Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't wait - approach!

I was at an event this week (gasp! I know) and was there to help a friend promote understanding around her product. This basically meant I talked to folks about my experience with it and quietly networked on her behalf. Terrifying - but I’m getting better at it.

What fascinated me were the other folks who were there to help her out. They clumped. They sat apart from the crowd. They waited for people to approach them and ask.

I’m not sure if this was a reflection of the old paradigm: “Information is power” or a natural reluctance to offer information that might be rejected. Were they feeling like they had a gift to bestow on a lucky few or a lack of confidence in the information?

We approach many situations the same way – especially when it comes to introducing ourselves. It can become either a ‘why do you need to know about me’ or ‘I am not sure you’ll listen’ scenario.

I deal with the former by making sure I know my own limits around what I’ll share with strangers when I first meet them. (I do have a tendency to blurt things out). Coping with the latter is by making sure I understand what I am willing to share and how to phrase it in an introduction. And I never expect that everyone will want to listen. But, surprising, more do than don’t!

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