This session (recorded live on 6th October 2020) is on the topic of Personal Values and is led by Personal Branding expert Sally Inkster, with Yellow Eve founding editor Lauren Webb.
In this 45 minute training video, you will discover your top three personal values and understand how they relate to attracting better, more self-aligned opportunities (both professionally and personally!)
Unsure what a personal value or personal brand even is? Don’t worry, you’ll soon find out!
After going through the exercise (refer to this worksheet) to find your core values, you will then learn about other remits of your personal brand – relating to your unique story and strengths. Sally will give prompts and questions as to how to start thinking on what these are for you.
- Introduction – 5 minutes
- Personal brand and values explanation – 10 minutes
- Top 3 personal values exercise – 20 minutes
- Strengths and story talk – 10 minutes
- Summary – 5 minutes
Exclusive free offer to members
Sally has an amazing and exclusive offer for Yellow Eve members which is an hour’s complimentary session about your personal values and brand.
(*Valid until 31.10.20 only)
- Email Sally at email@example.com to book in your 1 hour slot. You can discuss your personal values, brand and story, ask any questions and gain further clarity. Please tell her in the email that you are a Yellow Eve member and refer to this training session.
Please note that there are some connection issues in this live session. Lauren tries to clarify any points missed but if you have any questions at all, please send them through to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can answer them for you.
The training session recording
Connect with Sally Inkster
The training session transcript:
Lauren: “We are here to discuss personal branding and do a hands-on interactive session, where we will find out your top 3 values. We will also discuss how that relates to attracting and identifying the opportunities, whether that is professionally or personally plus we will talk about your kind of personal brand story, and your strengths. By identifying those unique aspects about you and how they tie in with your personal values it will give you some clarity with attracting what you want.
“Thank you very much for joining us on the first session, and for becoming Yellow Eve members, it’s great to have you here. I’ve got the lovely Sally Inkster with me, who is a personal branding expert. She has so many skills and experience in this area, I met her through a networking group, and it’s just been fab to get to know Sally. She has taken all the experience and skills from her nursing career, as well as raising 3 daughters whilst running a styling business plus a husband that was mostly absent and working abroad. If you could give us a little bit of an overview perhaps elaborate on why you have ended up with personal branding being your specialism and why it’s so important?”
Sally: “Good morning, ladies. It’s absolutely lovely to be here with you. How did I get into personal branding? Like all of you, you have a story to tell to get to where you are. My history is in cancer nursing, and through cancer nursing, working with the dying and people who potentially were facing death, my sort of priorities and my values, they taught me. They taught me because they would say that, and so from a very early age, I was 22 when I was working very closely with people who had died, that teaches you something and that is a huge, huge blessing to have, so I had that. Then I carried on my nursing career looking at this as a specialist, but then I had 3 children, if any of you have had children, you will know the nursing career stopped, and I brought up the children.
“I got bored, and I started a styling company, people said, ‘What’s styling got to do with nursing?’ – but actually you send people away feeling better than they did when they came in or at least more at peace with themselves or understanding themselves. With my cancer patients I had worked a lot with body image, so going into styling sort of fitted in. About 5 years ago, my youngest went off to university and I thought actually I want a business that takes into account that I had my nursing career, brought up 3 children, 3 girls, so psychology was incredibly important to me. I had my styling business – ‘How do I put all those together?’ I worked with a coach, and we came up with ‘Oh, for God’s sakes Sally, there is nothing out there – it’s just what you did.’ And that was an absolute lightbulb moment!
“It’s just ‘me’, it doesn’t matter what I’ve done. It’s ‘me’, I had to know myself so well. That’s everything I said, and my business came from me, it came from what I am, and my journey and my story. That ended up being personal branding, I personally branded myself and then thought I know so many women out there in networking lines of life, whether they are a small business owners, or whether they are in a job, whether they are a graduate, whether they are somebody who is only to put yourself across, it’s what we used to call your reputation. Whether you are in a small company or a small village or a small town, everybody knew you or your reputation, but with reputation we are in a big world now.
“Personal brand is basically your reputation, we all have a personal brand, that somehow or other, you have to control it. I don’t know if any of you have ever been on Google incognito? If you just Google yourself and put your name in, Google will tell you on your computer what you want to see, it will tell you all about you because it knows who you are. But if you go on Google incognito, oh my goodness, you see what other people see, actually, you are probably not in control of your personal brand, it may be a picture from something that has nothing to do with you but for some reason your name is tied to it. I know somebody who is a very famous coach who has Jr at the end of his name, because when he googled his name, he realised that there was somebody on death row as a multi murderer! There was no way he could get his name unaffiliated with this person so he had to change a bit of his name, therefore it is incredibly important that you take control of your personal brand. Definitely do that, you have to understand yourself.
