How will you score by the end of the summer?
Have you ever thought of the real importance of being able to represent and present your Personal Brand in all the many roles you play throughout your journey through the world each and every day? Why does this matter and what are your benefits if it does matter?
Take a moment to think about someone that you respect and admire. Take a look at their Personal Brand. What aspects of their behavior do you appreciate?
- Are they always consistent so you know you can count on them?
- Are they authentic and not just putting on an act?
- Do you feel they are trustworthy?
- What are their best qualities?
- Are they courteous, polite and do they respect others?
- Do you feel they live their life on purpose and with passion?
- Do they live up to their potential?
- Do they ask for what they want?
- How good are they at communicating? Do they listen well?
- Are they conscious of how they do what they do?
- Do they contribute to their community?
OK – I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Know that others recognize the quality and value of your personal brand as well, by knowing what they can expect from you on a consistent basis. This can be a really excellent feature that convinces others to mentor, respect or want to work with you. Conversely, being inconsistent in your behavior can keep you from the possibly of getting any of the above. It’s a matter of taking stock of your behavior in all the roles you play in life: daughter, student, singer/performer, son, employee, sister, brother, friend, teacher, roommate, etc. Take the time to find two differing roles from this small list and ask yourself if you use the same behavior for each role? I doubt that you do! Crazy stuff, huh?
“Life is Change. Growth is Optional. Choose Wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark
If you are interested in making a change, recognition is the first step. It allows you to start noticing when you just do things unconsciously out of habit that leave you feeling out of control because you just react. Being aware and awake, lets you stop just reacting and gives you an opportunity to take a step out of the emotion of that moment, leaving the emotion over there, so you can look at just the facts and make a choice or decision based on that instead of just doing the same ole, same ole.
I’m bringing this all up now, because in the next few months, July and August, many of you will be off to summer programs either here in the USA or abroad. Have you thought of how you want to represent not only yourself, but the school, city and even your country, when you are away? What kind of impression do you intend to leave behind, during the program and during your free time? Will those you have come in contact with during your stay at your summer program or the community or country in which it takes place, want you back?
So what exactly is your responsibility when representing yourself, your summer program or the company you are working with, whether here or abroad?
“It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to!” – Jean-Luc Godard
The first thing I recommend is to Google the town or country in which you expect to spend several weeks or months. It’s important to both know and respect the customs/behaviors necessary in the venue in which you will be representing yourself. You will be a guest there and it would be nice if they invited you back. It would be nice to leave a great lasting impression of your courtesy for their customs and practices wouldn’t it?
- What are the customs when greeting others for the first time? Is it a handshake, a kiss on both cheeks?
- Do you address them with their proper title like Mr. – Mrs. – Ms – Herr- Signora, Dr. etc. until they give you permission to use their first name?
- How do you handle your behavior when eating with others? Are you aware that you are making an impression either favorable or unfavorable?
- What kind of behavior do they expect from you when you go out in a group after hours? Do you know what the customs are for this? If not find out.
You are a guest in their town or country and need to treat their customs with respect and integrity and don’t just become another “Ugly American”.
Remember that you are also representing the company/program and all it stands for, upholding and helping to build its reputation, dignity, and respect within the community. You are also representing those that run the program/company and all of its teachers, coaches, conductors, stage directors, etc.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden
Your behavior is what is remembered both during your working and private time. Yes, your natural instincts might be to let lose, be loud and demanding when not at work, but I can tell you from my own experience that I along with my colleagues, have been embarrassed to have to acknowledge that these students are from and representing our program.
I often continue to be embarrassed when traveling even in my own country and see the outrageous disregard for courtesy, respect for others, and arrogance in public circumstances. There seems to be an air of entitlement that we can just let loose and be ourselves without any kind of restraint or caring for how the rest of the world works.
And trust me when I say, that for those running the company/program, you are creating a lasting bad impression. Our industry is small and word travels very fast and can either give you a possible next break or keep you from it. Your behavior counts. It’s not just about your talent and potential. So present and represent your Personal Brand at all times so you learn to have respect and integrity within and for yourself as well as others.
Ciao and Avanti! Until next time. Carol
“…if we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” – Ivan Turgenev
I wanted to remind those of you that are teachers that I am giving a 30% discount on your purchase of 10 or more of my 2nd Edition Aria Ready books. It’s a great way to send your students off on that amazing summer adventure. Or perhaps a welcome back to school in the fall so they can further implement any new ideas they learned over the summer. Just contact me at [email protected] and I will give you the details.