In my experience as a coach, most people don’t fully realize what they’re already doing right. Clients focus on what they believe they are doing wrong, where they lack something, or what they don’t know. I find that people often undervalue and overlook their tremendous skills, knowledge and the gifts they already bring to the table. Sure, there’s always something more to learn, new skills to acquire, and ways to improve your game, but don’t let a quest for perfection blind you to the wealth of value you already provide.
I love to role play with clients. Role playing enables a client to step out of him or herself and play a part, decreasing self-consciousness and reducing the interference of the filters we all place on ourselves. When the client is playing a role, truths emerge that otherwise would not be revealed. This is especially true when it comes to recognizing their own true worth.
Imagine that you aren’t “you” right now—you are a publicist talking about “you.” Since it’s a publicist’s job to promote, there’s no need to worry about bragging or blowing your own horn. That’s what publicists are paid to do, and in this scenario, you are a very good publicist.
Now imagine a reporter asks publicist-you about client-you’s qualifications. Give an answer that is honest, but mention everything noteworthy and with the best foot forward. Now imagine a question about client-you’s professional accomplishments. Make the answer factual, but feel free to put some shine on it by making sure every recognition, promotion, award, major contract, noteworthy client, community leadership role, and so on gets mentioned.
Next, imagine a question by the phantom reporter about client-you’s skills and talents. No reason to be shy, because it’s publicist-you answering! In your publicist role, you’ll want to make the client (you) as attractive as possible to the reporter, so overlook nothing! Even if the skill or talent isn’t job related, such as singing, painting, or writing, include it. Everything goes!
Take off your publicist hat and look at the list. Pretty impressive, right? I constantly find that my clients overlook what they do well and focus only on what they feel needs improvement. When clients are able to take a more objective look at their accomplishments, skills, talents and qualifications, and slow down enough to really let the benefit of their own hard work sink in, they see themselves in a new and more confident light.
There’s one more piece of magic to be worked—a bit of image management. Nothing lights up the eyes and perks up the confidence like a stylish new haircut and new up-to-date business clothes with the best shoes and accessories your budget can afford. The good news is that it’s a business investment. When you look your best, you carry yourself with poise and confidence. That not only attracts positive attention, it also makes others see you as an expert with something to say. I show clients a “before” and “after” photo of themselves, and they’re amazed at how good they look!
I enjoy being the catalyst, spark and spur to help my clients gain positive energy and step out with greater confidence and a much-deserved appreciation of their own skills and talents. Put some role playing to work in your own life, and see your real self emerge!