Sorry it has been a while – Moscow has been keeping me busy (but for only one more week now). I thought you might like to consider the question in the title – from a communications perspective, anyway.
Rebecca MacDonald, Canadian entrepreneur and co-founder of Energy Savings Income Fund, was recently asked a simple question in a business magazine interview: how do you stay nice, warm and down-to-earth in a (sometimes) cutthroat world?
Here is an excerpt of how she replied:
“I’m very comfortable in my own skin. I know who I am. I love people, and I have a great deal of respect for every individual. If I’m talking to a taxi driver, I will enjoy the conversation the same way I’d enjoy a conversation with the CEO of the bank.”
What do you think of her response? How many of you can say the same? (I hope many!)
The truth is that sometimes we choose to ignore people in the service industry, or only listen half heartedly. And then when we meet a ‘big boss’ or have an important interview, or date for that matter (same format sometimes, right?), we get nervous and uptight and ask our friends “what should I say? What can we talk about?” etc.
Why do we feel so different? A person is a person, right?
I aim to feel no different talking to a CEO, a taxi driver, a lawyer, a religious person, a homeless person, a hot woman, or a millionaire. I talk to these people on a regular basis. I care about who they are, their life experiences and I am interested to learn something new in my life.
I also want to make them feel good, or at the very least comfortable talking to me. I take on that responsibility every day to go forth and build relationships. I honestly enjoy talking to people, and it comes from sincerity and empathy. I do not force myself – I want to.
I think we can all learn something from Rebecca MacDonald’s response. Even when you become rich and successful, do not change who you are inside. Do not lose touch with certain members of society. And do not stop enjoying conversations with various people in various circumstances. Simple pleasures are the best!
All the best to you and your next conversation.