What’s Your Story?
I do lots of 1-2-1s each week. Nothing that you wouldn’t expect from someone who ‘majors in networking’, as someone described me recently. But what fascinates me is the fact that so many people are very uncomfortable talking about themselves.
What I see is imposter syndrome, a lack of self-awareness, a denial of self. Harsh…maybe, but not really. It’s what I notice. And it’s also what I can relate to – I’ve been that soldier. So here’s my advice and what I’ve figured out. I hope it will help you to take a pen and pad, cut out some time to reflect on the topic of What’s Your Story!
You need to get comfortable about talking about yourself. Period. Now I don’t mean a regurgitation of everything you’ve accomplished since birth, but you do need to know and have your milestones to hand.
So here’s my suggestions. There are different way to approach this, but think of it like this.
How Do You Want to Be Remembered
If you had 20 minutes to chat with someone and get enough information across to them about you, your experience, value and skillset, what would you want the person to know and how would you want to come across and be perceived?
Sit Down and Map Out Major Accomplishments
Depending on your age, the brackets of time will evolve and change…what are the major accomplishments in each age band?
- 1-10 years
- 11-20 years
- 21-30 years and so on
Break this down personally and professionally. Accomplishments might be awards and promotions, but don’t forget that challenges overcome are also to be recognised as they are a part of what is making you who you are today.
What defines you and your career? What should people remember about you in order to be able to connect you onwards?
Get Comfortable Being You
Get comfortable talking about your story. The more you network and chat to people via 1-2-1s, the easier this will become and you’ll be adept at pulling out the right milestones and information based on the person you are conversing with.
And don’t forget that your story is unique. It is what makes you who you are. The word ‘authentic’ is bandied around now to beat the band. But there is also a reason for this. People want to know who YOU are. What makes you tick? Being someone you are not, is not sustainable and it won’t help you build long term and deep relationships.
A Final Thought
We aren’t supposed to get on with everyone. You are aiming to build a network, a community and a tribe of people with whom you can be your authentic self. That takes time and it’s like going on a voyage of discovery. Rather than thinking about this as daunting, how about reframing it as exciting, a great opportunity, a fun journey. Be curious and open minded. You’ll find your tribe, but only by being you!
So then, What’s Your Story?
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