Posture is life.
What you say and do, along with how you say and do things are obviously important components of the new verb faming, but achieving favorable results with these two things alone isn’t a sufficient accomplishment: We must always consider who we are with everything we say and do. A scattered personality during communication will be detrimental to the message you’re trying to express. We have to be certain who we are in relation to what we are saying.
We see this disparity constantly in the retail world. Take for example two very successful businesses: Wal-Mart and that religious icon, the Apple Store. Employees of both essentially serve the same function: Sell To People. The difference is that at Wal-Mart, we think about the employees as indifferent sales people who have a job to do. They stock the shelves and do what’s required, but they don’t have more than minimal interest in providing assistance. (Though the greeters sure are a nice touch, eh?) At the Apple Store, however, we see real-time folks who just want to get us what we need…people genuinely interested in helping us! Gosh, doesn’t their fascination and loyalty shine through?
The message is the same, and the position is the same, but the posture could not be more different.
No way, no how.
As you go about your everyday activities (and here’s a hint: don’t do anything in rote-manner every single day if you want to seem “different”) while you interact with colleagues, friends and executives, think about how you’re posturing yourself - and then ask yourself some questions:
Am I present?
If you aren’t aware of what’s going on in front of you (but instead, thinking about your endless To-Do list), your apathy will come across as arrogance and indifference. Show genuine interest by looking at the person you’re talking to and acknowledge what they are saying with questions and comments.
Do I have a positive attitude?
Positivity brings optimism to your life and is often contagious. A positive attitude is a state of mind and it’s one worth your time to develop and strengthen. Remember, nobody wants to hang out with a Debbie Downer or a Negative Nelson! (I love the name Nelson…) Incidentally, I will talk about whining in a few minutes give me time
Am I prepared to tackle the new?
Hey I don’t want to sound new agey here but a challenge is the thing that makes you strong. If you aren’t prepared and at the ready for whatever comes your way – no matter what curve ball– you just aren’t posturing. We don’t always have the answers immediately, but the key is to remain in control and confidant so as to come up with a solution. Demonstrating effective crisis management skills shows your ability to be a quick thinker, stay calm in the midst of turmoil and negotiate. Hone in on these skills and show your ability to move from crisis to opportunity.
Never say the words “I don’t know”. Find out… Just go and get the answer. And please, don’t tell me “I don’t know” should be followed (in you speech mind you) with “I’ll go find out.” That’s what the first words should be, dammit. See Gumby for more - please.
Oh, and am I motivating others?
We all know that to succeed we must find something to focus on that both motivates and inspires us. Be the “thing” that gets people around you UP and MOVING! Provide answers, new ways to approach challenges, and come up with ideas for success. By inspiring others, you will engender trust and loyalty. You must know that, but often forget…. When people think of you as the engenderer of loyalty and trust, you are in a fantastic position.
Am I respected?
If those around you don’t respect you, you might as well close up shop now and jot an Out of Business sign on your forehead (tattoos “r” us). When we admire the accomplishments of others we inevitably come to see their value and importance! This positive feeling of esteem is earned - over time – through our actions alone, not by spewing hyperbole.
So go ahead, crank up the volume and let Aretha’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T get you pumped –I also recommend Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” –and demonstrate you’re a person of real worth.
Do I Act Like I Give A Crap?
I probably don’t need to explain that.