Two Paragraph Perspective: Find Enjoyment in Others and Find Yourself
Blog post by Barton Career Advisors Founder and Managing Partner Chris Barton
Meeting others and engaging people that I have not met previously is a large part of my life. It is also a large part of your life, and a very necessary facet of the human experience. It is not unusual for us to “enjoy” our time with close family and friends. However, many of us just do not relish the thought of hanging around new people that we do not know that well. As a matter of fact, many of us find the experience of going into crowded situations with strangers to be quite taxing emotionally and mentally. For a long time I wondered why this is so difficult for others. It was not until I began my years in human resources and coaching that I gained an understanding of the role our personalities and unique perspectives play in this aspect of our existence. I have a close friend that once said to me, “Chris, you will talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and it just seems so easy for you.” My response was simply, “Well, I enjoy it.” For others not so much.
Recently, I was encouraging a client to come to a networking event with me. I said with almost irrational exuberance, “It’s gonna be great. So many accomplished people are going to be in that room. You are bound to meet someone that will be able to help with your job search. I can introduce you to a few folks too.” My client said, “You know that’s just not my thing.” I get it. So many people feel the same way. A crowd, strangers, or even small talk, are all the features of an anxiety-ridden experience. My suggestion is simple: change your focus and make it about them, not you. I like to ask questions as soon as I make a new acquaintance. After we exchange names and the normal pleasantries I get things going. What brings you out today? What do you do? Any fun plans for your weekend? Did you grow up in our area? Where did you go to school? On an airplane or train I love, “Are you traveling for work or vacation?” Ultimately, these kinds of simple questions relieve the pressure and anxiety of feeling like you need to talk about yourself. You will also most likely enjoy meeting interesting people who inspire you with their stories. People love to talk about themselves, when asked. They also love to hear their name. Wouldn’t be great to find yourself in the process of enjoying others?
Barton Career Advisors has recently dedicated its industry pieces and blogging to a new series called Two Paragraph Perspectives. There is so much going on in our world and it is often difficult to consume an entire article, thought leadership piece, whitepaper, or news story. Our world communicates at lightning speed and most of that happens in 140 characters or less. For the previously mentioned reasons we will bring you key thoughts, insights, and questions in an easy to consume two paragraph format. Before the steam is finished rising off your morning coffee or tea you will be done reading our bi-weekly digest of all things career transition, personal brand management and outplacement best practices. We hope you are looking forward to this series written by our Founder and Managing Partner, Chris Barton.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net