The Template(S)of You

The next few posts will be a short series of common discussion points with people I coach. Whether you are looking for a job or you are already in one, it is important to communicate with people.

Communication can be in many forms. Today, we are starting with the concept of a short description about ourselves.

For the sake of this post, I’ll share an old method and a newer more modern method.

Good Morning

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I’ve met with people who have worked with the same company for 20+ years and they’ve said “I don’t need any kind of bio; people know who I am.” At some point, we all need a short description of who we are and what we do. It is a great exercise to think about this and put it down in a simple, clear and concise manner for people to understand.

One thing that I have found consistently in every organization I have ever worked with is the need for a template that explains who I am and what I am doing. When I started at Chubb Insurance, I created a very short one-page bio that I left with people after I interviewed them. I printed it and handed it to them. This may seem a little old fashioned but there is some important psychology concerning this approach. It is true that some people just picked up the paper and put it in the trash bin, but this immediately taught me information about that person.

The Recommendation: Create a one-page biography that addresses a few important areas. It covers a few very basic pieces of information, and it is designed specifically for your organization.

  • If at all possible, use an organizational temple
  • Name
  • Personal statement (Working together with partners to achieve our common goals is critically important to me and the success of our organization.)
  • Role (What I signed up for and what I understand the organization is asking of me.)
  • Short list and description of work history and experience. This looks like (Worked in the health care industry for the last five years developing process for IT.)
  • Unique work experience or something interesting. (I grow blueberries, paint by numbers, play the theremin and chase rainbows.)
  • A short description of recent education
  • If you are comfortable, a picture.

NEWER Method

If you are reading this, you have access to technology that you can use at no cost to create a short introduction video. It’s been said that video is directionally where blogs and writers are going. If a video introduction works for you, here are a few points to consider.

  • Start with something interesting (get some attention). A funny story or something unique is helpful.
  • Explain how you got here.
  • What are your goals?
  • Hobbies and interests?
  • A short speech about yourself.

A few things to consider: PEOPLE REMEMBER

  • Pictures and Metaphors
  • Names—names of people, places, books.
  • Sensory details—colors, smells, sounds, textures, tastes.
  • Nouns—Interesting things, things that mean something to you.  For example, your piano, your ice skates, your grandfather’s watch, tacos on Tuesday.
  • Dialogue—Phrases said that are pithy, wise, honest, funny, or perfect for the moment and the speaker.
  • Emotions
  • Surprises—Story surprises can delight us, just like surprise parties and gift surprises do.
  • Numbers and values—For example, the above list provided eight ways to make your points memorable.

I have to admit…. I love her watch!

Next up, writing for your review! Happy Sunday!

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