Small Business Marketing Strategy & Process Development

Search results for authenticity

Image and Authenticity: Are Image-Conscious People Authentic?

on February 29 in Authenticity | 1 comment

It’s a controversial question. I imagine in some cases, women in particular reading this may be protesting at the very suggestion. Maybe a better question is “What’s the opposite of authentic?” Is it artifice? Superficiality? Maybe. And if that’s the case, is focusing on image a small part of that?  I admit: I am skeptical about those who seem overly concerned with their appearances. Is there a connection between image and authenticity? I get that as women we are expected to pay attention to how we look. In many cases, we’re encouraged to look for deficiencies–and to cover them up. Men struggle with this, too, but they haven’t experienced the same societal pressures as women. In either case, one reason we might be image-conscious, regardless of gender, is we’re trying to “make up” for something we think is wrong, instead of allowing ourselves to accept what’s there naturally. For me, it’s about the reasons (and thoughts!) behind the actions. Makeup, nail polish, styling products–all potential signals we might be more concerned with image than substance. Does that mean I’ll never use them? No. Does it mean it I’ll be mindful about how and WHY I use them? Yes. I think it is important that people know when they see me it’s all about how I’m feeling in the moment. When I do use makeup, it’s minimally. More importantly, I’m not looking at flaws or covering up. There’s far more important work to do than sitting in front of a mirror! (I don’t even sit down usually if I’m going to put on makeup!) What matters to me is the intent behind the grooming. Not everyone who has a French manicure or a perfectly trimmed beard is obtuse. For me, the impression that someone might be “overly concerned” with image creates a lack of trust. This may just be a personal bias, but when I sense that someone is too invested in how they look–they have signs of the perfectionist with respect to “image”–I have doubts about their ability to be authentic. To accept themselves as they are. All this said, no matter what someone’s reasons are for showing up as they do, we can’t truly know why. We can only pay attention to our...

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The Power Poses-Authenticity Connection

on September 19 in Authenticity | 0 comments

What’s the Power Poses-Authenticity Connection? By now, Amy Cuddy’s research and TED talk are well known among many business people. What interests me is the connection between using power poses and how that physical action allows us to be more ourselves.  Cuddy captured the idea perfectly when speaking to youth at a shelter, as reported by the New York Times: This is why I advocate power poses before networking events as part of the Certified Authentic Networker program. Useful for men and women, introverts or extroverts, and no matter what our mindset prior to the action, power poses increase our ability to be comfortable and therefore more genuine. If you’ve experienced the benefits of power poses, please share your story! What Else Can You Do? Learn more about how to leverage power poses for networking; join us for the next training session. Get more tips for networking authentically, as well as upcoming training sessions, by joining our mailing list or updating your preferences after entering your email address, which will ensure you get the most relevant information. Related posts: A New Way to Network in Phoenix The Problem with “How to Network” Advice The Importance of Authenticity in Networking Networks with a Shared...

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Knowing Yourself – The Start of Your Success Journey

on April 26 in Authenticity, Clarity Through Strengths | 0 comments

I believe that success starts with knowing yourself–and defining your version of the word.  When we begin tapping into our authentic selves, we start to uncover what is unique to us. We begin to notice where we have deviated or fallen away from the path that is of our own design. And while perhaps different than what is expected, our idea of success–and our experience of it–is enhanced by our self-knowledge. When you step into knowing yourself, it is the beginning of the journey to owning and embracing your authentic self–and what you are capable of. This knowing is a huge key to capitalizing on positive contributions and appreciating what you can do for others. But knowing, owning, and embracing our authentic selves can be a challenge. There are barriers like competing expectations from within and externally. There are rules we have for others and ourselves about how we are supposed to show up. And some of us don’t want to do the work of self-reflection and discovery. Even for those interested in this process, life seems to have no pause button – when is there time to look inward, to ask the important questions? When we believe in the impact these efforts can have, we carve out the time to do it.  For starters, we are much better equipped to succeed when we operate from a place of knowing what’s important to us and what our natural talents are. A major turning point in life can start us on this path to knowing ourselves–and wanting more for ourselves. It may be an upheaval like a divorce, a layoff, or a health issue that propels us to reexamine what we’re doing in our lives. For me, it started with my cancer success story (which I’ll be speaking about on May 22nd). But major life changes are not the only reason to evaluate ourselves or “dream bigger.”  Many people simply acknowledge that they can raise the bar on their successes during the course of everyday life. They just need some clarity around what direction to take. This is also where looking inward and knowing yourself can provide the answers–and the necessary actions–for greater success. There are two steps that are important to this knowing – Knowing what...

