Today's Professional

Today's Professional

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Developing Your Personal Brand: Meetings

tips for meetings

These are the most productive times, these are the least productive times. I have mixed feelings about meetings. On one hand, they serve as an opportunity to share ideas, resolve issues, and develop strategies as a team. On the other hand they serve as the most opportune time to hear one's own voice. This post looks at how to develop your personal brand as a meetings wizard.

1. Time Management

How you manage your time and the time of others during a meeting says a lot about your personal brand. Do you find yourself ranting, or not speaking up when someone else is ranting? If this is the case, it may serve your personal brand to ask yourself, am I carrying on? If you are one of those who tends to step on the soapbox, maybe it is time to reconsider your approach to meetings. When you carry on about a topic chances are you have lost your audience's attention. Even worse, you are wasting their time to be productive. The same holds true if you do not politely interrupt others who carry on. One way to do this is, "Jim, I can tell you feel strong about this topic, maybe we should talk about this further after the meeting."

When you call a meeting, try to keep it in the 15 minutes time frame. If it takes longer than this, chances are the topics are too broad, there is carrying on, and you are wasting your time and the time of your colleagues. There are of course times when meetings will last longer than 15 minutes, but if you make an effort to manage the time of the meeting, your topics and the information you share will "stick" better with the participants.

2. Remember What You Said Last Meeting  

So you practice stellar time management skills, great. This means that chances are what you say gets heard. If that is the case, remember what you say. The last thing you want is to confuse your colleagues, especially your subordinates, on your objectives and feelings on certain topics. 

Generally the purpose of a meeting is, or at least should be, to set out action items. If you meeting with your team and say, "ok, it is settled. Bill, you will begin the Great Get Business Imitative with expanding the product line. Start getting the great business Bill!" Then, a month later, Bill says, "Ok, we can improve the Great Get Business Initiative by offering 2 new product lines." Then you say you don't like the idea of expanding the product line, which everyone remembers getting your approval on. You are going to confuse your team, lose their trust, and ultimately knock your objectives off track.

Forgetting what you say is costly in many ways. First, in our example, Bill obviously put time and energy into Great Get Business Initiative, this time and energy cost the company greatly if this is what Bill has been working on. Next, the confusion factor. Forgetting what you say leads to confusion on direction. Employees love direction, more so than they will ever say. Security in knowing your efforts are in line with organizational objectives, is a great feeling. 

3. Don't Interrupt or High-jack the Meeting 

When someone is talking, don't interrupt them, unless they have high-jacked the meeting and are ranting. This is pretty simple concept. Even if you have the best point in the world, when you interrupt someone they stop listening. 

High-jacking a meeting for your own cause is also a poor practice. If the meeting has been called to discuss current accounts, don't change the topic to product development. Stay on topic and make sure others do as well.

4. Don't Have Meetings Unless it is Necessary

Holding meetings just to hold meetings drives me crazy. If the objective of the meeting is no meant to resolve an issue, develop an action plan, or discuss results, why have the meeting? In my experience as a restaurant manager (both in the fast food industry and the fine dining industry) I had a rule I followed. I never yelled or got mad at anyone, even for the dumbest mistakes, unless I absolutely had to. I called it "my yelling arsenal." I looked at it this way, if I yell or was angry all the time, each time I yell or get angry I take from my arsenal. Eventually my arsenal would run out and it would not matter how angry I was. Then end result, when I got upset, I got results. 

The arsenal principle holds true for meetings. If you have a meeting a day, then the value of those meetings will run out. If you have a lot of meetings with out results, the value meetings you call will be depleted.


Meetings serve a purpose in business. Make sure you are sending the right message when you participate. The more valuable you are as a participant, the more valuable you are to the organization.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reputation Risk Management and Your Personal Brand

Personal Reputation Risk Management

I recently wrote a blog on the topic of reputation risk management for my corporate blog (which will be published as a full featured article in the August edition of Security Solutions Magazine). This article got me thinking of how the principles of corporate reputation risk management can be applied to your personal brand. This articles explores the topic of reputation risk management and the personal brand.

Friday, May 11, 2012

An Introvert and A Sales Manager, Is It Possible?

sales introvert

I will be the first to tell you I am shy introvert (most people who know me tend to disagree, but trust me I am). I am a shy introvert to the point of whenever I go into crowd places such as grocery stores, I always have a little anxiety. Being an introvert in a sales position may seem to be a huge hurdle me as my job requires me to talk to people on a daily basis. However, I have found that this trait has actually served to my advantage. This post covers how being an introvert has helped me in my position as sales and marketing manager.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Innovation: Is it in your organization?


Innovation. Innovation. Innovation. I just enjoy saying the world so much. The term innovation has become a famed business jargon word. Think synergy, change agent, or game-changer. Words and phrase quickly lose their meaning, their true essence when they are over used in the office. However, I feel true innovators never dilute the true meaning of this word. True innovators are not only start-up tech companies, true innovators can be found throughout the aggregate workforce.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: Tips for Work Life Balance

This week’s Top 10 is tips for finding balance between your professional obligations and your personal obligation.

Work Life Balance

1. Establish Limits and Boundaries.

First and foremost, it is essential that you set your boundaries for acceptable behavior from co-workers and customers when it comes to your personal time. If you set the tone early that you only address work issues during work hours, you most likely won’t be bothered outside of work hours unless it is an emergency. It is important to establish these limits and boundaries early.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top 10 Tuesday: Work Habits

This week's Top 10 focuses on work habits to help you improve professionally.

work habits

1. Remove distractions

In order to work at a high performing level it is important to remove distraction. Distractions such as email sounds, frequent small talk with co-workers, nonproductive web surfing, and a clutter desk can greatly inhibit your productivity. 

2. Always Reply

If people take the time to call you, send you an email, or communicate with you in some manner, you should always reply. This acknowledges that your received their communication and shows respect for the time they took to send you the communication.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Developing Your Personal Brand: Interoffice Email Communications

Personal Brand, email communication

Communication with your colleagues is an integral part of developing your personal brand. Our relationships with colleagues affect our personal brand in many ways, and the best way to ensure your reputation is not tarnished is to be conscientious on how you communicate within the office. You never know if one day a promotion depends on a peer review, or you need a reference for a new job. I urge you to consider your personal brand in every email, phone call, or conversation your share with your colleagues. For this post, I am going to focus on the topic of interoffice email communication.

How you communicate via email and how it affects your personal brand.

In my mind there are four kinds of “emailers”; The Non-Responder/Mass Sender, The One Liner, The Life Story Teller, and The To-The-Point-Action-Item Sender.