Thursday, 27 November 2014

Personal Branding vs Personnel Branding

For many organisations, the term personal branding used to be too person-centric without realizing the benefits of having the brand ambassadors being such a critical workforce waiting to be tapped as SALES FORCE.

I coined the term Personnel Branding exactly for these organizations & leaders to make them realize the value these personal brand add to the organization over a period of time. I am sure you would easily be able to recall at least one instance which would have forced you to ditch a brand because a "personnel / personal" brand behaved the way it was unbecoming of them!!

Some recent examples highlighting importance of Personal Branding across the hierarchy of the organization:

1. Southwest Airlines flight attendants: 

Search Southwest Airlines on Youtube and you will realize what I am talking about. You will find so many hilarious videos of the flight attendants bringing the lighter side out of passengers in what was considered to be a "serious" business!! Not surprisingly, it is the world's largest low-cost carrier besides being the most innovative one.

2. The Big Billion sales on Flipkart: 
The poster boy of Indian e-commerce celebrated with much fanfare its "Big Billion Day" Sale promising to offer huge discounts. Considering the magnanimous nature of sale, there were issues with the website and complaints of 'refunds' in confirmed orders due to products being "sold out" within few hours if not minutes. Next day, most leading dailies carried a front page apology from the Bansals (co-founders) regarding the same and highlighting their "personal apology" acting as personnel and not owners / co-founders. They used their own personal brand equity to save the company's image which failed to mark the promise of value to customers on that big day.

These are just a couple of examples, how personnel branding can help the companies in a big way irrespective of the hierarchy. There is an immense scope to increase your Sales and Brand Equity by milking Employee Personal branding. Employee personal brand not only help in Customer retention but also add today's Business Currency i.e. Connections to company's profile.

How Organisations benefit from Personal Branding

For many people the term Personal Branding is more about individual growth and personal impact and on the organizational level people do not believe much in personal branding. This comes from the perception that how an organization can benefit from personal branding of their employees.

I feel that the employees are the "walking advertisement" for any organization. Why not to think like this that a good way to increase an organization's positive reputation is to align it with someone who already has a positive reputation. If the employee is perceived as credible, authentic and talented then the organization's brand value increases incredibly. The same would work the other way around in terms of spoiling reputation. All of us would have at some point vowed not to work with 'a company' because either the sales personnel was unprofessional or customer care was disrespectful!

But the irony is that the organizations are more concerned in achieving the success for group and the mistake they make here is that they forget that this group is formed by collection of unique individuals who have their own set of skills, talent and ability which may or may not fulfill the organization's goals and brand promise.

For any organization its reputation is communicated by its employees. The customers perceive the brand of the company by its employees. If the employees lack external exposure, external connection, poor online presence; then the organizational scope to attract more business, partners, clients and customers also gets limited.

When employees successfully brand themselves as experts in an industry, both the employee and the employer can achieve measurable benefits.

Its much more expensive to get new clients than retaining existing ones.
The employer benefits:

  • Improved brand perception that positively affect marketing goals
  • Improve recruitment by becoming a more desirable employer
  • Retention of high value employees
  • Employees serve as brand champions increasing visibility
  • Increased leadership development to decrease recruitment costs
  • Less employee attrition
  • Gaining competitive advantage
  • Trend identification for new product development and sales opportunities
  • Stronger collaboration with subject matter experts to increase efficiency

The employee benefits:

  • Increased self esteem, peer recognition and confidence.
  • Motivated and dedicated towards the organization and feeling of being special
  • Future leaders within an organization can be identified and groomed
  • based in part on personal branding results
  • Enhances professional satisfaction

Personal Brand Image & its importance

  • Are you a shy, demure kind of a person or an extrovert; still struggling to get the appreciation and recognition you deserve?
  • Are you also just another individual in the crowd?
  • Are you aware of your personal brand or have you been branded by people around you?
  • Do you know how to distinguish self from the crowd by creating your own personal brand?

If the answer is NO, then let me tell you that you are missing out on 'getting noticed' and I have a solution for that. Learn with me the techniques and tips to create your differentiators and add value to your uniqueness by “Personal Branding.”
The way successful companies (Apple, Coca-Cola, Rolex, McDonald's) create their niche by 'branding' to distinguish themselves from their competitors; create your personal brand to emulate success of these companies, so that your target audience recalls the value of your “BRAND” whenever your name comes up.


Are you still struggling or not aware of your personal brand profile?

Then let me guide you to create your powerful personal brand profile to increase your value and mark your reputation.

We humans love to listen to stories and we instantly connect with them emotionally. Do you know what miracle could happen if you give your introduction by storytelling?

Yes, you might get a bit confused here but this is true that we all love listening to stories since childhood and we instantly make an emotional connect with the characters of the story. Stories are the most powerful way of building brands; be it personal, organization or a product.

Learn with me the techniques to craft your own stellar biography and to make an instant emotional connect with your colleagues, clients and audience so they always remember you the way you want whenever your name comes up.

Learn to prepare an engaging introduction and a flawless elevator pitch of your personal brand.

Learn with me to build trust and credibility through your stories and use them effectively at your workplace.
What personal brand do you possess?

