Welcome to the latest Coaches Corner, where we feature questions and answers discussed during our “Meet the Career Coaches” panels at our Women in Retail Leadership Circle events. In today’s installment, our coaches answer a question asked during our WIRLC: On the Road Los Angeles event. The question was, “How can you recover when you feel you’ve damaged your personal brand? And can you rebuild it?”

The coaches on the panel included:

The Meet the Career Coaches panel was moderated by Lizzie Alberga, founder and CEO of Collective Gain. Our coaches’ answers to the question are as follows:

Kristina Dopson: “If you feel you’ve damaged your personal brand, of course you can rebuild it. The first step is getting really clear on who you want to be and what you want to be known for. Then start to think about what behaviors really live into that. And then, of course, you have to start living those behaviors. On top of that, you have to start communicating to others who you want to be and what you want to be known for. You can even ask people, ‘How can I demonstrate that better?’ So you start living into those behaviors that you’ve defined, and over time you will build back trust.

Brené Brown talks about trust as something you can build over time. She uses a metaphor of a marble jar, and essentially says that every time you use a behavior that builds trust, you add another marble into the jar. So over time you can add marbles, add marbles, add marbles and establish trust. Think of every time you’re living into those behaviors as adding a marble and building trust with that other person. That would be how I would approach rebuilding a personal brand. The communication part is key. If you’ve ruined your personal brand with a specific person, sit down with him/her and acknowledge that. Talk about how you want to be and ask them how you can demonstrate that. Sharing your intent can be so impactful and open up a really impactful conversation.”

Courtney A. Seard: “You can easily repair your band. But just because you’re ready to repair your brand doesn’t mean that people are ready to accept what you’re repairing. And then how do you interact after that? Let’s just say that you’ve made a mea culpa, but the world isn’t receptive to it. What are you going to do next? Are you going to sit there and cry? If you’ve done something to damage your brand or your story, figure out what you did and how can you repair the damage. Are you being defensive or are you really trying to make a change? Feedback is key. And it all starts with you building trust with yourself.”

Beth MacLean: “Re-contracting with those around you is so important, either if you’re coming from a place of repairing or making shifts in your skills or capabilities. Stories get re-written in organizations and people hold onto them. People play the same tapes. Therefore, re-contracting, or putting yourself out there and saying, ‘I’m consciously making this change, may I ask you for feedback,’ is a way to ensure that people understand you’re consciously making some changes or shifts, and that they see it and that you then get rewarded for that.”

What are some ways you’ve repaired your brand after you damaged it? Please let us know by dropping me a line at mcampanelli@napco.com. We’d love to get more perspectives on this important topic!

Also, check out our first Coaches Corner article here, where our coaches discussed handling toxicity and conflicts in the workplace.

To hear more from these career coaches and leadership experts, members can click here to watch the full Career Coaches panel from the 2019 On the Road | Los Angeles event.

If you’re not a WIRLC member, click here to apply. WIRLC members receive many benefits, including access to premium content, networking opportunities with executive-level women, discounts to our annual Summit, and more. Join us today!