Intuitive Personal Branding (IPB) is a technique I have developed to help women identify and take ownership of who they are. Unlike a personality test, the analysis of the data is done by them, so there is no room to dissociate or distance themselves because we are only working with information that they provide intuitively in the moment. The outcome is the inevitable reconnection with their own energy and a clear view of what is important to them.
Why is this so important for women?
It’s important, because the workplace tends to be male-defined and consequently women often feel tentative. Because it’s cultural it isn’t always easy to define. The tendency for women to be ‘good girls’ and not make waves means they are uncertain about how to respond to the ‘naughty’ risk-taking male behaviour around them. Consequently they need something that bypasses this uncoupling of energy from action and that, knowing who they are, gives them the impetus they need.
How does it work?
Here is an example: Jane was looking for board roles. She had a financial background and a track record of turning businesses around as their accountant, with her no-nonsense approach. The images she picked when we were identifying her personal brand prompted a conversation about how she goes about her whole life, not just work. Her approach is unique to her and we created her very own strap-line explaining it: “A grounded individual with the imagination and humour to think the unthinkable and the determination to make it happen”. This sentence encapsulated everything about her and was deeply affirming. She ‘got herself’, and beamed with recognition!
It was this affirmation that helped her prepare for interviews giving her clarity about who she was and what she could contribute. The interview changed from being a box ticking exercise on her part, to the creation of a two-way conversation about what was required by both parties and what that might look like if either side felt inclined to take the next step. Grownups talking to each other!
In the subsequent work we did together it was a reference point that wasn’t about men and women but rather a clear recognition that as long as she remained true to her own way of doing things, she could be sure she was performing at her best! When she had to make a decision, referring to her strap-line immediately gave her access to her resourcefulness, and suddenly a raft of ideas and actions was available to her. Things that had seemed impossible suddenly became doable.
How do companies benefit?
When a woman is doing things her own way, she is more engaged, more committed. When she is caught up in mid-career with children and other relationship issues muddying her clear view of her future progression, it helps her remember that children or not, she will always be who she is, even if she is also a mother, a partner or a daughter. The time she will actually spend as a mother will be short compared to the increasing proportion of time she will spend at work.
Thinking this way can short circuit a lot of the angst and confusion that many women are caught up in. It aligns their energy and helps them understand what that it’s for and what is the deal about work. From there it is much easier to build a strategy that is grounded in reality and doable.
Simple solutions work best
It is remarkable to me that something so simple can transform a woman’s sense of herself and at the same time provide her with a solid platform for action so she gets the results she wants as well as making her contribution.