Branding and Relationships
We all have things we do, behaviors, that we do over and over. In many ways those behaviors define who we are. You probably know quite a few about me. I know one or two about you. On their own, most are not positive or negative. For example, the behavoir of mine below can be a strength or point of argument.
I have a behavior pattern of balancing other folks’ ideas. If my husband says, “That’s the reason X and Y don’t belong together. Bad ending for this movie,” I’m likely to say, “Have a little faith. Suspend your disbelief.” If he says, “That’s the reason X and Y will live happily ever after,” I’m likely to say, “Nah, X will get bored and leave Y within the first year.”
Testing, I’m constantly testing. Because we’re always growing, we’re always changing. We need to be aware of patterns in our lives that we know who we are and what people see. If we note our own behaviors, we can be aware of how we impact others. That’s not only a great brand strategy, it’s a great strategy for life as a decent human being. Here’s how to do that.
- Identify your behavior patterns. Choose the strongest ones, those that resonant as self-defining. For each of those, follow step 2, if possible. Turning bad habits into good ones — by starting with a paradigm shift; then implementing a new use of that skill — is far easier than eradicating a patterned response.
- Define and name the behavior as a strength. I call the pattern above “balancing other folks’ ideas.” That gets me thinking of the pattern as a strength. It also frames the behavior in a way that I might use it effectively — in this case, when ideas NEED balancing — and in words that can explain it. “I’m sorry. I have a habit of unconsciously trying to balance ideas in a discussion. I’ll try to check that. Please go on with what you were saying.”
- If a behavior has no redeeming value, be lethal. Name it and define it. Make a plan to replace it with a new behavior. Find out all you can about the behavior. Return to the inventory and review this single behavior against your history, physical responses, feedback worth keeping, positive inputs, and the truth. Be honest about what happens when you get caught in the behavior in question. Make a plan to replace that behavior with a specific, new response — “When someone irritates me in that way, I will now stop; look at my hands; and breathe until I have counted all ten fingers.”
Our relationships with us — mine with me; yours with you — set the pattern for our relationships with other people. If we look to ourselves and our behaviors and find a way to see strengths, if we look at the patterns that hurt us and find a way to replace them, imagine how much more equipped we are to relate to the people we meet. We show up with built in understanding. We’re thoughtful in how we see and treat every other person we know.
Folks see that understanding and thoughtfulness when they look at us. They see that we know ourselves, that we have dealt with our strengths and our weaknesses. That makes us consistent and predictable, even when we’re spontaneous, joyful, and outrageously silly. We have room for ourselves, so it’s likely that we have room for other people as well.
An invitation seen in your actions.
Is there a finer way to introduce your brand? or live a life?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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