feel free to be themselves around you.

Have you ever been around a person who wants to control everything? What does it feel like? Suffocating? Uncomfortable? Unless you’ve become highly skilled at dealing with people and their issues and situations, you can feel that person’s emotions and they can impact your emotional state.

We take a look at your internal barriers, which keep you from being your authentic self, and your perception of the people whose emotions you take on as a result of being around them.

Have you ever been around a person who is miserable? Did you start your day feeling great, but feel miserable after spending time with that person? Have you ever wondered, “How did I go from feeling happy to feeling awful?”

Consider the following possibilities:

1. I hold the person in high regard, and this is my way of respecting him.

2. I want to be liked by this person, and this is my way of getting him to accept me.

3. The person is in a position of authority, and I think this is the response he expects from me.

Taking on negative emotions isn’t the best way to show your loyalty and respect toward a person. When you learn to stand in your own power, you understand the importance of setting and living according to your own emotional state.

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. For my free 90-minute audio course sign up here, How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business. 

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. S. Renee Smith

Missed Goals…The Best Opportunity for Success

And the winner is . . .

Have you ever wondered what determines who takes home the trophy? Who gets the promotion? Who lands the contract?

Is there something that losers fail to do that gives their opposition an advantage? Or is it something winners do that gives them an edge?

When it comes to reaching a goal, all things may appear equal, but they never are. People who experience success believe in themselves, develop the right attitude, and refuse to take no for an answer. People who experience the success they want and beyond do those things and more.

What is the “more.” Intentional success comes through the clarity of your mind, the understanding of your heart, and knowing the endurance of your body. If you want to be like a well-trained athlete who listens, learns, and follows the instructions of his coach to get the results he wants, then you must weigh the following:

1. The purpose of setting a goal is to keep you focused and to determine whether you’re creating what you say you want. Because goals only take into account raw data called outcomes, we as self-development experts don’t believe the achievement or lack of achievement of a goal is the complete picture of success.

The journey to achieving your goal can significantly enrich your life — increasing your confidence and introducing you to phenomenal things about yourself. This philosophy doesn’t negate the importance of goals; it only seeks to ensure that you don’t believe your self-worth is contingent on a projected outcome, because it isn’t.

2. Many factors influence the achievement of a goal. For the most part, achieving your goals depends on you. But when and how you achieve your goals can be influenced by external factors.

For example, most Olympians train from the time they’re 5 or 6 years old. Each athlete is well trained by a top coach. Each has pushed himself beyond his limits. Each has prepared himself to win. Each has set the goal to take home the gold — but only one will.

The reality of setting goals is that you will face defeat. The purpose of defeat is not to hurt or stop you or cause you to give up. It’s simply to offer you the lessons you need to sustain you when you reach your goal. Here’s how to deal with fail goals:

Try again. Believing in something when there isn’t any evidence that it’s likely to happen can be difficult, but your willingness to persevere and keep trying is the force that manifests it into reality.

Find an alternative. There’s more than one way to reach any goal — be creative. See the nearby sidebar, “Before they die,” for an example.

Improve your abilities. Some goals aren’t reached because you’re not ready. Keep practicing, improving, and building your skills.

Evaluate your focus, desires, and drive. Some goals require more than you expect. Make sure you’re giving it all you have and that you have the fortitude to go the distance.

Accept that it’s not meant to be. Positive thinking, affirmations, and practice won’t help you became a brain surgeon unless you are gifted in math and science and have an educational foundation that will support you. Although anything is possible, everything isn’t always practical.

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. For my free 90-minute audio course sign up here, How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business. 

Copyright. All rights reserved. 2018 S. Renee Smith.

Feeling Devalued Means You Don’t Fully Understand Branding

“Any questions?” I asked. I had just concluded a 90-minute workshop on personal branding. The questions started pouring in when suddenly, everyone fell silent as we heard these words:

“Why can’t I get the promotion? I’m a great worker. I arrive early and stay late. I ace special projects, and I’m often praised for my work performance.” Pausing, he continued, “I shut my mouth, do my job, and go home.”

Do you ever feel that way — devalued?

Personal branding, in theory, is very similar to product branding. Products have a purpose. They have specific characteristics that make them appealing. They solve problems for targeted markets, which are also called audiences. When they bring the anticipated value, a buzz is created and demand increases.

Keep the following points in mind about branding:

1. Your brand is not identical to your reputation. When a group of people is asked the question: “Do you have a brand?” typically, the majority respond, “No.” The next question is, “Is your brand your reputation?” Most say, “Yes.” That’s partially correct. Reputation emphasizes your character. Your brand is your reputation and what people expect to get from what you do.

Here’s the difference. “He’s a good, honest businessman” is an example of reputation. “He’s a good, honest business man who sells quality, well-priced used cars to middle-class families” exemplifies a brand.

2. Image and branding are different. Many people are also under the impression that their image is their brand. Your image is the perception that people have of you as a result of seeing and/or having minor interactions with you. Your image is an opinion without any real understanding of who you are or what you do.  Your brand is a result of others having direct contact with you or a testimony from a reputable resource who has had an experience with you. Your brand has an image component, but your image doesn’t have a brand component.

3. People are clear about your brand, even if you aren’t. As mentioned, most people don’t believe they have a brand. Nor have they given much thought to personal branding. Although you may not know the value you bring to your business and personal relationships, that doesn’t mean the people you interact with haven’t calculated the value you bring to their lives. What they know about you is the barometer they use to determine which promotions, assignments, and invitations are extended to you.

This is an excerpt from the book Self-Esteem for Dummies. For my free 90-minute audio course sign up here, How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business. 

Copyright. All rights reserved. 2018 S. Renee Smith.

