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What Do People Whisper About You (When You Leave a Room)

December is one of my favorite months of the year. The energy and spirit in the air for the holidays is always a rush, and the celebration of Christ’s birth is always #1 on the list. The month of December also serves as a time for personal reflection.

This week I had the opportunity to work with a client in California. The focus of our time was to reflect on the impact we each have on corporate culture based on our personal brand. We went through an exercise to write a Brand Promise — a statement of what people can expect from us. There are many pieces included in writing a Brand Promise, and one aspect is looking at the positive brand attributes that contribute to our personal brand (being genuine, strategic, driven, humorous, creative, patient, etc.). Another aspect is looking at our negative personal brand attributes.

While it is easy (and somewhat enjoyable) for us to consider our positive brand attributes, it is not so enjoyable to consider our negative brand attributes. Part of the exercise was to take a look at what we don’t like about ourselves (those things we know are holding us back from real success), with the plan to include in our Brand Promise a commitment to improve.

So, here’s what I’d encourage you to do. Take a look at the list below and identify the three negative brand attributes you’d like to eliminate in your life in order to improve your brand promise in 2016:

  • Negative

  • Impatient

  • Reserved

  • Too Serious

  • Vindictive

  • Sloppy

  • Disorganized

  • Inconsistent

  • Lazy

  • Critical

  • Micro-Manager

  • Moody

  • Short-Tempered

  • Bossy

  • Unclear

When we leave a room, people will often say things about us. They’ll talk about our positive attributes, or they’ll talk about our negative attributes. Quite often, our negative attributes get most of the attention. As you take some time for personal reflection this month, consider what negative attributes need your focus to help make 2016 one of the best years of your life.

Clint Swindall

© 2015 Clint Swindall — Clint is the president & CEO of Verbalocity, Inc., a personal development company with a focus on leadership enhancement. For information about how he can enhance employee engagement in your organization, please visit, or contact him directly

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