My sister passed her learner driver’s licence about 3 weeks ago. She has a car ready and waiting for her to practice driving so that she can go for her driver’s licence. A few years ago, and the first time that she got her learner’s licence, we paid for her to have 10 driving lessons with a professional driving school. We were extremely disappointed when she came to her 10th lesson and the driving school still did not feel that she was competent enough to get out on the roads. When we queried the situation, the driving school said that it was due to lack of practice.
So here we are in the same situation a few years later. She is now 30 years old. We have made a decision not to push her into practicing and to leave the situation entirely in her hands. She told me that – the day after she passed her learner’s licence – she was going to check out a driving school after work. I was delighted with her initiative so imagine my intense surprise when I got an SMS from her to say that she was going to have her hair done after work instead. I must admit that I was somewhat dumb-struck that hair could take precendence over learning to drive – I simply couldn’t wait to be a qualified driver and to have my independence!
It got me thinking about the messages that we send out to other people without perhaps being aware of it. There is an incredible saying that goes along the lines of: “We judge ourselves by our INTENTIONS, and other people by their ACTIONS.” This is so true and I am definitely drawing conclusions about my sister from her actions or behaviour.
How often do our clients see inconsistencies between what we say we stand for and what we actually do? How consistent and congruent are we? A chap was interviewed on the radio the other day about branding, and he said something to the effect of: A brand is underpinned by a promise, the promise is underpinned by trust, and trust is underpinned by consistent delivery on the promise.
We are all brands – whether personal brands trying to differentiate ourselves in a corporate environment, or whether we are our company’s brand identity. It is vital that we only make promises that we can keep consistently to gain and retain the trust of our potential and existing clients.