Describing who you are in a nutshell
Around the turn of the 21st century, the idea personal branding emerged as a way to describe the on-going development of a specific, positive image or impression of yourself in the minds of others. Your "personal brand" encompasses your work experience and successes, your skill set, your behavioral style, your strengths – everything you bring to the table. Whether it's summarized in an elevator pitch, a demo reel, or a LinkedIn summary line, your personal brand declares to a prospective employer why YOU are just the right person for the job; or to potential clients why YOU are the goods/services provider of their dreams.
More specifically, personal branding can also be:
"the ability to explain who you are: where you want to be; who you want to be; how you can add value; how you want to see your skills and strengths developed – so that you can add more value to your employer."
As today’s job market increasingly becomes a global playing field, and as job security decreases accordingly, it is vital that each of us cultivate our ability to direct our own professional growth and career path. Developing your personal brand now plays a key part in career success – and here at KnowledgeWorkx we believe it all starts with Inter-Cultural Intelligence (ICI).
Can Inter-Cultural Intelligence help your personal branding efforts?
Many employers no longer offer free/reimbursed professional development for their staff, so that leaves the choice of courses and direction of learning and personal development in our own hands. Understanding our own cultural worldviews in light of the grander scope – the big picture – is becoming increasingly important because our world is growing increasingly connective. Especially for those of us interested in developing our global leadership skills and insight into multicultural teaming, Inter-Cultural Intelligence is a crucial tool for a globally-optimal toolbox.
Secondly, as the job market shifts and changes, being able to understand your own personal brand and to communicate it effectively to others can only serve to help, not harm. That awareness and ability to articulate will benefit your career development efforts across multiple jobs, industries, and even continents. As we commit our own time, finances, and resources to professional development and job applications, we must take the greatest care to decide on productive choices for our careers.
Recent research by Price Waterhouse Cooper, Millennials at Work, has shown that amongst Generation Y individuals, there is a clear shift toward a more global attitude regarding the job market: 70% of those interviewed said that they would readily consider working overseas. Edward T. Hall, a leader in intercultural thought, taught us that relocating into a different cultural context will invariably mean that we discover more about ourselves – particularly the "why?" behind our behavior. As many of us who work overseas have experienced, this discovery process can be quite uncomfortable, with a massive learning curve, even if we are already committed to being cultural learners!
Each and every one of these factors underscore how needful it is to understand, describe, and apply your personal brand in ways that are accurate and relevant to a variety of cultural contexts.
So how do you go about defining your personal brand?
1. Take a look first at who YOU really are
Those familiar with KnowledgeWorkx have heard we believe the immediate priority in any situation is first to assess and understand yourself: Who are you as a cultural being? Utilizing the Three Colors of Worldview and the 12 Dimensions of Culture frameworks enable us to assess and process our own individual cultural predispositions.
2. Illuminate your WHYs
Once you have gained a better understanding of your own cultural paradigm, you can begin to identify your motivators and de-motivators. You will start to recognize which ideas and hopes drive you, and which are not priorities for you at all. The initial benefit of shedding light on WHY you are motivated is that it will clarify future decision-making. You will select better choices of career, projects, teammates, and so forth. However, another benefit is it will also enable you to articulate your style to employers, to your project team members, or even to potential investors: Why you lead the way that you do, how you succeed in negotiations, why you do or don’t respond well to certain challenges, and what measures you take to strengthen yourself where you have room to improve.
3. Utilize behavioral assessment tools
Only once each of us understands his/her own cultural perspective can we fully appreciate our own and everyone else's behavioral styles – the reasons behind why we act how we act. KnowledgeWorkx recommends Everything DiSC as the ideal companion to our Three Colors assessment tool.
Adapted from article first published Jan 2, 2014.
Quickly becoming the global preferred choice for Inter-Cultural Intelligence development, KnowledgeWorkx promotes mutual understanding of other cultures and perspectives in the workplace, and helps teams to develop the intercultural capacity necessary to thrive in a globalized world.