At a business meeting how do you introduce yourself? Is your introduction impactful? Do you sit and half listen to others while trying to find your own words? Do you sweat it out and then default to the name, company and title just to get it over with? Do you use the factual default and then try to add one personal fact about yourself, such as a sport that you play?
Making an impactful first impression is not only important...it is essential!
I chose the subject of making an impactful introduction to be the first newsletter of the new year because of an experience that I had last week.
Attending a business meeting where there were ten professionals at the table and there was a specific agenda item to go around the table and tell others about yourself. A woman whom I have known for eight years, Lesa, did something amazing. After giving a few facts about herself, she provided what she called her six-word bio. It was:
Speak well, stand strong, seek joy
The table was quiet for a full ten seconds. How impactful. This made me think about my own journey...
In the mid 1990's I was working at AT&T and not happy with the direction that my career was headed. A colleague and friend, Gail, suggested that I hire a business coach. That was the start of a two-year coaching engagement with Jennifer. Jennifer helped me discover many things - the biggest of which was for me to define what success meant for ME. In 1999 I started taking coach training classes and left AT&T in 2003 to start my own business.
Now that you have this context, there is a specific story relevant to powerful introductions. Jennifer gave me many exercises: strengths, values, tolerances, boundaries, needs and while I completed them all I was never able to find a succinct answer that I felt represented my essence. Years later during a coach training class I finally created three sentences that are my personal life mission, they are:
Live each day with honesty and integrity
Heartily embrace every human being
Celebrate the beauty in all things
After this business meeting I realized that I could change this to Lesa's six-word bio format. It would be:
Honesty, integrity, embrace everyone, celebrate beauty
Think about your next business meeting, even if it is with people that you have known for a while; what would happen if you suggest before-hand that folks think about their six-word bio? Then start the meeting with those powerful introductions and see what you might learn about the attendees.
What a great way to start out the new year. Congratulations, by you taking a risk to initiate impactful introductions, you will surely
Unleash your Inner Leader and you just might get a larger reward that you ever thought possible.