What do people speak about you when you leave the room?

What impression you make on your first meeting?

If you struggle for the answers then sorry to say but you are categorized as a Personal Branding DEFAULTER. Yes, you are branded by other people based on the perceptions they have build about you with / without ever interacting with you!!

Your credibility, authority, intelligence, position, success, trust, loyalty, professionalism are based on these perceptions which result into the formation of a mental image about you as an individual in other person’s mind.

We are very receptive to our five senses (Vision, Auditory, Gustatory, Kin-aesthetic and Olfactory) and based on these sensory receptors we make initial snap decisions about the other person.

Build your personal brand to elevate your reputation, mark your value and establish your niche in professional life.

"Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you are saying about yourself."- Guy Kawasaki

Learn with me the process of personal branding, get categorized into MAKERS (not DEFAULTERS) and the art to make everlasting first impressions.

Learn with me the power of these five senses and how to use these senses to create an impressive and authentic Personal Brand.

Monday, 17 February 2014

3 forks, 2 knives, 4 glasses, 3 spoons….What a confusion !!!!!!!!

For many of you a typical formal table setting is a big confusion and could embarrass you in formal setups. Formal table setting etiquette could be a little tricky but here we have a solution to your big time problem. Today I will introduce you to each utensil, its proper use and look classy when you eat. So are you ready to dine like a diplomat?
A- Appetizer / Salad fork: Placed far left is used for salads and appetizers
B- Dinner Fork: This fork is the largest and is placed left and near to the service plate.
C- Service plate: It is where the courses are served.
D- Dinner Knife- Placed next to service plate on right.
E- Dinner spoon: Is long and narrow placed on right side of the service plate next to the dinner knife.
F- Soup spoon: Is placed next to dinner spoon. It is round , small than dinner spoon and deep.
G- Butter plate and butter knife: It is place above far left to the service plate. After use place the butter knife diagonally on the right side of the butter plate with the blade pointing away from you.
H- Dessert spoon and fork: These are placed just above the service plate. Desert spoon is the smallest.
I- Glasses: Glasses are arranged as such- Water glass- champagne flute -Red wine goblet- white wine goblet.

Now how to use them properly and not to look like a starter here are few tips:
  • Rule of thumb is to work outside in or use silverware outside to inside
  • For glasses always start to the left and move towards right.
  • Another tip to remember is BMW (Bread, meal and water)
  • Napkin is placed folded on the service plate. Unfold it & place it on the lap before you start the meal.
  •  It is impolite to season your food before tasting
  • Always pass the salt and pepper together
Some dinner Taboos:
  • Elbows on table
  • Salt / Pepper on food before tasting
  • Talking with mouth full 
  • Drinking with food in mouth
  • Gesturing with silverware
  • Pushing back or stacking plates at end of meal
  • Answering or placing cell phone calls at table
  • Dunking anything into coffee or water
  • Making a fuss over incorrect orders
  • Arranging hair or applying makeup at table
  • Picking your teeth at the table
  • Asking for a doggy bag 
Learn the art of dining
  • Right method to use the napkins?
  • American and European/Continental style of dining?
  • How to hold the glasses and raise a toast
  • Different positions of placing forks and knives
  • Who should pay the bill
  • How to select the order
  • Who and when to decide the menu?
  • How to address the waiter?
  • What to do if silverware falls down?
  • How to excuse in the middle of the dinner?
  • What should be the conversation topics at formal dining?
  • Playing a perfect host
  • How to compliment?
  • Different international and cross cultural  dining etiquette

Great style of eating is an art which you can learn and make great positive impressions either it is a formal business dinner or family dinners. Above mentioned are few dining tips and if you really want to learn the art of dining you can reach us.

my Áura provides customized programs & workshops which are comprehensive & well-structured with “real life applications” for individuals, corporate and educational institutions. We help in strategic planning to form the foundation of your powerful image.

For further details mail us at

Sunday, 2 February 2014

So, when are you FLYING next!!!

In this series to learn travelling, dining and cross cultural etiquette let me introduce you to some common manners expected from you while travelling in flight.Etiquette tips in flight when travelling:1. When checking in, please make it easy on the agent and have your ID, boarding pass (print it online) ready. This makes your time at the ticket counter go efficiently and the person behind you will appreciate it.
2. Say "Thank You" to the passenger service agent as you leave their station after checking in.
3. As you go through security, be as prepared as possible. Don't wear belts, lots of jewelry or put change in your pocket.
4. Always stand in a line and wait for your turn when checking in.
5. Do not take seats in flight which are not assigned to you.
6. When moving inside the flight do not climb over fellow passengers repeatedly.