“Most people you speak to you will say “Who are you?” “What are you about?” They will answer “Oh, well, my family, that’s important to me, my health is important to me”. You have to get really, really deep on who you are, what you believe, and what you stand for. Then that is what you offer the world! That is exactly the same as whether you are trying to attract clients, or get recognised by your employer, your boss, or even how you come across during an interview. You can say in an interview, I understand what this job is. and because I know, these are my values, this is the way my values and my strengths can help your company, it stops being a job description, it stops being a CV, it becomes all about you, and you as an individual. Once you have learnt your values and your strengths, there will be nobody else. I think it’s one in 5 million, who will have the same strengths and values as you do, but you are completely and utterly unique. However, you have to discover how you are completely and utterly unique and that’s what we are going do today!”
Lauren: “You said about personal branding, I think it’s always associated with this business world only how people present themselves… What we are discussing in this session is, if you don’t know your values, and who you are, and what you represent, how can you expect others to so? Whether that’s clients from a business perspective, or whether it’s future employers, or just any event that you might be asked to go to any sort of opportunity? How can we expect others to know that about yourself if you’re not quite sure and you don’t have clarity on that yourself? Personal values are one remit of one sub-topic of personal branding and that’s what we are going to focus on today. We are going to start brainstorming this now and Sally will talk through a little bit more about personal values and how we start getting to the 3 from nothing.”
Sally: “Values are a held belief that you have. Now these beliefs can come from your family, that’s what you are brought up in. It may be a cultural thing, it may be a religious thing, it may just be your family, or it may be when you were at school, you gained value from somewhere else. They can come from all over the place your values, but if you say to somebody, as I said earlier “What do you think your top values are?” Most people will say something like family, love, and health and they are great words, but I want you to dig deeper, because if you say family – what does family mean to you? It can mean so many things, it can mean unlimited support, it may mean competition, you have a lot of siblings. Every time you get together, you play board games, or you are all arguing over who is going to sit here or what you are going to do. It could be competition, it may be all kinds of things in your head, think what family means to you? I want you to go through that list and think of your own words and choose about 10? They will jump out at you, ‘that’s me’ or ‘I believe that I believe this’, ‘I believe that one more than that one’. Put that one on the list, and the idea is that you will come up with about 10.
“Now, what values do for us, they give us a guideline for making decisions, if you have a value of loyalty, and you are just about to tell a secret to another friend, you won’t, because you are loyal to the person whose secret you took. That will make the decision for you, because they may have said “Hold on, tell me the secret.” If your value is loyalty, then the chances are you probably won’t tell that secret about another friend, so it helps with decision making. The trouble is, if we try and live by 10 values, you are going to find life very difficult and very complicated because you are saying “Oh, I can’t do that” “Oh no, I can’t do that one”. “I need to do this, and I need to do that, and I need to do the other” it just becomes difficult.
“Knowing your top 3 values, is helpful, but not too constraining for life. We will have to work in groups, we all have friendship groups and we all have family. We have to be able to work with other people’s values, because they are going to be different and there is something with values that sometimes you just need them for you – so that is your value. Sometimes you need the other person to have the same value, let’s say you have got a value of honesty, I can be honest, if that was one of my values, honesty, I’m honest all the time. You are not going to like somebody who’s not honest, you are not going to get on with them as a friend, because it’s just not going to feel right in your heart every time you speak to them. You think well, I don’t know whether you are lying or whether you are the truth or not. My value is honesty, so you need it to go two ways and then one of my values is fairness.
“I like things to be fair for other people. I don’t actually need everybody else all the time, to be fair. It’s not that I don’t need it, I need to do it for myself, so you have to also work out whether your value is something that’s reciprocal, or is it just for you?
“I would like to just read through that list [refer to the worksheet] and write down ones that you agree with and get to the 10, we need to go down a bit that fit.”
Lauren: “I will talk about my personal experience with Yellow Eve, I didn’t know Sally then but I did have a business coach to help me with launching Yellow Eve in the last few months, so this was really, really important. I probably didn’t even know what personal values were 3 or 4 months ago, but now they really do help me with the clarity and the direction that I take not only my business in, but also my kind of life and the opportunities that I want to attract into my life. Like you said, it helps you to understand how other people have different values to you, and how you interact with the people. Sally said about it being reciprocal, and what that actually means, I suppose from my own experience, not as an expert, I would just reiterate what Sally said about getting really clear and in detail about what those values are, obviously, no one is watching you right now so it’s not a judge environment at all. It’s being really kind of honest, and looking at yourself. I think, hopefully, Sally, you will agree, they come quite intuitively?”
