This week I won my entire swim training group muffins.
And Nick, one of my new fave baristas, just gave me a free cup of coffee.
What? Why? How?
Well, the muffins was due to a challenge our instructor threw out to the group, to see if anyone could remember everyone’s name during our 3rd practice. And if anyone could do it, muffins for all!
Now there’s not a lot of interaction during our swim practice. We arrive at the pool sometime around 5:30am, get our bathers and caps on, do some stretching, and then it’s into our lanes for drills and lengths and technique practice. After an hour, we’re out, showered, and most are out the door by 7am!
Well, I like a challenge, and I also like remembering people’s names. And when I’m in a new group, I try to make sure I get to know them just a little, or at least ask their names. So I think our instructor was surprised when I volunteered, and yup, nailed it. Now some of these folks had been swimming together for 3 years; it was day 3 for me, and there are 30 of us.
I think the ladies from #WeWorkingWomen where I delivered a presentation last night were equally as impressed when I cited everyone’s name before we began, having met them just a few minutes earlier (Now I have my limits, too! Certainly didn’t so this on Monday evening at Graydon Hall Nursery Schools! You were a FAB group, but anything over 100 in one shot and I’m out!)
I’m not trying to boast, as anyone can learn how to do it (in fact I have a video where I share my 7 steps to remembering people’s names here). And it’s actually not just about remembering people’s names. It’s caring about people, acknowledging people, and creating space for them to show up and be seen.
I tend to talk a lot to strangers ~ I’ve been known to get into deep conversations at coffee shops, grocery lines, on the elevator or subway… and yes, it often means I’m delayed in getting my own work done. But I have to say it makes life so much more enjoyable! (And I do think certain perks like free coffee, flight upgrades, comp tickets, muffins… may be related to this attitude!)
You’re busy, I’m busy. We’re all busy. I get it.
And yet, if we could take a few moments to think about how we’re showing up, and how we want to show up, it can make all the difference in how we stand out. You only get 7 seconds to make a first impression, after all.
Want to show up and stand out more powerfully both at work and in life?
Here are 7 ideas to do just that.
- Be the First. Instead of waiting for someone else to say hello to you, ask your name or how you are, let it start with YOU. Be the first to smile, to say hello, or to engage in conversation. Not sure where to start? Try a compliment, question, or comment.
- Be Curious. Remember what you were like you were on a first date? For some that may be decades ago, for others it may have been last week! But I bet you were interested and engaged, and also wanted to appear interesting and engaging to the other. I bet you asked curious questions. Do more of that in your life. Ask more interesting questions, and be a great conversationalist.
- Be Intentional. Take a few minutes to think about how you want to show up before an important event or meeting. Do your research if necessary, and alleviate any fear or hesitation by preparing in advance. Set an intention before an important conversation. Think about your ideal outcome, but do not be attached to how you get there.
- Be Consistent. Who you are here is who you are everywhere. Don’t claim to be a positive person, and then when you get in your car allow the road rage to come on! Don’t engage in behaviours like gossip. I know we wear lots of different hats. AND you are still you, regardless of whether you are at work, at home, or at play.
- Be Generous. Be generous with your presence. Put away your devices when you are talking to someone. Be generous with your time, your sharing, your listening ear, your words, your gifts, your expertise, your encouragement.
- Be Unflappable. I love this word! Are you able to maintain your cool, regardless of the chaos that may be happening around you? Are you able to stay in control when you find yourself in difficult, unpredictable situations? Are you always rushed and scattered? Slow down, take a breath, get grounded. Be unflappable.
- Be Yourself. Above all else, to thine ownself be true. Be you. Be unapologetically you. Don’t be afraid to self disclose, wear clothing that makes you comfortable, or engage in behaviours that make you more of who you already are. Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’, and start bringing ALL of you to all you do.
So I dare you to this week to be the first. To be intentional. To be curious. To be consistent. To be generous. To be unflappable. And to be yourself.
And when you do, you’ll certainly be bringing the biggest you to all you do.
Which of these 7 ideas are you going to try on this week?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.