7. Do not fidget in your seat and do not complain of a crying baby
8. Ask your children to be in place and do not allow them to disturb other passengers.
9. Avoid being demanding and rude to the flight attendants.
10. Do not refuse to follow the requests and instructions of airline personnel.
11. Do not repeatedly press button to summon the flight attendant
12. Do not snore, cough or gag, unnecessarily.
13. Remember others personal space and keep your elbows in your space.
14. Always switch off your mobile phones once you are seated.
15. Be aware of conversation during the flight. Some people just want to be left alone.
16. Don't push your knees into the back of the person in front of you when seated. This is out right rude!
17. Always show kindness and respect to the flight attendants. Wait until they come through with their carts to ask for a drink not when they are trying to secure the aircraft for departure
18. If you have children, please let everyone get off the plane and then you get off last.
19. If you have been drinking and are intoxicated, you are technically not allowed to fly and can be asked to leave the aircraft.
20. Do not speak too loudly with your fellow member or family member…U are disturbing others with your family conversations.

Next time when you travel follow these few tips and see the difference….Will introduce you to the correct use of fork and knife next time till then enjoy travelling!!!!!!

Learn the art of creating everlasting great impressions and manage to portray a positive powerful image with ‘myAura’. my Áura provides customized programs & workshops which are comprehensive & well-structured with “real life applications” for individuals, corporate and educational institutions. We help in strategic planning to form the foundation of your powerful image.

For further details mail us at 

Power of "ME''

We really wonder why some people climb the ladder of success easily and quickly?
Why is it that few are the privileged one that things are much more easier to them?
Do you all really agree that probably they are few lucky humans having a big brain or more gray matter?
Whatever, the aim is to achieve success and appreciation in life....
What about Lateral thinking?  thinking out of the box, must have heard many times?
We are all bound to the so called boundaries which are set by the conditioning may be social, family, friends and above all the restricted perceptions we make about the things which are happening..

No doubt we create the limitations and wait for the D day to arrive for the accomplishments of the desires. Hard work and luck goes hand in hand but somehow if we could make our thinking process  controlled and free to the horizons then definitely the painted picture will be beautiful...
Think about it!! A small thing with deep impact   'Visualization'....

Visualization has that power to make you the real' You' , you always wanted to be. Visualize success you will be successful, visualize making a good presentation and you have done it..
Make a 'mark' and prove your worth . Along with it one thing which also matters a lot is self concept.
A clear self concept i.e. what you think as an individual about your being? Are you a self believer?
When you think positive then this positivity is your guide and shows the right path.

Positive self concept is your brand and value you add to your personality. You cater your inbuilt qualities for a productive outcome which also gives you an added advantage of projecting your power 'IMAGE'..
Trust and belief in self are the two key components of success , so make sure you don't miss the chance!!!!!

'Success is one part talent and nine part perseverance', so don't give up move ahead and reach the horizons.....

Why have Corporate Grooming Workshops??

Business is about first impressions and on-going interactions. Employees’ appearance, attitude, and behavior are direct reflections of your company and brand.
Image has an undeniable impact on your company’s success. And as your employees serve as ambassadors for your business the appropriateness of their Appearance, Communication and Behavior/ Etiquette is crucial.

Now the question arises whether Business Etiquette and Business Communication are really that important???

There is a growing field of solid research that can help you to show that etiquette is crucial.
Here are a few examples:

  1. Research on etiquette by Will Felps revealed that having just one "jerk" (defined as someone violating norms of respect) in an office can reduce performance and productivity by 30% to 40%.
  2. Another study showed that negative interactions with someone at work had five times greater impact on a person's mood than a good interaction. In other words, one bad apple can really bring us down.
  3. A study of work teams with rude leaders showed that these teams failed to make progress -- and members vividly recalled the leader's rude behaviors, much more than his or her positive actions.

Proper etiquette and effective communication skills is now understood to be vital to career and professional growth, and it is important to personal growth as well. Integrating civility into your behavior allows you to stop worrying about what to do in complex social and business situations. When good manners become part of who you are, they provide a foundation that you can take for granted when you encounter stress and anxiety. More than that, etiquette helps you recognize the importance of other people and the ways in which you can be a presence without being a burden.
“Employees are the companies’ walking Advertisements”
First Impressions in Business are based upon few general things like:
  1. Proper introductions mean being business savvy. Being good with introductions puts people at ease and shows that you have both finesse & leadership skills. 
  2. Telephone skills can make or break your business
  3. What to Wear: Business Formals and BUSINESS Casuals
  4. Whether the fork’s in your hand or in that of an employee, the impression left by your dining performance can make or break a deal.
  5. Correct  norms for gestures and body language in a business
  6. Excellent Communication Skills
  7. Appropriate Business English

Do You Have Employees Who Would Benefit From Business Etiquette and Business Communication Training? 
Then, we have the solution for all your needs. "my Áura" Image, Etiquette & Business Consultant, is a unique initiative and proud to introduce a unique corporate workshop on Business Etiquette and Communications.
“Polish your Skills” for corporate and can help you in producing your yourself and employee s as a complete package

Why it’s a must to conduct such workshops for every organization?
Successful companies groom their employees for internal growth opportunities. It’s about confident individuals who can represent your company and be ready to fully stand up to play a leadership role. It’s about employees making connections that foster profitable relationships. It’s about employees conveying a strong professional presence while being approachable.

Without a strong professional presence, your employees can not be effective negotiators or managers that confidently represent your company to higher levels of profit and productivity.
The entire workshop can also be restructured according to the need of your organization.

my Aura is always there in case you need any further information.
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