I attended a wonderful workshop around voice and breath last night. While I sound like Marlene Dietrich today, it was worth the effort! (If you’re interested in the details of the workshop, let me know.)
I think that one of the biggest benefits of building a personal community is the ability to be cross-pollinated by other disciplines, fields, viewpoints, etc. It fascinates me when folks limit themselves to only their own industry or discipline when seeking to expand their communities and potential.
Going outside your own field isn’t only helpful if you wish to change careers. Multiple perspectives from different lenses help us deepen our efforts in our own disciplines. It’s a renaissance approach to life and, in this age of subject matter experts, necessary to create new growth.
Was I outside of my comfort zone? Absolutely. I am not a performer (though some equate public speaking with performance) and I am not comfortable exposing my limitations in a public forum. My discomfort faded with understanding and familiarity with the rest of the group and the tasks we were set. (as does all discomfort usually)
Mentors - encourage your mentees to explore further afield. The unknown becomes known and can add new zest as well as new skills.
Networkers - don’t worry about how someone’s knowledge can or can’t mesh with your own. Enjoy learning a tidbit or two for its own sake. You never know how the connections will appear.