Have you created your own personal vocabulary?

Do you have a go-to set of labels or terms that accurately convey who you are as an individual?

Unfortunately, the answer is no for most of us.

After years of giving Birkman feedback, I have come to the realization that many of us struggle to truly understand how others perceive us.

Whether you’re working on a resume, polishing your LinkedIn profile, or prepping for an upcoming job interview question, “Tell me about yourself,” the key is to be authentic. It’s essential to portray an accurate representation of yourself rather than one based on a false premise. You don’t want to present a persona that doesn’t authentically reflect who you are and how others view you.

Let me provide you with multiple techniques to construct a personalized word list that will allow you to describe yourself better.

Personality Assessments

Chances are you’ve taken some personality tests in the past, such as Meyers-Briggs (MBTI), Birkman, DISC, Strength Finders, Kolbe, or Sally Hogshead’s Personality Archetypes. Go through your reports and pick out those words and phrases that truly speak to you! To discover more about yourself and find which archetype best fits your character traits by taking this test here.

I help my clients find the Strength Phrases tucked in the Components Section of their Birkman Reports. There are 11 behaviors, each with three related phrases for a total of 33. I guide them to select 8-15 phrases that best resonate with who they are and assist in translating these words into something more meaningful to them.

No matter what report you’re looking at, you can take the terms from them and make them your own. The key is to use phrases that feel natural for YOU and put a spin on them so that it’s something of yours! These personal touches are essential in order to have an effective conversation with customers.

Let’s get started building your very own personal vocabulary list!

LinkedIn Recommendations

Carefully examine your LinkedIn recommendations to find words or phrases that others have used to portray you. Utilize this approach for any prior endorsements from individuals who have provided feedback on positions you applied for in the past. Additionally, you can investigate your previous job reviews and appraisals for words and phrases that accurately portray your performance. This is an effective strategy to take note of the feedback from those who have worked with or managed you in the past.

These phrases can be used as-is, or you may want to modify them slightly in order to make them flow better with your personal diction.

Friends, Colleagues, and Family

Make a roster of your acquaintances, peers, and even family whom you appreciate and trust. Ask them to write down three or five words that characterize you in the best light possible.

You may be very surprised!

For an entertaining twist, ask your friends – If you had to pick one animal to be, what would it be and why?

Only use this with people you really trust!!

These terms can be added to your personal vocabulary list either as they are or slightly modified in order to make them more comfortable for you.

By using these three methods, you can construct an extensive personal list of words and phrases to become a master of the English language.

When crafting the narrative for your brand, be sure to use language that speaks directly and personally to your audience.

Which words do you use to define yourself?

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