Have you ever found yourself in situations where you feel like you keep saying the same things, but they’re not registering with the other person? Our instinct is to speak louder, rephrase, and repeat. We may even say, “As I said before…”

It’s exasperating when we can’t get our message across effectively, especially when we think we are clear in what we are sharing. However, when this does happen, it’s a gentle reminder that content must be relevant to make sense for someone else.

Merriam-Webster defines relevance as:

“Relation to matter at hand, practical and especially social applicability; pertinence; the ability (as of an information retrieval system) to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user.”

When cultivating your personal brand, you need to be relevant to make an impact. How you present and express yourself in a meaningful way makes a difference. 

Here are five ways you can increase your relevancy in any situation:

1. Reduce interacting on autopilot.

Enter into conversations with an open and clear mind. Don’t start conversations when you’re in the middle of doing something else. Be present, attentive, and ready to interact. It’s easy to get into everyday routines with those close to you. As an automatic response to someone walking into a room, we may say, “How was your day?” without actually listening to the answer. I’ve been caught numerous times doing this when my husband will point out to me, “I literally just told you.” Not only do I feel bad when this happens, but I end up irritating him, rightfully so.

2. Meet people where they are at in the process.

Many of us work with multiple individuals who all handle their work differently than we would. The beauty of high-functioning teams is bringing together various perspectives to reach the desired goal. What comes easily for you may not for others, and vice versa. To minimize friction, limit your expectations of others by respecting that there’s more than one right way to do something. When communicating, ask open-ended questions, and tailor your information to help others understand what you mean.

3. Tune into verbal and nonverbal cues.

Increase your social intelligence by noticing another person’s mood before launching into your monologue. Take time to consider what motivates and drives them. You can then act upon these distinctions and determine what to say and when to speak up to get your questions answered. To build trust and strengthen relationships, keep in mind what’s important to the other person.

4. Limit overthinking about what you’re going to say.

Before joining conversations, limit thinking through countless scenarios of what someone else may say and how you’ll respond. Not only will that increase your anxiety, but it will also cloud your perspective. Listen openly and freely instead of focusing on your comeback. You may miss what they’ve said and misinterpret the situation. Take in what the other person shared, pause, and then react. If how they’ve responded is overwhelming, it’s okay to answer, “Thank you for that. I just need a few moments to think through what you said before replying.”

5. Manage your expectations.

Be realistic and fair. Respect how others approach things by not critiquing their approach. On the flip side, be careful of putting someone else on a pedestal with too much awe and reverence. Everyone has strengths, weaknesses, and areas of growth. Don’t minimize your value by thinking someone is better or worse than you. If you’re someone who judges themselves regularly, treat yourself as kindly as you would a trusted, respected friend.

Next steps

To learn more about Cultivating Your Personal Brand, you can review my previous blog articles and sign up to discover more through my customized program on my Learning Boutique page

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