Pick Me! Why Do People Overlook You and How to Get Noticed

Juan sat on the edge of his seat at the conference table. The manager’s eyes scanned the room as she determined which of the technicians she’d choose to head up the team at the new building. Juan was screaming inside—“Pick me! I’m the best choice for this assignment!”—but he kept his eyes fixed to the folder on the table in front of him. When the manager called on the guy next to him, Juan slumped back in his chair. He was overlooked—again. It was as if he wasn’t even there.

Like Juan, do you wish your boss would take notice of you and respect you for what you can accomplish and what you have accomplished? It feels good to have the respect of others. Respect means being appreciated for who you are, what you do, and how you do it. It means being spoken to in a way that honors you. But how do you get to a place where people look at you with admiration and turn to you for knowledge and insight? You guessed it: assertive communication.

In addition to my work as a life and business coach, I’m also a branding expert. I help people build and protect their reputations. One of the pillars of my model is crafting and communicating a message that triggers a response from one’s audience. Assertive communication leads to success, and success garners respect from others. As you learn to confidently communicate with purpose and clarity, you’ll notice that people will pause to hear what you have to say. As more people listen, the greater the buzz will grow about how your talents, skills, and abilities can help them accomplish their goals. That’s how respectable brands are built.

By becoming an assertive communicator you learn how to speak with purpose and clarity, enabling you to successfully express yourself.

Keep the following in mind:

1. When you speak, you reveal your temperament, judgment, and understanding of people to your audience.

2. You disclose your secret beliefs about yourself and the world.

3. You draw people in or push them away.

When you communicate properly, your competency and credibility are a affirmed both by you and by others.

This is an excerpt from my book. Click the link to order now 5 Steps to Assertiveness How to Communicate with Confidence and Get What You Want. 

Copyright 2018 S. Renee Smith, www.srenee.com. For speaking or coaching services call 888-588-0423.

Should I Create My Own Brand or Become the Company’s Brand?

During a personal branding workshop for a group of polished, ambitious, and smart new hires at a national corporation, I asked the question: Who are you? No one moved. Their firm grasp on investment portfolios, command of Wall Street lingo, and expertise in accounting principles didn’t help them with this basic question. They looked amazed, caught off guard, like I had just announced a pop quiz that they hadn’t studied for. Unable or perhaps too stunned to answer the first question, I continued, “Why are you here?” The tension eased and hands began to pop up.

Not knowing whose hand raised first, I randomly called on one of the blue-coat-white-shirt-fancy-ties to my left. Sounding like a well-rehearsed 30-second elevator speech, he pronounced, “I’m here to represent the (industry) in integrity while helping my clients build the wealth that they desire and come to expect from a (name of the company) employee.”

I wanted to applaud him for his performance. He had learned the bank’s language. He definitely had their image. Unfortunately, he was a long way from home. His response didn’t represent his brand. It was the company’s brand. He did what most people do when they get hired—find a way to fit in. Falling into the image trap of believing that if I show up the way the company executives want me to, I’ll be rewarded. In order to successfully navigate across the new normal of workplace dynamics, you have to BYOB: Bring Your Own Brand, which means, you have to bring the real you, not just the image you think the company expects of you.

I’ve worked with new hires and seasoned employees at state and government agencies, colleges and universities, corporate and not-for-profit organizations, and I have found this: Many people don’t bring their brand to the company. They accept the values, culture, image and brand of the company—even when they don’t believe in them.

How many times have you heard your co-workers complain about the unfair practices of the company? They label the culture as cutthroat, negative, or unfair yet they quietly yearn to become more entrenched in the organization. They are willing to abandon more of themselves for the schemes that they despise.

In return for handing their life over to the employer, a complete and sometimes unfair assessment by the employer establishes the brand of the employee—how talented the person is, how those talents will be used, who they will be exposed to within the organization, and which growth and advancement opportunities the employee will be considered for. Often marginalized because an employer only has a limited perspective of the employee’s abilities, the employee feels trapped by the system’s skewed perception.

But the employee is unaware that the company’s perception stems from them. The real culprit is the employee’s failure to create and manage their own brand.

For most, I think it’s an unconscious decision. With the day-to-day financial challenges and pressures to get ahead, many people haven’t taken the time to find their inner peace by answering the question: Who am I?

I believe that the best thing about today’s challenges is that it’s bringing us full circle—back to our true selves. Loss, devastation, and excessive stress is prompting us to ask the right questions for the right reasons:

1.  What brought us to this space?

2. Why are we here?

3. What are we to learn?

 4. Where is truth?

5. What is the truth?

6. How can we live it together, even if our truths are different?

This is an excerpt from The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability and Credibility.

Copyright 2018 S. Renee Smith. All rights reserved.

How Can I Get My Boss (Client) to Notice Me?

I like this question because you’re thinking in the right direction.  People have to take notice of you before you’ll ever get an opportunity to sign the contract, land the book deal or secure a promotion.

The person whose attention you’re trying to get has to first see that there’s a reason to look your way. 

So let’s examine this question from their perspective. Ask yourself:

  • What are they looking for?
  • What do they want to achieve?
  • What’s important to them?

The only reason people will look your way is because you have something they want. So, do you have something they want? What is it? As I share in The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility clients and customers (and your boss is your customer) are looking for the following:

1. Your innovative ideas that lets them know that you stay on top of your game.

2. Your intellectual property that says, you know what you know and you know how to position yourself in such a way that they know what you know. Did you get that? If not, read it again.

3. Your value proposition that clearly defines how what you know benefits them.

To learn more about how you can get noticed, sign up to get my 90-minute free audio course How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business  (if you don’t get the pop-up screen, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click, Get S. Renee’s Branding Secrets Now).

Copyrights 2018. All rights reserved S. Renee Smith.