As a caller with the Craigievar Scottish Country Dance Band we’re privileged to play at what is for many one of the happiest days of their lives. As I write this I’m waiting in the ante room before we go on, listening to the groom’s speech and it strikes me that its one of the few times that people are truly positive about everyone.

I was at a funeral recently and of course that’s the other time. At that point, those we love proclaim our footprint to the world in it’s very best light. It’s the sort of feedback we just don’t normally get in our everyday lives – Performance Appraisals simply don’t cover that sort of thing.

And yet it’s incredibly useful to know what our Personal Brand is in the eyes of those around us at work and at play. We can then make some conscious decisions about the impact we would like to have and monitor how we are doing, choosing to change people’s perceptions about us.

On the other side, it’s clearly empowering to give feedback to others when we focus on what they do well and distil their unique qualities. It seems a shame to wait till they’ve gone. So I’ve been pondering these questions, alone and in the training room with delegates:

How nice would it be if we took the opportunity more often to tell people what we love and admire about them?

And how would it be if we decided what we would like our epitaph to be and then lived our lives accordingly?

What if we could forgive people while they are alive for the things that seem unimportant when they are gone?

And what if we faced each new day with the youthful optimism of a young married couple?