”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle. People are watching you. You may not even be aware of how much people are paying attention to you. I got a call a while back from a man that had been “watching” me on Linkedin for about a month. He was reading my posts and looking at my website. He finally contacted me about an opportunity because he decided that he liked what I represented and it was consistent with the character of the person for which he was looking. It made my day that I had passed his test.

That encounter got me thinking about something that I learned recently. I attended a training meeting that Christine Zust had a few weeks ago where she said that “Everything you do brands you.” (The title of her impeding book). She shared that our consistent behaviors begin to communicate to our audience who we are and what they can expect from us. She challenged the audience to be thoughtful and intentional about sending branding messages. She really reinforced for me how much people pay attention and draw conclusions about people and organizations based upon consistent messages. I look forward to getting her book when she releases it.

At that meeting, I was sitting next to a wise marketing expert by the name of Larry Mattes who contributed; “Everything that you DON’T do also brands you.“ It made me think of a local organization in town. Unfortunately, because of one of my monthly obligations, I need to work with this organization. I schedule meetings that they don’t put on their schedule. They don’t answer emails or phone calls. Whenever I think of this group, I think of poor communication. If someone asked me for feedback about them, I would never recommend them. So, they have built a negative reputation that brands them to me as unresponsive, irresponsible and rude.

If someone was watching you for a month without your knowledge, would they have more to say about what you do, or what you don’t do? Would they be able to accurately describe who you are and what you do? What messages do you hope that you are sending? What can you do to be sure that those are the branding images that people have of you and your organization?

Begin by asking your clients what one word comes to mind when they think of you or your organization. If the words they use are what you had hoped they would say, then your brand is in good shape. If they answer something less than what you would hope. Ask them for more feedback and begin to say and do things consistently that will move them toward your desired brand image. Remember, your clients and potential clients are watching you!

Author's Bio: 

Patty Sadallah has 29 years experience as an organization development consultant and executive coach. She is a Dream Partner Catalyst and coaches and consults nonprofits and women owned small business owners around issues of focus and planning, moving them toward her dreams. Find out more about her coaching and consulting at http://www.PattySadallah.com/sq.

She is also the President/Founder of the Redwood Sisterhood, an international women's support community that offers personal and professional development learning opportunities, community bartering through time banking and fun networking events. Here, she brings together the talents and the needs of women and allows these connections to strengthen and uplift the membership. Learn more at (http://www.RedwoodSisterhood.com)

Additional Resources covering Women in Business can be found at:

Website Directory for Women in Business
Articles on Women in Business
Products for Women in Business
Discussion Board
Patty Sadallah, the Official Guide to Women in Business