Asking Questions – Why Should You?

December 14, 2017

Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you’re at an office party or a networking event and you’re standing next to someone while there’s complete silence because neither of you have any idea on what to talk about? Additionally, you’re worried about how you may be portrayed to this person in your first impression or you’re worried the awkwardness will increase if you ask questions. Meanwhile, your head is thinking “How does he know the host? In what department does he work? Do we work in the same building?”

The good news is that research suggests that people who ask questions are more likeable than people who ask fewer to no questions. In fact, there was an experiment conducted at Harvard where volunteers were assigned to either ask a lot of questions or only ask a few. Once their conversation was completed, each participant rated how likeable the other person was. Through findings, researchers concluded that people who ask fewer questions weren’t as liked as the people who asked plenty more.

Of course, how and what we ask is just as important as the quantity. The Harvard research also suggests that specific follow up questions are the most effective. A good way to approach a follow up question is to:

  1. Ask a question
  2. Listen and understand the answer
  3. Ask a question regarding the answer

Not only does this make you more likeable, but it also shows that you are listening, which is an important trait to have no matter what you are doing. So the next time you are standing next to a person and you don’t know what to talk about, think: questions!


5 Things you Need to Know about Personal Branding

October 15, 2015

What is a personal brand? It’s what makes you, you. It’s what people think of when they hear your name. So why would you want to develop your personal brand? So you can help decide what people think about when your name comes up in conversation. You can shape yourself in peoples’ minds. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Here are some important things to know about personal branding.

  1. Try things on. You don’t have to know everything about yourself and your brand right away. Test some things out, try some things on to see what works for you. Mock up some different business cards and test out your tag lines on a friends to see how they feel. Then you can find something that feels like you.Personal Brand Mirror
  2. Express yourself online. A great way to show off your personal brand is with social media. If you don’t already have one, create Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. These are platforms meant to broadcast yourself to the world. Create a website for yourself and link your social media sites to the homepage. That way when people search you (and they will) you can control what they see.
  3. Find your strengths. You know what you’re good at, in business and personal settings. Write about it. Start a personal blog about things you’re knowledgable of and things you’re passionate about. It might even be fun. Share personal experiences and business insights and maybe even gain some business networks from it.
  4. Network. This is a no brainer. Connect with everyone you can. Whether this is on social media or in person, it’s important to make your personal network as expansive as possible. You’ve worked hard establishing your brand, so show it off!
  5. Be consistent. Make sure your brand is consistent across all platforms. From Twitter to your blog to your website to your business cards. Make conscious effort to aline all these aspects to blend seamlessly into a brand. Be able to talk confidently about your brand and know what it means to be you.

It might be intimidating trying to figure out who you are and how to tell the world. But start with little steps and eventually build your personal brand into something you can be proud of.

 

How do you build your personal brand?