I’m not usually very big on pop culture. I don’t have cable, and I don’t read fashion magazines. However, this past month I’ve been inundated with pop culture messaging because of magazine subscriptions I received for Christmas and my New Year’s resolution to start visiting the gym again (where I now get a daily dose of t.v.). What I quickly noticed was that the underlying messages from each medium were often pieces of advice that carry weight when it comes to your personal branding efforts.
Both Vanity Fair Magazine and the ABC Family series “Greek” reminded me of how important manners are. A poll in Vanity Fair reported that, “36 percent think that teaching manners should be mandatory throughout a child’s education.” This is a greater percentage than those who voted for the value of a dollar, interpersonal relationships and personal hygiene.
Furthermore, a conversation that happens between Tegan and Casey on “Greek” talks about why some sororities are so strict about enforcing rules upon the girls. Tegan explains that being hard on the girls prepares them for the world. Insisting that they follow proper procedures, showcase good manners and abide by rules ensures that they will be better prepared to get along well in society throughout their lives. Even though she was a horrifically disagreeable character, I must admit that I agree with her here.
Part of your personal brand is showing respect, both for other people and for rules. You don’t want to make people around you uncomfortable by displaying poor manners or by always being the one trying to bend the rules. I’m not saying to always conform, but be aware of how your behavior is affecting your personal brand. You don’t want poor manners to distract people from recognizing your many talents and strong suits.
Be A Good Listener
A lesson from “The Millionaire Matchmaker” on Bravo was that in order to make a relationship work, you must tune in to the other person. That may seem obvious, but how well do you really focus on what people are saying? Guess what simple step you can take to improve your listening? Turn your cellphone off! Your Blackberry or iPhone will not improve your relationships. And guess what? Relationships get you the job. Relationships bring in the new business. So, make sure that you are building strong relationships by fully engaging with people who speak with you. Don’t brand yourself as the person who answers the phone at the table or who texts while someone is speaking to you.
Feedback? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Morgan is the social media strategist at Media Two, an interactive advertising agency in downtown Raleigh. In her role at Media Two, Morgan Siem helps businesses, both B2B and B2C to leverage social media channels to meet their business goals. Morgan has worked with clients such as Microsoft Office for Mac Business Unit, Entertainment Publications, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Kindermusik International and Special Olympics of North Carolina. Morgan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2009 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Spanish.