When I was eight years old, I had a best friend called Susie Jones.
I used to go to her house where we’d pretend to be Wonder Woman (my ‘lasso of truth’ technique was legendary.)
Susie’s mum, Jenny, was lovely, but not an ace in the kitchen.
When I came home my mum would always ask me, ‘So, what did Jenny make you for tea?’
And my answer was always the same: ‘Beans on toast.’
Now I have no issue with beans on toast, and in reality Jenny probably only served it to me a few times.
But the idea stuck. And, forty years later, beans on toast is still known in our family as ‘The Jenny Jones Special.’
The point here is it doesn’t take long to get a name for yourself.
Especially in your communications.
If you send out a couple of 500-word emails (because you were too busy to condense them down), people will begin to feel a sense of dread when your name pops up in their inbox.
If you send a few tetchy replies to your colleagues, you’ll soon be known for being a tricky person to deal with.
If you give a fusty old off-the-shelf presentation to a client because you thought you could wing it, that’s the lasting impression they’ll have of you (dull and uninspiring).
And even if you tell yourself it’s ‘just this once’, the damage will have been done. To your personal brand and your organisational brand.
All because you ran out of time or lost your temper.
But…it’s not all bad news. There’s a happy flipside too!
You can quickly become known as a great communicator, too.
If you write a few friendly, short emails, people will soon open yours first before anyone else’s.
If you pick up the phone to clarify someone’s intention, you’ll be known for your emotional intelligence and collaboration.
And if you regularly give presentations full of stories, images and insights, you’ll be the first person your client calls when they need help.
So, make yourself known for all the right reasons. It won’t take long.