I recently had the pleasure to work with young people on a family camp. I really enjoyed it. I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it much if I’d missed an important reminder. It is important to introduce yourself to people when you meet them for the first time. This takes away the initial awkwardness and helps facilitate interaction better from this start.
As people introduce themselves to you they also give you hints about how they’d like to be interacted with. Some people immediately tell you, “I’m merely introducing myself to you out of necessity and please keep everything to business, don’t ask how many cats I have!” Other people want to get something more out of their interactions than just a task at hand.
Some people are quick to let off what is closest to their hearts. If you listen carefully to them they are also telling you, “if you want me to care about what you have to say, show that you care about me by asking about whether my cat and dog get along!” Introductions generally set the tone for subsequent interaction.
People often start deciding whether they “buy into you” from the moment you extend your hand and utter the first words. Like the saying goes, “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Just a reminder: It is also not so much what you say but how you say it. Both are important hence the need to pay attention and be very intentional about them.
Put in a different way, introductions are the initial lens by which people view us and have a long-lasting effect that may take a while to change. I am not saying be someone you are not but be careful and intentional with your introductions.
What do you think is important when people introduce themselves?
When preparing to launch new projects, products or campaigns we often expend a lot of energy, time and other resources. We do this in order to ensure that whatever our focus starts off well and we get off to a flying start. After spending a lot of time and resources the launch becomes a flop. This is likely to happen when we have not take the time after the preparations, before the start, to replenish ourselves and resources. It is of the essence to allow enough time between that gap of finishing tests etc and the actual launch. Fill the gap with things that will allow for rest and replenishment.
The need to take adequate rest as part of our work is often stressed. But we tend to overlook the importance of resting or allowing “breathing” before kick off! While preparations are to ensure that everything is in place before take off, we forget that we are actually using some energy that we will also need after launch. Take time to ensure that you, your team and resources are adequately replenished before launch. Rest is a form of preparation that is often overlooked. Don’t use so much energy in rehearsals that you lose momentum for the actual show! Don’t expend too much energy in the warm up, before the actual match… If you do make sure you’ve done enough to get it back before the “main feature” .
There are some projects I’ve been trying to move forward and have been trying to think about “fresher ideas” to help me do that… I came across this TED talk by Steven Johnson on “Where Good Ideas Come From”… I learned a couple of things and got “reminders”… Check it out…
The talk made me decide to revisit my “ideas journal”, mindmaps and other places I’ve captured my “brain storms” to see if there is a “common thread” building up to a “core idea / strategy” among other things…
We all have people we look up to for diverse reasons. Some of the reasons we look up to them could be that they have strengths in areas we don’t. Or they’ve achieved in areas we want to achieve in… The reasons are many, perhaps innumerable. And, now and then we contemplate on questions we would ask them on what it takes to get where they are.
Some reflections on what I’ve learned on Twitter so far:
People need you to give them a reason to follow you. Do you have something worthwhile to tweet or are your tweets relevant to them? At different stages I’ve followed different people depending on what I am interested in at that time. There are however, those that i follow constantly.
There are other people or organizations i follow “indirectly”. I do this through the use of private lists. I’ve also learnt that people follow you for different reasons. Some to spam, others because they want to “hear” what your thoughts are, others to engage with you on areas of interest. It’s normally the same in “real life”…
People may be following you but for different reasons. Some may follow because they are skeptics and want to be around to say, “I knew you wouldn’t be able to do it”. Others follow you because they believe in your cause, or want to learn from you.
When I decided to get on twitter, I set myself a challenge; to say at least two things everyday that were edifying in some way. I do use twitter to interact and engage with other people also, but want to also challenge others as they challenge me. It was not a walk in the park at first but with time got better.
As an ‘aspiring author’ this has helped. I also used twitter as my practice field for blogging. I thought, “if I can commit to a couple of (edifying) tweets everyday, it will help my discipline when I get back to blogging”.
Nothing can be sustained without discipline. You are probably the most disciplined person you know! To know what you are disciplined in, look at the most defined areas of your life.
“140 characters?!” I get that reaction a lot when I explain twitter to people. They just cannot get their heads around the number of characters a single tweet can comprise (obviously they’re not on twitter). I’ve learned the value or worth of what we say everyday is not in the amount of words you use.
I’ve come to appreciate more the worth of words; how to use them to communicate. Tweeting has helped me get straight to the point of what I want to say. If it’s worth saying I challenge myself to say it in a single tweet. I think it’s the same in everyday life and not just in the “twitterspehere”.
The most important things we can say are normally phrases with very few words, “I love you, I’m sorry, Thank you”… [Click to Tweet]
When we use a lot of words sometimes, there is possibility of losing the essence of what we’re trying to communicate. The target for my tweets is 120 characters at the moment. Some of the deepest things I’ve heard or said have been phrases that are concise.
Some people I’ve interacted with claim that twitter and social media in general, are a hindrance to “normal relationships”. I think differently. Twitter has closed the time and geographic divide for me. I’ve been able to interact with people who time and space don’t allow in real-time.
I dare say – with the digital age community has been redefined. I could be wrong, but my take is if studies are done to contrast the “normal” community and social media communities there would be more similarities than differences. I’ve shared ideas and resources.
For the friends I follow on twitter and interact with in person, Twitter has enhanced relationships. It has helped either start or continue conversations offline. Through use of hashtags I’ve also been able to see what others are saying about a particular subject in real-time. I’ve also learnt to share more, especially when I visit websites or blogs providing the option to tweet the link. I think sharing is one of the characteristics of community, don’t you?
I always have an “ideas journal” on me, but twitter has become an additional means to capture an idea and to get other people’s insights or thoughts on it. Some of my blog posts are actually “tweet spin-offs”.
When I get ideas or brainstorm I normally capture them in short phrases, so twitter has become great resource for capturing ideas for me. Sometimes those reading my tweets may see a tweet but I see a marker or reminder for an idea, which could be a talk, blog post, an article, an initiative etc