Some people don’t like talking about themselves with people they don’t know well. Then there are those who never stop talking about themselves.
The fact is, our communication with others is how we build relationships. What we say, how we say it (tone is incredibly telling), how often we talk, all impact others’ impressions of us.
A case in point…
An HR leader (Marilyn) was new in her company, new to the area, new to the industry. Of course, some viewed her with skepticism. She didn’t like talking about herself, so it would take time for those who didn’t work with her regularly to get to know her well. Then a crisis hit. The company president acknowledged the significant issue. It was going to hit the news.
People at various levels in the company asked Marilyn what they should do. She had to establish credibility quickly. So, she gathered representatives from all departments to talk about what she could disclose and what their response would be.
But first, she told them a story. Without going into too much detail, she told them how she’d handled 9/11 at her telecommunications employer that was impacted and involved in the response. In a very short time, the department reps learned about what Marilyn values, how she deals with crisis (the crazier it gets, the calmer she becomes), her communication skills, and her genuine care and concern for all involved. It was a watershed moment that quickly boosted her reputation.
You don’t have to talk about a 9/11 experience for people to get to know you. Think of topics or experiences that shed light on what’s important to you, what you have to contribute, your ideas, what inspires you. Feel free to include something fun if you’d like.
Just remember that the experiences you’ve lived, the talent and aptitudes you possess, the wealth of knowledge you’ve gained, all offer insights into the real you and become gifts when you share them with others.