Personal Brand Diagnostics 1: External feedback

Views reasons to manage (or not anymore) our personal brand, we move on to the first phase of personal brand diagnostics, yes, external feedback. To do this I have asked a great specialist for help, Noemí Vico, co-author of the book Smart Feedback (Lid Editorial, 2018).

This tour follows the methodology of the Personal Brand Iceberg, whose three great pillars are:

  • self-knowledge: the complete diagnosis of our personal brand to know where we are.
  • Personal strategy: the brand plan, value proposition and business model to know where we can go.
  • Visibility: The personal communication plan to know how we can get there and if we are coming.

If you have little time, I invite you to watch this video-summary:

Johari's window and feedback

Johari's window is a cognitive psychology technique that helps us better understand our relationship with ourselves and with others. It was created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955, and is mainly used as an exercise in research and self-analysis, both in personal and corporate settings.

It consists of four windows or quadrants:

Johari Window

  • Free or open area: These are traits that both self and others perceive from us.
  • Blind area: represent what others perceive but we don't.
  • Hidden or secret area: These are aspects of oneself that others don't know.
  • Unknown area: treats behaviors or motives that we do not recognize or recognize from ourselves.

To solve the 2nd Quadrant Enigma (know what others perceive from us) there are two formulas. A face-to-face with a group that adds adjectives to the quadrant. And another at a distance asking our nearest circle. Both consider asking for feedback, while the face-to-face way may be something more compromised.

Why it's important to ask for external feedback?

I've covered the subject on two previous occasions in this blog, on We do not say things we (we need feedback) and in Want to know what your personal brand? Pide feedback.

And the answer to the question is threefold:

  • To get to know each other better. Self-knowledge in its purest form.
  • To improve. Knowing our weaknesses we have the ability to decide which ones are limiting and which are not, and create an action plan for improvement.
  • To make the most of what's in us. Knowing our strengths we can develop our value proposition, our eligibility factor.

The best way to ask for external feedback from our personal brand, according to Naomi Vico

Meet me at Naomi, in case you don't know her: People connector, she is one of the leading coaches in Spain, personal brand expert, and also in processes of change. It is the alma mater of Start Your Brand, a place with a must-see subscription blog. Plus, I remember Naomi is co-author of the book Smart Feedback together with Jane and Rosa Rodríguez del Tronco. Here's your proposal on the best way to ask for external feedback from our personal brand:

External feedback is essential to have a complete picture of who we are so that we can adjust our strategies in a more grounded way to reality. In addition, we can consider it a gift as it is not always easy to find the exact words that help someone to keep growing and avoid value judgments. To help precisely make information as constructive and useful as possible we have several ways:

Informal feedback requested from people close to us

In this case, we usually recommend guiding the conversation a little bit through specific questions, request it voluntarily, allow time for reflection to the person who is going to provide it to us and, above all, thank you in advance for the useful information you can give us. A very useful exercise in this case is that of Public Identity where we ask in writing for different people (it's ideal to mix several circles) 3 strengths and 3 areas of improvement, all associated with concrete examples to avoid falling into value judgments and to encourage us to understand the exact behavior so that we can improve it if we deem it appropriate.

How can we turn this external feedback into a concrete value proposition? I propose the next triple exercise:

Noemí Vico feedback exercise

Source: Noemí Vico

  1. Self-observation. List your 3 main strengths. You can also include tangible and intangible resources that you have.
  2. Formal or informal external feedback. Seek external feedback to complement them . If you want you can also use this free online tool based on the work of the psychologist Martin Seligman and his team on strengths-based development: Test VIA Personal Strengths (Pennsylvania University)
  3. Reflection. Make your VRIO analysis matrix (this is an adaptation of the original for your personal brand, Marcos Alvarez he counts it very well in his book Retail Thinking):
    1. Valuable (V): Does this quality add value and allow us to take advantage of market opportunities?
    2. Strange (R): Is this quality within reach of a few or is it something within everyone's reach?
    3. Inimitable (I): Is this quality difficult to imitate?, would it be difficult or expensive for a competitor to get this quality?
    4. Organized (O): Am I organized to exploit this quality 100%?
    5. Competitive advantage (Vc): once we have reviewed all of the above we will be able to classify all our qualities and assess the extent to which competitive advantages may or may not be. We'll have unvaluable resources (Weakness); valuable but not rare resources (risk); valuable and rare but imitable (temporary competitive advantage); Valuable, Rare, difficult to imitate but we don't get as much out of them as possible (potential competitive advantage) and valuable, inimitable and exploitable (long-term sustainable competitive advantage).

And who do we ask for feedback?

To have a more complete view of our weaknesses and strengths it's positive not to focus on a single type of feedback "donors".

Our circle is made up of several interest groups or stakeholders:

  • family. They can give us a feedback very value-based
  • friends: his feedback will focus more on stereotypes (friend, the magician, the jester...)
  • Fellow students: They'll give us a feedback very complete
  • Job partners: Here they will focus the feedback in competitions
  • customers, providers, contributors: They'll give us a feedback something more biased to the role we've held, but very positive
  • Followers: You can add this group, online followers or social media contacts, if you want to create a broad base. The feedback will be sicated to networked behavior that (unfortunately) often doesn't correspond to the real.

Channels to request feedback

There are multiple formats to order feedback. According to The original Johari Window Experiment, it was a group meeting where attendees were placing adjectives in each of a person's quadrants. And then they say design thinking is something new (on 1955 work was already in strategic format, with the customer at the center, group and with paper labels).

But to be practical and have the best information ordered, I would use digital channels:

  • Email or whatsapp messaging services / Telegram / Messenger: are practical and universal, but they don't preserve anonymity, so the "donor" of feedback external information may be hidden or nuanced.
  • Direct social media surveys: Both Twitter and Instagram Stories allow you to ask questions, but always a dichotomous A/B response, without too many chances of spreading out in the text or privacy of the answer.
  • Google Forms: A very suitable format (free) that allows some options to customize colors, Funds, Fonts, allows multiple response formats (unique box, multi-response, numerical vote with linear scale), and even allows you to assign scores to questions and enable automatic assessment. Of course, allows total privacy. The company version includes other features.
  • Survey Monkey. An app format freemium, of which free version we can enjoy features similar to Google Forms, also with privacy of answers. Perhaps as an advantage it has a very suitable graphical interface for smartphone.

Stock Photos from Tasty_Cat / Shutterstock

About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies to better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (internal brand ambassadors programs).

Partner at Integra Personal Branding and Soymimarca, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis Human Results and Quifer Consultores.

As lecturer, participated in the Graduate Social Media of UPF and UVic, in various programs at IESE and ISDI, among other. Advertising man, Master en Marketing. Grade student of Humanities.

My DNA comes from advertising 20 years in agencies: BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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About me Noemí Vico

Entrepreneurial, multiple mom. Talent specialist, training, coaching and personal branding. Entrepreneur your brand. As a writer, I'm co-author of the book "SMART FEEDBACK: Conversations for the Development of Talent", lid editorial. Author of the GUIDE TO CREATE A PERFECT PROFILE ON LINKEDIN by IMF Business School

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  1. […] now, los capítulos anteriores de diagnóstico offline han tratado el feedback externo, con Noemí Vico. In internal feedback, la herramienta D.I.S.C. con Virginia Guisasola, test […]

  2. […] first part of the diagnosis we focus on external feedback, with valuable advice from specialist Naomi […]

  3. […] first part of the diagnosis we focus on external feedback, with valuable advice from specialist Naomi […]

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