15/03/2012

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

OK, so this might not happen all of the time, but a day doesn't go by when you're not muttering under your breath or being exasperated by other people's actions. If this is you, then let me help shed a bit of light as to what might be going on here.

But before I do, let's just look at how this type of behaviour might affect your personal brand and your reputation. If you become known for certain type of negative behaviour, then people are less likely to see you as approachable, which in turn may mean that they keep you out of the loop on things and you might find that you are invited less and less to be part of projects or virtual teams.

As your reputation for this negative behaviour grows, you'll have to work doubly hard to ensure that the work you do is top notch, as people will give you less slack. If you're rubbish at what you do AND a misery to be around, you can be sure that your work will dry up pretty soon. Whether you like it or not, being a pleasure to work and getting on well with people with can make up for a whole heap of inadequacies in your technical abilities. Indeed this emotional mastery is highly regarded, if not essential, to truly succeed in business and leadership.

So, let’s go back to these people that drive you nuts... Would I be right in saying that there are things other people do that get you in a right old state? They say or do something and before you know it, you feel the rage rising up inside, the adrenaline starts pumping, your breathing speeds up, you might even have sweaty palms. Next thing you know, you've become a vicious creature from The Bog, heads are rolling and you’re left looking like you’ve just lost a fight with the Devil himself.

All because someone said or did something? Wowsers! See how much power they have over you? You might not even know them; they might be an innocent bystander in the queue in front of you faffing and searching for the correct change. But your impatience and intolerance of slow faffy types has sent you into a rage. Sound familiar? We all know people like this!

If this happens to you, a good place to start is to try and figure out what value of yours has been crossed. Your values, like business values are those things that are important to you. They're like your unwritten rules of how "it / I / They / The World" should be. And when someone else acts in a way that is in conflict with them, you are going to take this personally.

So much so, that you might even interpret it as personal attack. Not consciously of course, but the damage has been done. Meanwhile, the other person is continuing going on as if nothing has happened, and you're the one left reeling in your angry state, a state that may stay with you for some time. Who’s the one losing out here?

Let's take a close look to se how we can better cope with this.

Let's say that your trigger is when you are confronted by someone who is being dishonest. For you, honesty is really important and you can't bear the idea of someone who is either lying or being false. Now let's just consider for a moment their being dishonest.

I would imagine that in your life, being honest has served you well, hence your love of it. But, might I also suggest that being honest hasn't been all that helpful at times. And maybe, in some instances, it might be really beneficial for you to be dishonest. Say if a nasty man in the street stopped you and asked for all your valuable possessions "I haven't got any on me" you lie back.

So, when you think about it, maybe just maybe, you have something to learn off this person who's currently winding you up. An alternative response is that you could observe from a neutral standpoint, rather than as the victim, and watch and learn some new ways of being. This might not be as easy as it sounds but awareness of a problem sometimes has the potential to solve it. As often in business, the moment you start measuring something it improves, the same can often be said in our personal lives.

Of course if taking the neutral standpoint seems a step too far for you, or downright impossible, you could always work with someone to clear your emotional charge around your issue. This kind of work can usually be done in a session, so if all else fails, why put up with it. Life's too short to let other people's behaviour prevent you from enjoying yours.


Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands