PA Branding Part 3.0 – Action plan starts with your weakest link
Once at a business training, I sat there being absolutely excited about the possibility to learn how to boost my business and personal success. That’s what the speaker promised us. I was waiting for a magic answer to tackle a few of my hick-ups and I was sure this was the best place to learn that. But as you can guess – what I heard was not that motivating at all. This is actually very true in most trainings. Why? Because the truth is always simple and down to earth. What usually means – you are doing something wrong now and to change that… you need to do something unpleasant first aka The Learning Curve!
It was eye-opening, yes, but it surely didn’t inspire me to run and start implementing. You see, when we set goals, we think that we need to learn something new and groundbreaking to make it happen. The psychological truth is, there is usually something we need to UNLEARN first. But I knew all that, the famous limiting beliefs, so I was actually looking for something to do as a next inspiring step. As it turns out – if you want to grow fast… you need to tackle your weakest link. And I didn’t like the sound of that at all…
Now, we all know that theory, but what does it mean when it comes to implementation? This is definitely something that will pull you out of your comfort zone like a hurricane, so sit tight.
Let’s say you are an amazing assistant. You have excellent skills, you have shiny track record, your productivity overshadows Manhattan and you can juggle literally the whole C-suite floor. Now, for some reason, you might still not be happy with the recognition you get from your executive or you forgot how ‘thank you’ sounds like out loud. But what in ‘Windows’ name can you do more? So you decide to follow a blog series of a very outspoken PA on LI Pulse who says that it might be your PA branding that needs a boost. Well, why not?! You’ve got nothing to lose. So you write yourself an amazing personal branding statement which actually doesn’t look like a lot of work because most qualities described are already in place. Now, you think you got all covered. But how will that translate into a ‘you are an indispensable Assistant’ recognition?
And before I will kick you out of your comfort zone, let me say this first: my biggest admiration goes to those Assistants who don’t feel that need of being appreciated out loud. I’m not there yet, myself . And if you are anything like me… here is the biggest WHY for most assistants who don’t experience the oh-so-needed acknowledgements. Are you ready… here comes the painful part:
We don’t ask for it!
No, we don’t! We actually don’t know how to! We hope, pray and work our asses off so our results will do the talking (and they usually do). But what we usually get is a quick: Thanks! And that’s not enough for our sweat, blood, and tears efforts. In our wildest imagination, we want a pedestal, a gold medal, huge magnum champagne bottle, flowers, fireworks and the whole shebang for achieving the impossible. If you say now “I don’t need all that” I’m sure you won’t mind it if it actually happens to you…
To be very honest, I have been struggling with this post for over a week, because I cannot tell you how to become a master in this art. I just know it’s our united weakest link in the chain of grand task achievements. I will share some practical tools and shortcuts on how to translate your goal branding into doable action points in the coming posts. But before doing that, I need to focus on WHY we haven’t been celebrating our PA Branding yet. Something is missing… and NO it’s not your practical execution. Every Assistant is good at something special and knows how to deal with most common and required duties. And apparently – a quick ‘Thank You’ is not enough for us, we’re missing a real appreciation we’re so craving. And I’m sure it’s not limited to our profession of being someone’s Assistant. So – there is something untouchable missing. And after digging through countless PA blogs and articles I think I have found the answer….
I suspect, that underneath our stealth mode skills – we are not truly confident that it will ever be enough! Be good enough, fast enough or precise enough. Most assistants I know are always looking for ways to improve something , we always need to know if what we do meets the expectations. We search for visible and non-verbal signs that we did GOOD. Why? Because that sets new standards, confirms our qualities and, unfortunately, it also raises the bar. And OMG if you will underperform next time – your head is on the line. It might not be so in real life, but that is how we FEEL it is, very real and very confronting.
Although I think this constant drive to perfection is an admirable quality – it can also ruin our own sense of confidence. There it is, I said it: SELF-CONFIDENCE!
I truly believe, after thoroughly scouting the PA sector for the past 10 months, that we generally lack self-confidence to some degree. Maybe it’s because our profession is all about behind the scenes responsibilities, maybe because the world is shifting gears too fast, maybe it’s your misbalance in your work-life area or maybe, just maybe, it’s the one mistake that slipped through, which ruined your results or trust at some point. That’s actually what is so frustrating to me – yes, total precision and accuracy is expected of us. But we are human too, we all do make mistakes. Sometimes, I just feel extremely devastated when after a long run of ‘error free’ execution one little nasty thing slips out – and it all falls down.
And that is when I realize that it’s not so much what OTHERS say about it. No, that is just unpleasant, but not shocking. It’s what I do to myself and how it paralyses me from going forward in full confidence. It’s a slight trust breach I have with myself, that’s what is at stake here…
It all comes back to the weakest link that we have inside of every one of us. The first and foremost item on our development list will always be stated as ‘empowerment of self-confidence’. Because only if you truly believe in your own powers, your skills, your own Personal Awesomeness Branding – only then you can stride forward and pioneer yourself.
So let me build up a case for self-confidence… I’m sure you know how to be an amazing Assistant. It’s not the practicalities (although every assistant has a long list of trainings to follow and skills to improve). I want to reinforce your own acknowledgement into an ironclad belief that you ARE good no matter what. I want you to be strong enough that you won’t need the external confirmation for it. If it will come… it will just be icing on the cake. But it’s the inner force of pride and self-worth that will drive your actions and your appearance. Your presence will radiate your quality and silently ‘demand’ an acknowledgement. Not because you asked for it, but because people realize your impact. It’s that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes us star-struck when we see a celebrity. It’s the same sublime message that will beacon your value, of the Assistant that is there for others when needed.
Acting from a place of insecurity, however small, will reflect it to the outer world. You just see it in someone’s attitude. It’s the vibe behind your actions that will do the talking, it’s that vibe that will make or break your PA Brand. But first, you must BELIEVE in it first…
Only when all that is in place and carved in stone, only then will you be able to openly say it out loud in public: ‘Damn girl, I am good!’ And everybody will have no choice but to agree with you. Will you need that recognition? Not really. But it would be very cool to experience getting it anyway. A big-fat-obvious ‘Thank You’ that you so deserve!
Do you think you could never do that? Just wait and see! Say it once, practice it over and over and at some point, you will say that to your exec while delivering on a task. You will see their attitude towards you change in an instant because they will see your iconic pride in your eyes. We human beings can’t help it, it’s in our genes: we admire pride and self-respect more than anything! THAT is your key to become an acknowledged Assistant, recognized for your qualities as an amazing professional!
Next on the menu: how to start grooming your self-worth, your inner pride, the amazing YOU!
Check out our W.A.N.T.E.D. ‘PA Positioning & ICONIC Branding’ Event
on September 26thand JOIN US LIVE or ONLINE in our efforts
to enable you to compose a superb Personal Branding Strategy.
This will be the ultimate, practical and possibly life-changing experience!
Let’s elevate and excel our ASSISTANT ‘STATE OF MIND’!