A wise teacher and body language guru once taught me that body language the is best leakage to communication. It speaks volumes, and it tells much more than we are willing to reveal about ourselves.
In fact, Albert Mehrabian, an engineer turned nonverbal communication researcher, found what is known as the 7-38-55 rule. This rule implies that of all messages, only 7% is verbal (words only), 38% is vocal (tone of voice and intonation), and 55% is through nonverbal forms of communications. Imagine that! A whopping 55% of our communication is without the use of words.
According to MindTools, Body language is the unspoken part of communication that we use to reveal our true feelings and to give our message more impact. These unspoken cues come be in the form of facial expressions, body movements, gestures, and body posture all of which play their part in reinforcing the message at hand.
Ask any married couple and they will tell you how they have mastered the different nonverbal cues in their relationship. You can always tell when something is amiss between you and your partner when you spot that shrugging shoulder, blank stare, eye roll, continuous sigh, or tight-lipped smile.
Depending on the circumstances we find ourselves, there are times when what comes out of our mouth and what we communicate through our body language portrays two totally different things. When a listener is faced with such mixed signals, the natural tendency is to believe what the body portrays, as body language is the more natural, unconscious language that broadcasts our true feelings and intentions. Thus, the statement from the body language guru that body language is indeed the leakage to the world of communication.
In the world of personal branding, a point of leakage can also be identified.
Your personal brand is refined with the quality of content you hold within. Content is to personal branding what body language is to communication. The content you hold comes in the form of the expertise you have, the knowledge you posses around a certain topic and the experience you have gained over the years as you worked to perfect your craft. All these factors build towards enhancing the credibility of your personal brand.
To grow your personal brand, you must build on your content value by continuously building on your expertise and knowledge level.
You can do this by:
- Creating an always on learning road map – Learning is a continuous journey, and you cannot display expertise without first becoming an expert. To become an expert, you must be an avid consumer of knowledge. This knowledge, however, must be relevant to the vision you have of your personal brand and to the industry needs that you seek to fulfill.
- Minding the content you consume – The saying ‘Garbage in, garbage out; is very apt when it comes to the type of content you consume. Ensure the content you consume positively adds to your knowledge and expertise. To get started on this, consider doing the simple things such as reviewing what you consume on social and mainstream media as this could easily influence your world and mindset.
- Being open to sharing your knowledge – Sharing what you know helps you to not only retain the knowledge gained, but to also perfect the known and unknown. Furthermore, putting yourself out there, in the position of ‘teacher’ forces you to be in a state of continuous learning, while identifying, and correcting any gaps in the skills and knowledge you hold.
- Minding your spoken word – In today’s world, the pressure to speak up to showcase one’s worth is tremendous. What this has done is it has created a set of people around us who are happy to say a lot of nothing or worse, say the wrong thing just to be heard. If what you are speaking about leaves more question marks than answers, then keep your words to yourself.
- Minding your network (both online and offline) – According to a man named Jim Rohn, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Keep a network of professionals that will challenge you towards strengthening the value of your personal brand. Don’t waste your time listening to the wrong people.
The kind of content you consume, and share can either complement or contradict your Personal Brand. The key to enhancing your Personal Brand is in becoming the subject matter expert in your industry.
Back up your Personal Brand with the right content and #Standout4Growth.