Did You Think Reading a Book About Oprah Would Help You Become The Next Oprah?
Now I’m not saying that Oprah is not a bad ass. I think we all know that by now (there is some folklore that she owns the trademark of ‘gift giving’ and won it legally from Santa himself). And it’s all good dominance, right? Anyhow, what I’m saying is, from whatever you hear or read that you think is good advice for your own self-improvement, be sure it goes through the “You” filter.
Girl, can you break it down for us?:,
That’s what I mean to say – thank you, Oprah. My business coach (yes, us coaches need coaching too (like hugs :)) told me something I’ll never forget, “Once you start using buzz words and phrases like everyone else, you start sounding like everyone else, and it dilutes who you really are.”
What prompted this was a scenario I explained to her: I was at a business networking event and in conversation with a gentleman whom I was trying to spark interest in for a business endeavor. I assumed from his shrewd business operations background, he was not buying-in to all of this Emotional Intelligence (EI) hoopla. So I started using phrases and acronyms, like: CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value), SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and was throwing around the word “effectiveness” like vendors handing out Mountain Dew at a NASCAR race. If you’re one to think this is not a bad thing because that’s what works for you, that’s OK. As long as you’re being you.
But this wasn’t me. I was being a tool. Eventually, the gentleman I was talking to likely realized I wasn’t being authentic, showed “facial fatigue” from attempting to show interest and hold a straight face, did lose interest, and the conversation fizzled. As we parted, he leaned towards his colleague and I imagined he whispered, “what a tool”. And he’d have been right.
Instead of saying what I felt, which was that with the Social Awareness aspect of EI, and having a strong Organizational Awareness, it’s key for leaders to act on (and actually believe in versus, “calling it in”). But instead I took some tips from some things I read and combined it with some advice from a leader in sales, and it turned into something that was a freak-bot of information and phrases and just not me. I was trying it out verbatim and my learnings from this were to say what I thought was helpful, regardless of what I assumed the other person would think.
Here are some things you can do to help you navigate through the challenges of “doing you” when you’re being given all kinds of advice or suggestions:
Worse case is, you could actually learn something if whatever you’ve registered goes wrong, like it did with me.
Once you’re in the habit of doing these these three steps, revise, improvise and overcome to make the next version of you even better.
So make the ghost of Frank Sinatra proud and remember to “do it your way”.
Chris Escobar is a coach for introverts and also enjoys helping teams become efficient. He resides in San Jose California with his amazing wife Boom Boom, two almost-automous teenagers: Zolie and Evanusky, and sassy Bichon, Lola.