Sally: “Yes, you recognise the words when you see them. I found the 10 relatively easy, but then getting to the 3 was a little bit more challenging and again, this list is just an example, so if there are any words that come to you that aren’t on the list, then obviously use those ones as well. I think I took every noun out of the dictionary, and it’s quite a long list!”
“Lauren, can we ask what are your top 3?”
Lauren: “My top 3 are definitely compassion, that is my first value, then I’ve got fairness and growth. What is interesting is that with my coach, we did the top 5, so I went even further and I had equality. What was interesting is that equality and fairness to me, were kind of different, whereas to other people they have the overlap, they definitely do overlap. To me, there is a distinction between them. My other value is contribution, so it’s this idea that everyone has a unique talent skill set experience, everyone has a unique contribution to give to the world. Those are my 5 obviously, they are the best 5!”
Sally: “I have fairness, respect and loyalty, but my fault was individualism. Which means that when I look at something, I look at what he did, or look at a person for what that individual is, I try and find their individual bit, but I think that comes from my job as well. That’s what I love doing.”
“I am going to say I’m really sorry, but you live in a world where one of those has to go and you will probably look at your 10 and think if one can go, when you look at some more, you will realise perhaps if you have got one that happiness is, and then you’ve got another one that’s fun well, perhaps you are having fun, you will be happy so they will counteract each other out and you can knock that one out. And that’s number 10. You have crossed out one now cross out another one.”
Lauren: “Do you have any advice – like following intuition – when you are doing this process? Or is it like I said, the overlap and getting rid of overlap?,
Sally: “It’s that, but it’s also when you think of you are you going to be happier with happiness, or you’re going to be happier with loyalty. Everybody, if you are loyal to everybody, is it going to make you feel happy? Which knocks that one out.”
“It is trying to work out whether the value sort of overrides the other, we are crossing one out each time and we need to get to the top 5, when you get to the top 5, then that’s a good overall package for you. It’s really good to identify which 3 are you. I want you to number 4, 5 and 6 but don’t need to number 1, 2 and 3.
“When you get to the top 5, when you have eliminated bottom 5 you label which is your 5th and which is your 4th, so don’t worry about the order of the top 3 at the moment, just work on the 4 and the 5 of the top. I feel like is it always easiest today to kind of work this way around, then going from the top down.”
Lauren: “When I did it, I wouldn’t have thought of compassion as my top value, but now that it’s there, it becomes quite reassuring and affirmed basically when you have identified it, so I hope that’s how people are feeling now that they’ve hopefully got 4 and 5 and over to you Sally, for these top 3.”
Sally: “I think what happens is you realise that yes, they are yours. You say ‘Ah, I didn’t know that if somebody had asked, I wouldn’t have known.’ Like Lauren, she wouldn’t have known compassion, but the second somebody said to her, it’s compassion you say, absolutely it is. Hopefully, that has worked for you and that you have those top 3 that you can sort of wear them like a badge. If you are going for an interview, or you are trying to attract clients, whichever way round you are doing it, making your posts or making conversations that bring in what your values are, allow people who are like minded to like you, trust you. Therefore, they will want to work with you, whether that’s in a business way, or they want to repost them, promote you or employ you, which is what we all need.”
Lauren: “It’s knowing what you want, as well, so if you are a brand that will often have its own values, and that comes through. Nike has its own, Deloitte will have another, these big banks, they all stand for something different. It’s kind of aligning yourself with companies and opportunities that suit you. Sometimes I reflect on previous experiences and think there was just a huge values clash there, but I didn’t actually know that at the time.
Sally: “I think it can make you feel happier, especially relationships at work. If you are not happy then it’s probably because your values are not being honoured, and you can’t honour your values wherever you are at the moment. It makes for happier employers, happy employees, and happier business owners when you know your own values.
Lauren: “Are we ranking the top 3? Or are we leaving it that the ranked top 3?”
Sally: “They will take order of preference, depending in which situation you are in. Some situations won’t require one of your values, but it will require another one, so there is no point in putting 1, 2 and 3, they are your top 3 values – that is how you can make your decisions. It’s far easier not to put them in ranked order. Hopefully, you know yourself a little bit better. One thing I do want to point out, this is personal values, if you have a business, your own business may have different values to you as a person and that is perfectly okay.
