First impressions are powerful and are formed in all sorts of social and work settings. You may have heard the old saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” yet we do just that – all the time.
It’s no surprise that complete strangers engage in a process of mutual evaluation, or that you form impressions quite quickly. Likewise, you communicate a great deal of information about yourself – often unwittingly – that others use to size you up.
Check out this visual guide on how you can create a spellbinding personal brand to send just the right message.
What is a successful mindset? How much does your mindset impact your success?
It turns out, quite a lot.
According to decades of research on achievement and success by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, your mindset shapes your goals, your attitude towards work and relationships, and ultimately determines how much you achieve.
There are two types of mindset. The Fixed mindset believes that talents and abilities are inborn and don’t change. You’re either intelligent or you’re not, you’re a leader or you’re not, and you have to have all the answers.
At the opposite end is the Growth mindset, with the belief that talents and abilities are nurtured and developed over time. This view sees skill gaps as opportunities to learn, not as shortcomings.
Here’s how you can build your mindset for success.
1 Exercise the muscle that is your brain
Your brain and intelligence are not fixed – they both expand when you learn! Practice is key to learning, just like training your muscles to get stronger at the gym.
The harder you work at something the better you’ll be at it. Your efforts are rewarded by growing new connections in the area of our brain responsible for learning that particular ‘thing’. Don’t shy away from failure; turn it into your drive to do it better through practice.
2 Learn and challenge your ability
The brain grows more cells and connections as you learn. Stretch yourself to explore new information, learn new concepts and practice skills. Use mistakes as feedback for you to grow further, faults as a challenge to be a better person, and be curious as a means to understand more.
3 Seek out new things
Once you initiate the learning and open up new connections in your brain, the easier it gets to make new ones. Brain growth is all about active learning through practice. Volunteer for projects you have little knowledge of, put yourself in new environments – you are never too old to learn and develop your brain!
Use these simple tips to tune your mindset and train your brain for growth.
“Life is about opportunities – creating them and embracing them”, says athlete and walking paraplegic Janine Shepherd. Watch her 18 minute powerful story about how she defied the odds to recover, refocus and make a difference.
Using your entrepreneurial spirit at work can be tricky. It often means challenging the status quo and breaking some long established “rules”.
Being an “intrapreneur”, you want to use your innovative ideas to generate new products and ways of doing business. Here are some tips from Fast Company for bringing your big ideas to life without damaging your reputation or career in the process.
When you enter a meeting room, networking event, conference or even a restaurant with friends, it can be tricky to pick where to sit. The last thing you want is to get stuck next to someone you don’t want to sit with, or worse be a loner on the end excluded from most of the conversation. The 45 seconds it takes you to decide where to sit determines how enjoyable your next few hours will be – so choose wisely!
This handy seating chart will help to ensure you get the best seat every time, no matter the size or configuration of the table.
Generally you want to choose a seat in a central location so that you’re in the middle of as many conversations as possible. When tables don’t have an even number of people you can run into difficulties. Such as when you’re at a table with 7 people, you want to sit in the middle on the less-populated side. This gives you easier access to everyone and ensures you don’t wind up having to entertain the person in the odd end seat.
Keep this infographic handy and take its advice. When executed properly your choice will appear natural, unbiased and seemingly random.
Use these simple tips to always choose the best seat.
Everything about what you do and say tells the story of who you are. Like it or not, other’s perceptions of you are their reality. How you present yourself through posture, voice, facial expressions, communication style and appearance all matter a great deal.
Do a quick personal brand audit by asking 10 people who know you well to give you the top 5 words that come to mind when they think of you. Then assess if these words match the image that you want to project.
2 Be authentic, relevant and memorable
Strong brands need little explanation – they represent something distinctive and memorable. Get really clear on the 3-5 descriptive elements that make you genuinely distinctive. What do you want to be known for (in a good way!)?
Ensure this is the consistent image you project to your colleagues, clients and through your online profile. Consistency builds credibility.
3 Be visible and show genuine interest
Be fully engaged and aware of the people you interact with. Make a conscious effort to sit beside the most important person in a meeting. Contribute to discussions by asking thought-provoking questions, listening fully and maintaining eye contact.
That’s all it takes to show people you are interested and makes others want to be around you and remember you.
Use these simple tips to manage your personal brand and build credibility.