Have you ever been watching a live news report and noticed someone in the background waving? It’s often someone young, or young at heart. For a fleeting few seconds, that person’s sole objective is to be seen.
The calm and professional reporter will often move seamlessly through the report. Of course, we’ve all seen the videos of reporters who lost their cool (search: “Reporter Freaking Out” on You Tube for a sample) only to recall that there are cameras recording the entire scene.
Anyhow, I like to think of myself as the kid in the background…jumping around and flailing about. Really, I do. See, I am not one that needs to be the center of attention. Instead, I like to hang in the background. Always around, and never forgotten about.
I’m sure the professional (and amateur) Psychologists out there are having a field day reading this.
The truth is…presence is an important thing. Just being present, physically, is not enough though. You have to truly be there, in the moment, to really connect to the person your interacting with. This is a fundamental truth in successful personal and professional relationships.
In the professional world, we don’t always have the luxury of picking and choosing with whom we want to have relationships. We’re often asked to work together and accomplish goals with people we wouldn’t normally have a meal with, let alone solve a problem. It’s definitely not an easy task navigating in the world of professional relationships.
Challenges are never easy. They’re not supposed to be. If we choose to enter in a professional relationship, and we truly, consciously, remain open to ideas, thoughts, beliefs, knowledge and culture, we gain so much.
We gain perspective, understanding, and insight. And, with that, we can become more productive, efficient, focused, respectful and respected.
Following are a few easy tips to help initiate and invite a new perspective:
• Introduce yourself to five (5) new people each week. Five is a manageable number. Make a point to capture contact information, and to share your [information]. Then, send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn or invite them to follow up on Facebook, Twitter, FohBoh, etc.
• Take a walkabout. Make time for two (2) breaks each day. Quick walkabouts are great ways to be seen. Years ago, I was the Manager of Talent Acquisition with American Express. Each day, I would get up from my desk in the middle of the morning, and again in the middle of afternoon. I’d simply make a loop, walking around each floor of the 6-story building. My objective was to greet each and every person I encountered. After a while, not everyone knew my name, but they all knew me as “the bald guy with a big smile on his face.” It wasn’t long before people were initiating conversation with me.
• Ask the same question of multiple people. By asking a consistent question of a variety of people, you can compare and contrast with your point of view. New light may be shed on the topic, or you may reaffirm your perspective.