“When I work with clients, we work out personal values this way, but actually, we look at a different way of looking at values when we are looking at the values of a business. If you are a sole trader, then obviously your values for you and your business are going to be similar, but they will probably be different. Because I always explain to people that a business that you have is not you, it’s not your child, it is either your best friend, or your sister or brother and you have that sort of relationship with your business. Sometimes you absolutely hate it, other times you adore it and sometimes you need it, but it’s a relationship you have with another person is the relationship you have with your business. It makes sense that its values will be slightly different to your personal values. I hope that makes sense?”
Lauren: “We have discussed a little bit about what that looks like and hopefully people are getting an idea of these top 3 values. Reflecting on them and thinking about where you currently work or what you currently do, and how that all marries together. A summary, from your experience, Sally about how values do help in identifying and attracting so if there are specific examples, like I said, with different companies having specific things for example, contribution, mine would be Yellow Eve, that’s kind of seen as my contribution to helping people in their careers and supporting self-development. There is definitely that with me, but maybe there are other clients that have seen how this has helped them with opportunities.”
Sally: “When you hear a business, that has values and what the values are, it makes you understand them more so you know them clearer and that is what you are trying to do with your clients. You are trying to let your clients understand more about you, and or your business, so when you identify your values you come over as very human. They say “Ah, she is all about contribution”. I understand what Yellow Eve is about, because Yellow Eve doesn’t actually say contribution. Lauren brings in the fact that one of her values is contribution to other people, so potential clients of Yellow Eve say “Ah, she just wants to contribute to the world, I understand what Yellow Eve is all about, and what it’s trying to say!”
“What is the best personal value to have? People will say integrity. But integrity isn’t necessarily a value on its own. Integrity means you do what you say, so actually putting your values out there, if you live by those, so if Lauren does contribute, which she is, but she’s having integrity around her personal values? I feel again, integrity, like family is like an easy one to go for, but if we break it down further, like you said, then it comes naturally with the territory.
Lauren: “A personal brand story, then identifying strengths as well, it’s the marriage of all 3 writers to nailing the personal brand. Obviously, we don’t have lots of time to uniquely go around everyone here and say, what’s your life story? And how can we translate that into a brand for you, but just a little bit of an introduction on that, and just maybe asking some questions so that people can start thinking about their story and their strengths.
Sally: “When I work with a client, I work with my 3 ph’s, which are philosophy, physicality, and phenomenon. We are dealing, at the moment, with the part about philosophy and values comes in philosophy, as does your strengths.
“Now your strengths, I want you to imagine your strengths as muscles, you were born with a big muscle in your arm and that actually was a talent because you were born with that muscle. If you exercise it a lot, it’s going to get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. In my little finger, I’ve also got a tiny little muscle, but it’s not so much of a talent because it wasn’t so big when I was born. Even if I exercise that, even more than I exercise my arm, it’s never ever, ever going to get as big.
“So, when you are trying to identify your strengths in the first place, then the easiest way is to think what you are talented at and you may just take for granted. You may think, Oh, I thought everybody could do that because it comes so easily to you. I love talking in groups, people say, “Oh I panicked!” I just think why, it’s just talking. It took me a long time to realise that actually, I was probably born a little bit with the gift of the gab, in fact it doesn’t bother me how many people I’m talking to – other people don’t have that talent. You will be able to think to yourself, okay, what are the things that I can do that I think are actually really easy, I enjoy doing, but sometimes I discovered that other people just can’t do those. That is quite often your talents because your talents when you work on them, become your strengths.
Personal Brand story
“Okay, so that’s a quick way to find your strengths and obviously, there is more work to do around that, but I want to talk to you about your brand story.
“Your brand story is sort of your history, when I say to my clients, I want to know every single thing that’s happened in your life, good or bad. I hear them say “Oh, my goodness, I can’t put those in my personal brand”. You don’t have to, but people and yourself, have to understand why you have come to be who you are and where you are at this moment so it is really difficult to do your brand story, it makes you feel very uncomfortable because it will bring out things that you have tried to forget.
“You need to basically on a piece of paper, I hope this doesn’t upset people, you just vomit out everything that has happened to you and quite often, there will be some traumatic events. Let’s say I got bullied at school. Okay, so you got bullied at school? What did that mean? My self-confidence went down, I felt horrible. I didn’t have any friends. What happened then, I moved away to a new school, started again, I had new friends, changed my hairstyle, whatever it was and you vomit that whole history out.
