how people I work with really see me… — part 1 of 2

adrian ashton
3 min readJul 15, 2018

Chances are, you’re familiar with some of the memes that go around Facebook and the like, where people share how others see what they do vs. what they actually do:

And recently, one of these got me thinking about how others I work with might see me differently to each other (and even to how I view myself). So in the interests of trying to make sure I can build on, and develop better relationships with clients and collaborators, (and continuing to have fun with my CPD framework!), last month I openly asked:

“Is there a picture or an image that you associate with me/what I do/how I do it?

And people replied with great enthusiasm, as the below montage illustrates:

I even had someone source a GIF!

Now, some of these images may seem a bit obscure… so in the interests of helping make sure their contributors’ thinking doesn’t get mis-interpreted, here’s the list of notes that some people felt they should attach to their responses:

- ‘connecting energy

- the platypus (as seen in this old TV ad) is unconventional and challenging / customer focused / likes to do things differently

- Beer, cake and props: lobbing them all in together because each in their own way demonstrate your down-to-earth, fun, jovial personality

- Apparently in some cultures a clapping of the ‘shoe’ is a sign of respect. In others the throwing of the ‘shoe’ is a sign of disdain. (and this contributor also suggested that as the ‘Super Hero of Entrepreneurial Endeavour’, I’m also a SHoEE!)

- and the GIF = “Here’s relentless Adrian, dealing with anything and everything is his way!

(others simply felt that the image alone was sufficient explanation).

And as fun as this obviously was as an experiment, I also think that it largely assures me that some of my values and the ways in which I try and approach working with clients, and in project teams with others, are consistent with what I’m trying to achieve.

But as much as pictures can tell a story of a thousand words, they they don’t always allow us to convey what we really think about someone, with regards to what differentiates them us others. And my purpose in undertaking these 360 degree-type feedback exercises on myself is to always help me further my role and standing in the marketplaces I work in.

Which is why I also asked an alternate question:

“Having just been named the UK’s ‘niche enterprise support consultant of 2018’, what do you think my ‘niche’ is?”

…and I’ll reveal what people said in response to that in part 2 of this mini-series.

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