I was having lunch with a potential client and as I described what I do, she stopped me, smiled and said, “You’re a teacher.”
Wow, I thought to myself, that’s a very cool perspective. How am I a teacher?
The answer: I teach people how to craft messages and express them in an authentic way. I do this with executives, on-air talent and experts who are preparing for press appearances, speaking engagements and other events.
Then, I thought, do we all teach? The answer: YES.
You, me, all us of constantly teach others - our co-workers, loved ones and friends – about who we are. We do this through our daily communication and interaction with them. We tell others what to expect from us and how to treat us. We communicate our convictions and beliefs, our flexibility and/or lack there of, and our personal thought processes through everyday exchanges. We teach through our words, actions and emotions.
WORDS. You choose how and what to share with others. Take a moment to consider phrases that clearly articulate what you are thinking.
ACTIONS. You are in charge of your behavior. Be clear about your intention before you react to a situation.
EMOTIONS. You determine how to be present in any given situation and express or repress your excitement, disappointment or indifference.
Those you interact and communicate with on a regular basis have learned what to expect from you: whether or not you will engage in productive dialogue or get angry when challenged on an issue; if you will contribute in a meeting or be a note taker; or how you might respond to a direct request. Consider your words, actions and emotions, and honestly ask yourself, "What am I teaching others about me?"
More information, anecdotes, and exercises on practicing effective communication and the art of authentic self-promotion are found in Everyday Celebrity.