Do you want to be seen as a competent and effective leader?
Then embrace this fundamental principle of communication..."You cannot... not communicate", in other words, you are always on.
Everything you do is sending information to the people around you whether they are your colleagues, clients, or leaders.
This is because communication is more than just words, it is multi-dimensional. Everything from how you answer the phone, the articles you post on social media, how you lead, the tidiness of your desk, to your ability to avoid verbal graffiti when leading meetings are all sending bits of information to others.
And it is from this information that they are continuously forming judgments of your competence by building mental models of who you are in their minds. These models then become filters through which they see you and in turn choose to interact with you.
If their model sees you as competent, then interacting with others becomes easy. If, however, the model is one of you being incompetent, then working with them becomes extremely difficult.
One strategy to ensure that you create positive models is to develop and live in accordance with your own unique personal brand. This is powerful according to Professor Tim Calkins of Northwestern University as "Brands shape our perceptions". (Think Nike or Apple)
That said, the true power of a personal brand rests in the fact that it strongly influences our own self-image as how we act and behave is strongly influenced by how we see ourselves.
To start your journey in creating your personal brand, put to paper your answers to these 3 questions:
1) What are your values?
2) What image do you want for your brand?
3) Who are your role models?