Last time I checked, being human was still good for business.
It’s what makes you listenable.
It’s what makes you engageable.
It’s what makes you approachable.
THE QUESTION IS: As technology accelerates and slowly engulfs the entire marketplace, what will you do to keep yourself, your brand and your organization human?
Here’s a collection to of ideas to help you do so:
1. Befriend simplicity. During a recent workshop, one of my audience members expressed concern that her writing voice sounded like that of a fifth-grader.
To which I replied, “Perfect. According to the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Tests, twelve is the approximate age most adults read at anyway. Don’t back away from perceived negatives. Your voice is perfect.”
And all of the sudden, her original concern turned into her eventual advantage. In fact, several people in the audience commented how they wished their writing was that simple.
If you have the same challenge, here’s my suggestion: Grow younger. Remove as much complexity as you can from the way people experience you and your message. By acting professional and talking personal, you endear people to your humanity. And the people who endear – endure. Are you using words that make you sound smart but stale?
2. Invent things in your own image. Here’s something approachable leaders know: You can’t create anything other than yourself. It’s all an extension of your unique personality. Take Facebook: The color blue dominates the layout because Mark Zuckerberg is red/green colorblind. And take Apple: The people who get hired are the ones who fit Steve Jobs’ vision and working style.
This is not an accident. Kind of like their company profit is not an accident either. And while your brand probably doesn’t compare to those two behemoths, what you can do is emulate the same principle into your own world.
Try this: Embed your why into the very fabric of whatever you create. Allow purpose to fuel personality. Because while you’re known for what you do and remembered for how you do it – you’re defined by why you do it.
This approach to innovation will keep your work real, honest and human. All you have to do is tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. If that’s not your own image, I don’t know what is. Are you following your passions or people’s perceptions?
3. Lead with your constitution. When I first posted my profile to an online dating site, I was given up to four thousand (!) words to describe myself. But unlike every other long-winded, self-absorbed candidate on the directory, I opted not to ramble for pages about my personal preferences, accomplishments and interests.
Instead, I concisely listed the ten non-negotiable values of my personal constitution as a human being. Then, I requested that anyone who resonated with at least seven of them should email me.
It wasn’t some hackneyed strategy – I was just being human. And sure enough, I connected on a highly personal and real level with a very special person who now ignites my soul on a daily basis.
Lesson learned: Rather than leave your humanity lying dormant inside you, reach within yourself to find out your own truth – then try a little radical openness. Because I swear, when you operate with greater transparency, life’s attitude toward you changes. It’s cool as hell. How will your humanity run the show today?
4. Strengthen your gentleness. Love is a respiratory requirement. It’s the oxygen that keeps people alive. That’s why wearing your humanity on your sleeve is so essential: It helps people develop an affectionate regard toward each other. Like Robbin Phillips of Brains on Fire says, “Love is a circular transaction.”
In my experience as a thirty-year veteran of the human race, it all comes down to the question: What do you see when you see people? And guess what: The answer is reflection of what you see when you see yourself. When you treat people like people, they become infected with respectful awe. But when you treat people like sounding boards for your own ego needs, they grudgingly concede.
Ultimately, people who lack a strong emotive dimension send the message that they’ve resigned to inhabit a robotic world. On the other hand, people who regularly restock their inventory of human emotion demonstrate magnanimity of the soul. Which type of people would you rather share an office with?
REMEMBER: You can’t filter your life through pixels.
Not if you want that life to matter, that is.
When you keep yourself human – you keep your company healthy.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you a robot or a real person?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “27 Ways to Overcommunicate Anything,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
Now booking for 2011!
Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!