For everyone, everywhere…
I fly to Las Vegas tomorrow to do a seminar for Flexsteel University on “How to Connect with Everyone”. I love working with Flexsteel and I love doing this particular seminar as it teaches to me to listen to myself and gives me what I need to hear. It also offers me the opportunity to share ways of managing people who might be unaware of what they don’t know.
One of the exercises I often do with this topic is to put a dozen ‘ways of being’ on slips of paper and let the participants draw one of the papers. Some of my favorites are ‘miserable’, ‘interested’, ‘friendly’, ‘doubtful’, defensive’, ‘determined, ‘attentive’ and so on. The game is to BE the word without using language; just to use their actions and behavior as a way for the rest of the group to guess the word. While the group is guessing which word it is, I write down all the guesses until they arrive at the correct response. When the game is complete, I read their answers and then the actual word the person was acting out, and compare the two.
What I find interesting is how the group will follow a direction. For example, if the word is ‘interested’, the guesses will range from ‘tire-kicker’, ‘waste of time’, ‘killing time’, ‘just browsing’ until someone gets that the person really just wants to learn something, really ‘INTERESTED’. Now, some of the challenge may be to demonstrate interest if you don’t know what it looks like, and the other is not knowing the behaviors that constitute interest – both seminar topics on their own! But what is fascinating to me is how the group of guessers will look for evidence to support their answers- even if it’s wrong – in the same way we look for evidence to support what we originally think of someone (or what we think about anything!)
Here’s the challenge for this week:
Notice when you are looking for evidence to support being right. Just notice. Notice what it does to disconnect you from the other person – even if they aren’t in the room and you’re talking to yourself about them (as I often do). Notice what it feels like to be right and to make someone else wrong. And consider that this behavior shapes many of our connections and relationships. The powerful piece is that we have a choice – to continue to seek evidence to be right, or to find another perspective that empowers ourself and the other person. This is so critical in making and keeping Connections.
Now, go sell something!