I’ve just been thinking about something communicators must never forget… I meet a lot of people every week. I also facilitate different types of groups with different types of people. Life would be extremely boring if we were all alike. I think I’d really hate to have everybody like me.
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?
illustration by Lara McElroy, flickr
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.