Advice on Positioning Yourself as Someone with Influence, from a Media Trainer

What you say about others speaks volumes about you, advice on positioning yourself from a media trainerGossiping about others can actually be good for you and can help you feel more supported and raise your self-esteem, but only if it’s positive gossip, such as praising another person, according to research conducted at Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom. The study found that people who gossiped negatively about others did not experience the same lift in self-esteem. If you spend time criticizing others, even if your criticism is directed at a group of people or people who think differently than you, how do you feel afterward? Do you feel really good and happy and energized? You may have an adrenaline rush, like you would when you prepare for a fight, but that should not be confused with actual feelings of joy or elevation. If you criticize others, how do you think others perceive you? What about the people who believe in the things you’re putting down by making sweeping statements about people who do things in a way that you don’t support—have you alienated them?

What you say about others speaks volumes about you, advice on positioning yourself from a media trainerIf you’re positioning yourself as a woman or man of influence, be aware that what you say about others reflects strongly on you.

Your words can make you seem magnanimous, compassionate and like a shining light leading the way. Negative words about other individuals or groups of people can make you appear punitive, judgmental, disgruntled and limited. One study revealed that your perceptions of others reveal your general outlook on life. If you perceive others positively and speak of others positively, people perceive you as emotionally stable, capable, kind-hearted and satisfied with your own life, according to a study that was recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

When you think of the type of person your potential clients want to work with, wouldn’t they possess these qualities?

One of the biggest mistakes I coach my clients to avoid is to NOT make general negative statements about groups of people or their own industry, which many people do in order to position themselves as different from, or superior to, their competitors. This can backfire as you distance yourself from the very people who could be referral sources or supporters. So, the next time you think about airing a gripe or grievance about “people who do this or that” think about how it will reflect on you. Others will.

On the other hand, if you have good things to say, let the love flow!

Now that you know how to position yourself, do you need additional media training tips and advice?

If so, check out these blog posts:

Does the Way You Talk About Yourself Help or Hinder You

Media Training Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

Learn about my recorded communication program at


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