white tshirtLabels are dangerous. They assume we are all the same. We are not.

In the Women of Influence Intensive I just ran, we talked about the danger of labels, and how important it is to understand they really don’t mean anything unless you let them.

Let me give you an example. When you hear or see me talk about raising your profile, becoming an Influencer, leading your field – what “type” of person comes to mind?

I’m willing to bet my best pair of shoes on the fact you will be thinking of someone outgoing, gregarious, lively – and what we would typically call an “extrovert”.

In fact, it is entirely possible to be the opposite of these things and successfully  move your way up the ladder of Influence in your field.

We have completely misconstrued the terms introvert and extrovert over the years, assigning the meaning that all introverts are shy, retiring types who really don’t like people too much. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Introverts simply prefer to re-energise by being alone, while extroverts prefer to re-energise through people.

Regardless of whether you feel you are a party-starter or a wall-flower, there are techniques and platforms you can use to build your reputation, your profile and your career.

In my regular workshop run for professional women, I teach them about the importance of finding and using the right platform when building their profile. To do that you need to take into account the following:

Message (What do you want to say)
Market  (Who do you want to hear it)
Delivery (What preferences do you and your market have for delivery)

In this post we’re focusing on Delivery.

One of the principle barriers to doing what you need to do to build your profile is a feeling of not being authentic, or that you have to do things you are completely unskilled or uncomfortable in.

While I am a huge believer in shaking off your comfort blanket (how else do you grow?), if you’re just getting started on building your profile, it’s important to start with what you know, and enjoy (your preferences).

So, how do you work that out?

Consider this scenario: your organisation is holding an event. Where on the model below would you rather be?

LEADING THE ROOM: Do you like to be in charge, perhaps the speaker at the event?

WORKING THE ROOM: Are you the schmoozer, who wants to meet everyone?

HELPING THE ROOM: Are you happy to be involved in the organisation of the event but prefer to stay out of the limelight?

BACK OF THE ROOM: Would you rather poke your eye out with a burnt stick (sorry, it’s a Scottish phrase) than be there at all?

The good news is, for each of those categories (and you may find you fall between categories), there is a platform and a mode of delivery that will allow you to build your profile while not feeling as though you are too far out on a limb.

Understanding your own strengths and preferences is the best place to start when it comes to successful profile building.  Be confident that you can create a strategy that works FOR YOU, to incorporate ALL OF YOU.

PS if you want to hear more about how you can become a Woman of Influence and take control of your positioning, your profile and your progress, come and be part of an amazing group of women at my Get What You Want At Work workshop in Sydney on 24 March (only 2 seats left) or in Brisbane on 13 May (half the seats are sold already).

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