“What I do, as anybody who’s looking at a perspective, I can look through that a little bit, your whole story. And then you look at it for patterns. I had a client not so long ago, who had really quite a traumatic life, there were just so many but we worked out from her pattern, that the things that did go wrong wasn’t always her fault. Sometimes she had no control over it, it was not to do with her decision making, they just happened. She would go into a depression, then she would dig really, really deep then build something amazing. Once you had built something amazing that was there forever, but then something else traumatic happened to her, she would do absolutely the same, she’d go into the depths of despair, she would really dig deep. Then she will build again, and you could see this pattern all the way through her brand story. Actually, we gave her that pattern as her tagline, and that became the name of her company. Your brand story can actually give you a guidance of where to go, and what to do and why you’re doing it. Because on the whole when we run businesses, we run them to help people who have been through similar things that we have been through, or we want to stop that happening to somebody else, that’s why we do what we do but you need to have written and found your brand story.
“When you have done that it actually takes quite a lot of trauma out, one of my clients did her brand story and was very emotional about it. She rang me about a week later and said that she had spoken to her mother and forgiven her, they had not spoken for 25 years. Now that is really quite an amazing thing from just writing your brand story. I’m not saying that amazing thing will happen to you, but you will see things in a pattern, why you did something and why something else happened, so that’s your brand story. It is incredibly important. It’s also incredibly difficult.”
Lauren: “Amazing. Thank you, Sally, I just wanted to clarify that you are saying you do go through the good and bad of what happened to you in the brand story. It’s not about focusing on that it’s more probably reflecting and seeing patterns that then help you with what you do in the future and how you identify and present yourself.”
Sally: “It’s sort of, let go of it and put out to the world, when people connect with you, they like connecting with people’s vulnerabilities. We all do. If somebody says it doesn’t matter what it is, but when they are showing their vulnerability, that is when we really like them. Then we trust them because they’ve shared a vulnerability with us, and so it is a psychological way that if you can share a little bit of your story, and one that you are now sort of separated from because you have written it all out and you have forgiven, you have done and dealt with it.
“It then just becomes a story, yes it no longer affects your life, it’s just a story, that story in your brand and in your marketing, this is what happened to me, this is why I do this. It becomes just a story, but it’s your story, and what makes people connect with you? One of my strengths is that I love connecting with people. If you find me at a bus stop, I would sit in a bus stop all day, I would just talk to every single person who comes to that bus stop, I will find their life history, how many children, where they came from, where they live, what they are doing that day. Once I’ve discovered all that stuff, I really like them, but I am perfectly happy to say, that’s it, I don’t need to know any more. I just love gathering all that information, I like connecting.”
Lauren: “We will talk about how you can connect with Sally and find out a bit more on those two things as well, but generally, there is quite a lot of work with personal branding, and hopefully values, those top 3 values gives you a bit of clarity just to begin with. You can start thinking about your strengths and values. The most important thing is probably today to actually go ahead and think a bit more on that because it’s very easy to just cast aside, this needs a little bit of reflection, and a little bit of time dedicated to it.
“A question asked Sally – please could you recap your 3 ph’s, could you separate the 3 key features of your personal brand.”
Sally: “My first ph is philosophy, which is all about your mind, your brain, mind hacks, but also your values, your strengths, your weaknesses, all the bits about that. The second part is physicality, which is first impressions, how you come over on zoom, how you come over on pictures, what your body shape is, what your hairstyle is, what colours to use, what colours suit your business.
“The last one is the phenomenon of your business, that is the separate entity of your business, but what is so unique about that, it is usually what is unique about you, and how you put that phenomenal part into your business? So that if you are a Virtual Assistant, there are thousands of assistants out there, what makes you as a Virtual Assistant different? That all comes out and your personal brand through the phenomenon of your business, so they are my 3 ph’s. If you work on your own with personal brand, it can take probably 18 months of quite in-depth work with yourself. Working with a coach obviously makes it a bit quicker.”
Lauren: “Sally, how can people find out more about you and connect with you?”
Sally: “I can be found on www.sallyinkster.com, I’m very prolific on LinkedIn, also on Instagram as @sallyinksterpersonalbranding. I am on YouTube as well if you want to look for me there and you will hear me talking a bit more.
“I’m also offering an hour’s free consultation, just to go through where you can and I can give you a bit more clarification and some one-to-one work for an hour, which is complimentary. Obviously then I can tell you about ways you can work with me if you would so wish but there is never any pressure, I think if you want to work with somebody, you just know that you want to work with them, I have various ways that people can work with me, either one to one over a long time or over a short time.”