“Tell us a little bit about yourself” … suddenly – all eyes are on you!
If you are like me, when in a group or meeting and introductions are happening around the room, those words instantly make me freeze – my mind goes blank, and for the life of me I can’t think of anything to say! The natural default is to quickly say what you do for a living, or mention a hobby or interest you have…and then hope that they move on to the next person.
But as these types of introductions move around the room they do not give you even a glimpse into the amazing, interesting folks in attendance. Do they make you feel a connection to the person? Do you want to know more?
Author Kate Northrup shared an interesting experience in her blog “Radical Networking for Transformation”where, instead of having each person stand up and introduce themselves, they would instead stand up and “brag on” another participant in the group as a way of introducing them and/or their business. Most of us will not share or celebrate the brilliance of our own hopes, dreams, aspirations, skills, accomplishments or connections the way others close to us will.
During a ‘brag on’ moment at a networking event the facilitator asks you to partner up with someone else in the room and get to know them by asking three or four poignant questions to get to the heart of what really makes that person tick. After a few minutes, the participants have enough information to really introduce the brilliance that makes up the core of someone else.
“It was the only “Networking” (for lack of a better term) event that I’ve ever been to where I felt like I knew the heart of the fellow attendees instead of their tagline. And before I even knew what they did to make money, I knew I wanted to know them. To connect with them. And, as a total side effect of knowing who they are, I wanted to know what they did and, of course, find a way to do business with them”.
“Even the people who showed up without knowing anyone got the most incredible introductions just from the short conversations they’d had as everyone was getting settled”
An interesting exercise would be to check in with a few close friends and practice this. Ask them how they would introduce you if they were talking about who you are, not just what you do. It will make you feel like a million bucks, plus it will reflect back who you you’re actually being in the world, which is powerful information.
“Whether you end up doing business together or not, you’ll be connecting. And right now our world doesn’t need as much commerce as it does connection.”
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