It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of reality; instead of picking up the phone to speak to someone, you drop them an email or send a text. Rather than sending a note, you can instant message, Skype message or send an eCard. Instead of going to a networking event, social gathering or exhibition, you can show up online. All of these ways of being in touch, of showing up on the radar, are virtually instant and take very little effort.
What I know to be true is this; there is nothing like being there in person and ‘pressing the flesh’ with other people. The energy, the sense of connectedness, the opportunity to take yourself out of your environment and put yourself in another, all adds to the mix and what comes out of that is very different to being ‘virtual’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to enjoy and actively revel in all the gizmos and ways of working with people virtually. It’s something I’ve come to love about working in this ‘small world’ way. What is often underestimated though is how disconnected we can feel and be perceived, when we take our personalised selves out of the mix – often without being conscious of it.
Let me ask you a few quick questions:
- Have you ever emailed someone who’s in the same office as you because you can’t face or make time to go across and speak to them?
- Have you ever emailed someone instead of calling them as an easy ‘get out’?
- Have you ever texted someone a thank you note instead of calling or writing them a personal note?
- Do you find yourself sending an ‘apologies’ email rather than calling to say you can’t attend?
- Have you ever wished you’d met up with someone in person sooner rather than the time spent going back and forth on email?
I know, like me, some – or maybe all – of your answers will be a ‘Yes’. I ask myself before sending an email or text, “is this the best way to be in touch today?” Clients constantly tell me that they can’t get people to do what they want them to or they struggle to get people to respond to them. When pressed, it’s often because they lack connection with the other person(s). That’s where the secret of ‘pressing the flesh’ or personalising can change things in an instant.
Here are a few starters if you decide to show up ‘personally’ more than you are.
- When you go to email someone, pick up the phone instead. Even if you leave a voicemail followed by an email, you connected and made the effort. They hear your ‘real life’ voice which means something to them.
- Instead of sending an RSVP by email, call or drop a handwritten note instead. Your voice, your writing all counts more as you being ‘in person’.
- When you look at an invitation and think “no, too busy” – ask yourself “how can I make it work so I can go?” so you let people see you, be with you and you with them.
- When you do show up in person, challenge yourself to meet and greet at least 5 people you’ve never met before. You only have to be open to asking them a few questions and, off you go!
- When you’re with other people, be more interested in them, rather than being interested in them being interested in you. That’s where the true magic is – they magically become more interested in you anyway!
Let’s make it your time to shine, in your own way. When would now be a better time to go for Promotion, Recognition and Rewards?
Here’s a helpful, immediate Gift for you. Q is for Questions – A downloadable PDF of a chapter from my #1 best-selling book The A to Z of Being Understood.
Use the chapter to lead conversations, to be more compelling when you first meet someone and – crucially – connect with colleagues, clients, customers by the power of your confident questions.