Is Your Image Getting in The Way? | Blog

  Is Your Image Getting in The Way? | Blog

The last thing I want in a conversation is “image” meeting “image” or “persona” meeting “persona”.

That wasn't always the case. I used to think that coming across a certain way was important in business or when working with others.

I thought it was important to come across professional, smart, competent, polished. I thought it was what people were looking for when deciding to work with me or important for impact and influence with clients. I thought it made me more credible. I often joke that “Business Barb” would show up and do her best to demonstrate what I could offer and “Consultant or Coach Barb” would show up to do the work.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't pretending, or I wasn't trying to trick anyone. I wasn't faking it. I genuinely like people and love my work. I've had years of experience and worked across many industries and around the world. I would also show up with a sincere desire to serve and make a difference. I just see now that I was adding more than was needed.

I didn't understand what was available when I would drop all the “extra” and just show up human to human; soul to soul.

I didn't realize that rapport & connection were the “change agent” in a conversation not what I said or all my ideas.

I was innocently putting ideas, thoughts, persona & image between me and others and it was getting in the way of real rapport and intimacy with my clients.

What if less is required? What if by letting go of image and persona and focusing on connection and rapport we are able to experience more depth, insight and create better outcomes? When we do this, we naturally create a rich and collaborative space with the other person. One in which they have internal shifts that create sustained change. One in which each of us walk away more hopeful, inspired and clear.

When we show up human-to-human, in a free mind, we naturally connect more powerfully with others. We create an environment of trust, goodwill and connection. Sitting across from someone and seeing beyond their own persona allows you to get to the heart of the matter. We can't do that if image is meeting image or persona is meeting persona. It impairs our ability to see and influence.

Rapport & connection are the most important factors in any meaningful conversation. Whether it's a sales conversation, a conversation with a client, a colleague, a friend, family member or stranger. The quality of rapport & connection sets the tone and is the foundation of any exchange.

Quality connection is not something we do. It is the natural output of good rapport.

Often rapport is defined as your ability to do “small talk”; be friendly or model others in a conversation. Let's take a fresh look at rapport.

Rapport is the climate of the exchange or the feeling of the interaction. For instance, when there is good rapport people are comfortable, at ease in their skin, open, transparent. There is a feeling of warmth, goodwill & genuine interest. When rapport is poor there is a feeling of tension, guardedness, upset or lack of warmth.

Rapport determines the way people relate to us and is often the source of the impression we make on others. It helps create more depth, get buy-in and build strong foundations for transformational conversations. For this reason, our ability to influence rapport or the environment of the exchange is critical.

People resonate to our feeling or where we “come from” in a conversation. When we are at ease, open and in good place, we set that tone. When we let go of persona and get real, we create an environment for others to do the same. This is huge. This gives us new insight, clarity and helps us serve others with more impact

When we engage in a conversation and let go of trying to come across a certain way, or prove we are credible or knowledgeable, we have a less encumbered mind. We listen better, we are able to tap into new insight and clarity. We respond more effectively. We connect more powerfully and have better ideas.

Conversations become fresh, new, creative and rich. They are more engaging, fun and inspirational. When we let go of our persona or image and show up AS IS, real & human, we give others permission to do the same.

From here, people respond to us in a different way. They feel the “climate” of the exchange, they feel YOU – not your persona and trust is built. From a place a trust & connection, anything is possible.

When we go beyond persona and image in a conversation, we experience new depth, new insight and create a foundation for impact.

“When we let go of persona and get real, we create an environment for others to do the same.”

There is no greater gift then sitting across from someone and seeing beyond their image, their behavior or their past. Connections made from this space create profound impact.

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. If you’d like to experience in-depth, robust and transformative mentoring for you and your business check out Barb’s 4-month virtual Beyond Limits Small Group Mentoring ProgramBarb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on LinkedinTwitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at 



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