Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A 'genuine' introduction

I read an article today on - a magazine trying to appeal to women over 40. (and I thought ice cream and great clothes were ageless)

The article asked if we know how to present our "genuine self". Not our career or our status (married, single, mother, sister, etc.) but our core and our dreams. The article didn't offer enough examples for me to fully grasp what the author was seeking but the concept is very appealing.

We search for ways to introduce ourselves that make us seem palatable, desirable, interesting. We create tag lines with an audience in mind. We use our introductions to engage someone else's interest.

So knowing that we rarely do anything without some kind of audience in mind - I propose the following exercise:
1 - If you were to introduce you to yourself, what would you say?
2 - If you were to introduce yourself without mentioning what you're paid to do, what would you say?
3 - If your best friend/partner/child were to introduce you, what's the one thing you'd hope they'd say?

I bet you just created an introduction that is 'genuinely' about you. I dare you to try it out.

1 comment:

Nicola said...

Good questions, makes me think of several things that I could say about this topic.

It makes me think of a question posed on another blog about identity (in relation to race). I don't see myself falling into a single category for many things in life (and am subject to many false assumptions by others). So I have difficulty coming up with a single introduction I could use in all situations.

Which is why your statement
"We use our introductions to engage someone else's interest." is important. I your "genuine" self can come across in how you say it, rather than just what you say. I recently started an internal blog at work called "Advanced Guinea Pig Mode" (title inspired by a comment in a colleague's email). It sets a tone for the blog, it says something about my love for the quirky, and it does make you wonder why I picked that title for the blog.

Similarly, I could introduce myself as a "the person who writes the docs you never read", translator of programmer speak, someone who makes organization out of chaos, a firefighter, a problem solver who is driven by grunt work avoidance, or a person with way too many hobbies. And these descriptions would be relevant depending on who I'm talking to and what I want to emphasize about myself.