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Uncovering Expectations, Not Just Managing Expectations

on March 25 in #30DaysofQ2 | 0 comments

It seems everyone talks about managing expectations but it’s just as important to do the work of uncovering them. I say “uncovering” because sometimes they can be buried. Even from the people who have them. And ourselves. Too often, service providers will assume what the expectations are and cater to those assumptions. In fairness, sometimes these are experience-based and built over time from client engagements, but let’s keep in mind: Clients are not clones. As consultants and service providers, we have to do a little detective work to understand individual clients’ unique needs. The good news is we are used to asking good questions, right? We need to design questions that will extract what people expect from us when providing our services. Especially where they differ from other clients’, partners’, or our own expectations of ourselves and our clients and partners. How is that experience matching or out of alignment with a client’s ideas? (This is also useful for strategic marketing communications efforts.) If you are new to business, you might might begin with making a list of all the things that can go wrong. But, since you don’t know what you don’t know, talking with fellow consultants in other sectors is a great way to be prepared. (If you are in Phoenix, contact me to be a part of a group who can help you.) Some common things to focus on might be expected turnaround times for email response times for anything really. Also what will be the path if there is no response or repeated your responsiveness lack of their of or if meetings are missed lack of respect with respect to someone else’s time. It’s important I guess not only to say what will happen if these things happen but to say hey here’s what is OK and what is not. Oftentimes professionally we do not do this from a personal level and I think it makes all the difference. I talk a lot about authenticity and I think this is a great point of intersection between the personal and professional which I don’t separate out anyway. Whether you are new or seasoned, after uncovering expectations, you might want to address the communications around that. In other words, “How...

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Giving Others a Vote of Confidence

on March 20 in #30DaysofQ2 | 0 comments

Taking the time to let those in your professional network know that you support them is an important but not urgent activity.  An easy way to do this is to endorse them on LinkedIn. Endorsements are those opportunities you see to “check off” that a connection knows her stuff.  As opposed to recommendations, which are another (albeit more time-consuming but important) way to show support for an A-lister or someone you have worked with before. I realize many don’t take those endorsements seriously–and for good reason. In fact, for the very reason I’m listing here:  Endorsing people is really a vote of confidence. It says to them, “Hey, I believe in you.” Most of the time, I suspect we will only endorse people when we have awareness of their skill set. Sometimes, I admit, I do not have direct knowledge of someone’s expertise, say with SQL or Project Management.  I figure, common sense. A database admin and PMP probably do have that knowledge. When we endorse in this way, we are simply taking the person at his word. An endorsement simply says, “I trust you.” Sometimes we can be skeptical of people’s skills and that’s fine, too. We can also like them and not endorse them for something if we do not have first-hand evidence that they know something. I’m not “endorsement-happy” in that I skip over a lot. Making time to endorse others and let them know you believe in them is a good way to reconnect with our weak ties, build relationships, and say “I’m thinking about you.” It’s not to be taken lightly. Not to be used as a marketing tactic. But to be approached with authenticity, joy, and honesty. How do you feel about LinkedIn endorsements? Are you endorsement-happy? Do you approach it mindfully with the intention of giving someone a vote of confidence?...

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