Titles and niches – too boxed in for my liking. Once, I ‘thought’ in boxes – I put experiences, events, people and pigeon holed them if you like for convenience and reference. I’ve learned so much since then! And I know that was one thing that held me back in my personal development and performance, my influence and relationships. It still has its effect now, years on, I guess.
So now, since travelling opened my mind and my soul even more, and since that opportunity to clear out and de-junk my ‘life’ (mind, body, soul, things, people, attitudes, beliefs, expectations and more!) you, like, me, may choose not to be ‘niched’ or have a ‘label’ that we struggle to escape when networking for business at events. It feels tying, and that’s definitely not something I want for people. Yet, I realise that is at least starts the ball rolling for conversation and for some ‘clarifies’ who does what (so they can be put in a box? Useful or not, maybe future contacts …or not).
Once boxed, perhaps you never escape it, never to be referred or contacted because you don’t fit their idea of your job, your character or your helpfulness in their lives and business …
Online in my profiles, too and the website, but profiling labels you and often, people fit themselves into that but it should only be a guide! Like ‘coaching’ (not just for company leadership teams but you too!) and ‘counselling’ (for problems you feel you ‘shouldn’t’ have and hence are ‘failing’ is still a stigma, sadly, when it’s far from all of that!). It can be used as guideline to expand the conversation, find out more and ask how it might apply so that you ‘get it’ and relate to it – not to be put in a box on a shelf of ‘no good to me (now or future)’ – you never know!
Agree or clarify, to disagree with or reframe and reword – I want to be me and I’m sure you do too! There is more to each of us thatn a title, a label and certainly a box! Aren’t we developing more to think ‘outside the box’? If so, why box careers, roles, people, outcomes and inputs into any box! I want you to be you – and me to be me, myself and I!
I wonder, sometimes, if that is why I struggle with names and faces from one network meeting or situation to another – because I don’t box them to that role, that company but see them as an individual person (who happens to work there, has tasks to do there and currently lives/works/hangs out there!)
I relate to their ‘being’, their thoughts and feelings they share with me, the rapport we build and the in the moment experience we share. I don’t need names and labels, and I work that way with clients. Who is before me, what makes them who they are and what are they thinking and feeling, needing from me and our work together? How can I help you?
I think so, I think this is the case for me. I do recognise business cards as the business, and relate the people to that (owners though are often their business personified!) – roles are a temporary part of life, they are not you, don’t define you and I and don’t need to be cemented as you for life! I like to meet people!
I am genuine. I don’t like acting (‘as if’ or otherwise and would re-word that concept), and I don’t like pretence. I want – I need – to trust people and know them wholly. I don’t like being someone I’m not because I want people to like me as I am – I want to ‘find my tribe’ if you like, and yes, at times, take me or leave me but in business you can’t work like that…
Or can you? Some say you can, some say you should and some people do. I just want to be me! I’m good enough! Are you?
And are you comfortable in your body – and mind?
I am actually comfortable being me, even with some people not liking me or ‘getting’ me; it happens.
I know myself pretty well now, if not wholly (always something new to find, explore and develop!) and I can read people pretty well to and I do respond to their expressions of their feelings – even if they think they don’t show it, or they don’t realise what they are expressing.
I do that naturally, it’s now part of me, although it’s not an ‘analysis’ as people once asked if I did to them when we met! People often seemed afraid to be ‘seen’ by me! I digress!
Networking is a little ‘false’ if you like, but necessary for business connections, letting people know you exist and are there if they need you – or someone they know can benefit from your services.
However, I like to network. I like to meet and know people, learn about them and how their minds work, underlying reasons and I just love it when the bond grows deeper, when rapport builds naturally! And I am curious about people, lives and living, choices and reasons, options and ideas. I think deeply all the time, it’s me!
Building Rapport and Bonding
Just by talking more, for a little longer, do you get the best from people, the gem hidden deeper and if you give it time, you find a connection you didn’t initially expect or experience.
I love those moments! I get them with clients often, of course, and with networking too. I have developed new friendships at networks, deepened my respect for people and they for me. If you give it time.