Shine a Light on Your Personal Brand

Which tree is a darker green color?

Which of the red snowflakes is larger?

(Pssst…in both cases, they are the same!)


The question of perception is a fascinating one and one that is critical in brand management. Knowing how customers, employees, vendors and competitors perceive your company is something every marketing professional should always keep an eye on.

But let’s bring it home… How are you perceived by your clients, colleagues, and others in your world? Do you they see you as you think they see you?

A Self-Awareness Window

One tool I’ve found interesting over the years is the Johari Window, a self-awareness model developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955. The four quadrants illustrate how information about us can be known in varying degrees by ourselves and others.

Pay special attention to the “Blind Self” quadrant. These are the areas where you are unaware of how you are perceived.

This concise video by Brendan Baker Media breaks down the model. At 3:25, Brendan offers suggestions for getting feedback to help fill in those blind spots.

Knowledge may Sting but it’s Priceless

In my last blog post, I shared how I asked a colleague’s observations of interactions (including my own) at a recent event. This got me to thinking: how often do we ask others how they perceive us?

It may feel strange to ask, and we may even feel vulnerable, but what you might get back could be priceless. For instance, it could help:

  • Increase the success of our communications
  • Be more memorable in a sea of human interactions
  • Improve how we impact people positively
  • Limit how we impact others negatively
  • Reduce unconscious negative behaviors, both verbal and non-verbal

An End of Year Challenge from me to you

I challenge you to ask one person for feedback before the end of 2017. (Bonus points if you ask one person in a couple different areas of life:  professional, family, social circle…) Take this learning and apply it to how you present yourself and how you interact with others in the new year.

Observation is my craft and I am always happy to share what I’ve observed if someone asks me. Tell me what you learn and how you felt when you asked for this feedback.  I’m really curious!