One of the exercises in my GPS Your Career workshop  is to identify characteristics that differentiate you and contribute to your success. Last week when I delivered this workshop at MIT, someone asked the question, “What if your strengths are perceived by some people as a weakness?”

Here was the example given: I am a results driven aggressive business woman and this has contributed to my successful career, yet some of my colleagues view my aggressiveness as overbearing and pushy.

First of all, let me say that other people’s perception should not take away from the fact that you are successful because of these characteristics. The real question is do they recognize that these qualities contribute to your business success? Do they respect your track record of achievement? They may not “like” you because of their own feelings about successful women in business, aggressive women, perhaps their own insecurities. You should not discount your value proposition because of their feelings.

Secondly, when you are communicating your value proposition, it’s important to tailor your message to the recipient. Find out what motivates them, drives them, pushes their buttons. If you discover that someone may be uncomfortable with the way you are describing yourself, modify it but keep the core of the message the same. Think of other ways to describe yourself. Maybe you don’t use the adjectives “aggressive” and “results driven”. Instead stress your competence, your track record of meeting and exceeding expectations.

Always put a positive spin on what you bring to the table and keep in mind what you want the other person to think about you. Then think about what will resonate with them for the maximum impact based on what you know about them.

To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others. ~ Tony Robbins