As a meeting professional, we often get “caught in the weeds”.  We feel so trapped in the logistics of day-to-day, conference-to-conference, BEO to BEO, that we don’t think about WHO we are and the human side of our job. Envision a world where no one shared their strengths, talents and personality. Imagine if we just showed up, completed the check-list and went home. Some days, that’s kind of how it is! Now, what if we dug deep into who we are, what we stand for, and what organic personality traits we can share? What a colorful, fantastic, energizing workspace we could enjoy.

Think for a minute, of yourself like a company. What are you "selling"? What do you stand for? What can others count on you to deliver? No, it’s not great fries like McDonald's, or a five-dollar foot long like Subway or a roomy interior like a Cadillac - but those are traits and expectations from trusted national brands. You see the brand, you know what you're getting - and you make decisions based on your experiences. How much are you going to get involved with a brand you don’t trust when making a big or important purchase? Well, the same goes for people. How much are you going to open up to a person you don’t trust, or decide to work closely with someone who is known to not pull their weight. Just like companies, PEOPLE have a brand, and knowing what yours is will be critical to the future of your career and your personal relationships as well!
personal brand
Are you the same person at home as you are at work? How do you promote what you feel to be your strengths? More importantly how do others see you? Personal Branding is just that. How others perceive us is who we are to them. Jot down 5-10 words to describe yourself, then ask family, friends and colleges to describe you. Do the lists match? If so, gold star for you; you are living out your brand! If not, consider how you see yourself and how you want others to perceive who you are.

Want a few tips on how to establish your brand?
Be sure to have a photo on your LinkedIn page, and consider having your photo on your work email signature line as well. Have this image fit your brand.

Be consistent: How you would react to conflict should be similar in a work and personal situation.  If not, you may not be living out your true self in one of those environments.

Be thoughtful of what you are posting on social media. Think to yourself: would I be okay if this was on the 6’oclock news?

You owe it to your organization’s growth, and to yourself, to exercise your strengths every day. Be mindful of what you’re putting out into the universe, after all, it’s your brand.