What’s your ‘unfair’ advantage (and do you even know about it?)

Kay White, our Communication Specialist and Trainer is here to help you be successful in life through a range of nlp techniques and advice on effective communication to apply in your life, career and business. In this particular extract she talks about how things that actually make us who we are and – if we recognise them – become an “unfair” advantage to us.

Talking about turning lemons into lemonade, this was a great question asked in her eZine by my American friend and colleague, Star Ladin, of www.starmarketingmedia.com. As a branding expert Star is always looking for, and thinking about, your special edge/gift/angle for your business and then how this links with you, your business and product.

Working with people who want to raise their visibility and influence at work, this is one of the first places I start with them- “what is it about you or what has happened in your life that you’ve struggled with?” The reason I ask this question is that it’s often exactly these sorts of things that actually make us who we are and – if we recognise them – become an “unfair” advantage to us.

As soon as I read it Star’s question, I knew what my “unfair” advantage is.

Being 6ft tall since I was 14. Growing up I was often teased and asked “what’s the weather like up there Lurch?” and “is there enough oxygen up there for you?” oh, and one of the best ones can still be “Ooooh, aren’t you tall?” – I’d often (and still do) say “oh, thank you for telling me, I hadn’t noticed!” In my teens, I used to get to parties and immediately take my shoes off saying my feet hurt. In reality, I wanted to be smaller, to blend in more.

Now I recognise being tall means I’m noticed, I’m remembered and often when growing up, was assumed to be either older or wiser (or both!) than I was. My height gives me a natural presence, which, in business just as in life, helps. I had no choice; I was – and still am – 6ft and the choice was always how I deal with it – what I make it mean to me.

It could have been easy to have slouched, to have tried to hide it by wearing flat shoes all the time but actually, I really like being tall and wear high heels as and when I want to – oh, and I’m married to someone a fair bit shorter than me. So what? It’s all about your perception and how you perceive your “unfair” advantage.

I’ve asked a few other people recently, just off the cuff, what they’ve struggled with and now could be their “unfair” advantage. They’ve all been able to tell me what theirs is.

One friend – “Being Scottish – I’m remembered, I’m different and people like my accent”.

Another – “My dyslexia’s made me be so much more creative”.

My husband, Snowy – “My dad dying when I was so young helped me know how to look after myself and appreciate how hard my Mum worked”.

Think about your “unfair” advantage. What is it that’s shaped you and how do you allow it to positively influence your life? If it doesn’t, how could it? What could you make it mean?

A great way to find out if you don’t instinctively know is to ask 3 different people who know you well. Literally ask them “what do you think is my unfair advantage” and just stop and listen to what they say. Often they’ll all come up with the same thing, my friends all did. Others often see – and appreciate – things in us, or about us, that we don’t.

When you become clearer about this, recognising if and how you allow it to be your “secret sauce” is a BIG part of communicating who – and how – you are, everywhere, you are.

As we all know, how you put yourself across is a key part in how others respond to you and what you’re noticed/known and remembered for.

Further reading and additional information:

Article reproduced with permission of Kay White, Communication Specialist and Mentor at www.wayforwardsolutions.com. Kay shows professionals how to be understood. Get quicker, faster and better results by becoming a more effective, influential and savvy communicator – everywhere in your life.

In addition, you can listen to an exclusive interview with Kay where she shares several exclusive tips on how to immediately make your communication more powerful and persuasive: http://www.maximisepotential.co.uk/how-to-develop-effective-powerful-communication/

Finally, if you want to receive regular updates from Kay, then subscribe to her newsletter at: http://www.positivelylinked.com/

Thanks and tune in again soon!

About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!