In the context of relationships that we build over a long period, trust is almost a given. Parents operate with trust unless given a reason not to do so. Children believe that parents will look after them, at least until they are old enough to be independent. Neighbours trust that they live with pleasant people who will bring them no harm. What about the professional world we also live in?
The moment you enter a professional setting, the whole concept of trust changes significantly. Are you trustworthy if you are diligent with your work? Does trusting you mean trusting that you’ll do a good job? Do you earn trust by always being there for your peers? Trust in a work environment is not only difficult to navigate, it almost always appears to come with strings attached.
How, then, do you draw boundaries and build trust at the same time?
With these six pointers, of course. In this article, we show you how you can use your personal brand not just to market yourself, but build trust in you that is backed by good reason.
1. Focus On The Relationships: Every good marketer will tell you that the pitch is excellent, but it is only just the beginning. You need to be ready to walk the talk. In a professional setting, this means saying yes only to those commitments that you can keep, and then keeping them. You want to build relationships, but not at the cost of being a doormat. So, pay close attention to what your personal brand is promising the people around you, and what you are actually able to execute. Always get feedback from people.
2. There Is No Race: Have you seen this meme yet? Many people running the rat race for way too long are surprised to find that they aren’t really going anywhere. Well, that’s the first role of operating at work. Companies are paid to behave as though you need to be a perpetual motion machine to achieve something. However, the maximum scope for growth comes when you focus on developing yourself instead. So, that workshop you’ve been putting off or the article bookmarks you never go back to, take time each day to actually use these resources and work on yourself. There is no personal brand if there is no person.
3. Offer Assistance If You Can: By this, we are not referring to your skill level that may make you ideal for addressing an issue. We are referring, instead, to signing up to help only when you can. Time, other commitments and projects can all catch up and cause us to not deliver on assistance. Hence, it is important to offer help only when you know you have the resources to do so. Signing up and not showing up can affect your personal brand quite adversely.
4. See Everything: Are you so focused on a task that you cannot look sideways and see the people pulling the wagon with you? Well, we hate to break it to you, but you are becoming a machine. Sometimes, a team lunch is so much more than nachos and beer- it is a chance to appreciate those that are making a difference to you. Never let go of that chance.
5. Keep A Calendar: Whether you choose a plain old planner or a Trello board, it is essential to have one so you can track all the commitments you have made and keep them in time. Planners also have another advantage- you can see when they’re getting full. What better way to schedule your time and learn to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ appropriately?
6. Accept Blame Where It Is Due: And share credit where it is due. Many of us find it very hard to accept blame, and even harder to share credit. Ever met a boss who promptly forgets his team in a ‘thank you’ speech? Humans live under the delusion that we achieve in isolation and suffer as a community. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it. If you’ve done something amazing, acknowledge those who made it possible for you.
As you can see, building a trusted brand is all about focusing outwards. Look at the people you are serving in one way or another, and the means by which you can make them happy will come to you naturally. However, also remember that influencing people is vastly different from fulfilling their every whim and fancy. When you can find that delicate balance, congratulations! You have mastered the art of personal branding.