Start by being present with people says Carol Schulte

I recently won my entire swim training group muffins. Why? How?

Well, the muffins were due to a challenge our instructor threw out to the group, to see if anyone could remember everyone’s name during one of our first few practices. And if anyone could do it, muffins for all!

I like a challenge, and I also like remembering people’s names. And when I’m in a new group, I try to make sure I get to know the group just a little, or at least ask their names. Tougher during swim practice when there is very little interaction, and you only see people in swim caps and goggles! So, I think our instructor was surprised when I volunteered, and yup, nailed it. Now some of these folks had been swimming together for 3 years; for me it was day 3, and there are 30 of us.

I’m not trying to boast, as anyone can learn how to do it. And it’s not about remembering people’s names at all. It’s more about how we show up. It’s about caring. It’s about seeing people, acknowledging people, and being present with people.

And when you do that, you stand out more powerfully. You get noticed. If we could take a few moments to think about how we’re showing up with others, and how we want to show up and be experienced, it can make all the difference.

Here are 7 ideas to do just that:

1. Be the First

Instead of waiting for someone else to say hello to you, ask your name or how you are, let it start with YOU. Be the first to smile, to say hello, or to engage in conversation. Not sure where to start? Try a compliment, a question, or a comment.

2. Be Intentional

Take a few minutes to think about how you want to show up before an important event or meeting. Do your research if necessary and alleviate any fear or hesitation by preparing in advance. Set an intention before an important conversation. Think about your ideal outcome, but do not be attached to how you get there.

 3. Be Curious

Remember what you were like on a first date? For some that may be decades ago, for others it may have been last week! But I bet you were interested and engaged and wanted to appear interesting and engaging to the other person. I bet you asked curious questions. Do more of that in your life. Ask more interesting questions, listen, and you will be seen as a great conversationalist.

4. Be Professional

Who you are here is who you are everywhere. Don’t claim to be a positive person, only to get in your car and allow road rage to come on! Be consistent. I know we wear lots of different hats, but you are still you, regardless of whether you are at work, at home, or at play.

5. Be Generous

Be generous with your presence. Put away your devices when you are talking to someone. Be generous with your time, your sharing, your listening ear, your words, your gifts, your expertise, your encouragement. People notice, trust me.

6. Be Unflappable

I love this word! Are you able to maintain your cool, regardless of the chaos that may be happening around you? Are you able to stay in control when you find yourself in difficult, unpredictable situations? Are you always rushed and scattered? Slow down, take a breath, get grounded.

7. Be Yourself

Above all else, to thine own self be true. Be YOU. Be unapologetically you. Don’t be afraid to self-disclose, wear clothing that makes you comfortable, or engage in behaviours that make you more of who you already are. Start bringing all of you to all you do.

I dare you this week to be the first. To be intentional. To be curious. To be consistent. To be generous. To be unflappable. And to be yourself. And when you do, you will show up and stand out more powerfully.

Carol Schulte is the founder of The Brave Initiative, a global empowerment catalyst. Her portfolio includes Fortune 500 corporations and international associations, inspiring individuals to get their brave on! She is committed to building braver leaders ... (Read More)

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