Would you consider yourself a “people person”? Do you wish you were more outgoing than you are currently? If so, I think I may have discovered a secret and I’d like to share it with you. It is a deliberate strategy I began applying a few years ago and , quite literally, has transformed me as a both a person & and a business owner in the process.
I used to think that outgoing people were born that way. That boldness & shyness were inherited like blue eyes and curly hair. Here’s what I know: There’s no such thing as a shy baby. When that child wants something you will know about it. As we grow up we are conditioned to lean into either shyness or boldness based, in large part, by our environment. “Oh, don’t mind her, she’s just shy,” says mama. Being a people person is an acquired skill and my story is living proof.
If you remember me from school you are among the very few. I was the introverted, vanilla wallflower who was strategic enough to avoid being picked on. My picture is in the Lakeland High School, C/O 93′ yearbook exactly 2 times and that was by design.
I remember when I made the conscious decision to be more outgoing; and that’s what it will take for you to emerge from the social cocoon you’ve been building all these years. To best explain how I did this let me categorize every person you’ve ever met into 3 categories…Just humor me here 🙂
The 3 Types of People you know:
1. You know a person. You see them in public somewhere. They act like they don’t see you.
2. You know a person. You see them in public somewhere. They offer the obligatory head nod, wave or ‘How are ya’?
3. You know a person. You see them in public somewhere. They make you feel like the most important person in the world. They seem genuinely interested in you and for some odd reason, you believe them.
How to Become a People Person:
I made a decision one day to purposely engage others. To cross the street and invest a minute or 2 to look in their eyes with a firm handshake extended and ask them, “How are you doing?’, instead of resorting to a wave. I was scared to death but the decision to do this had already been made before I took a step into the world that day. I’ve found that in our frantically paced culture the gift of 100% focus & attention is most powerful. Taking a moment to connect has become the rarest of gifts nowadays. Yet, those are the people we remember, aren’t they? They’re the people we think of when we need to make a purchase, or have a problem aren’t they? It is a proven fact that we choose to do business with the people we know, love and care about. You impact as a person, parent or business owner hinges on relationships.
If, right now, you have taken the stance that you are too busy for all that then you are exactly right. If, however, you’re willing to try a little experiment then read on. It worked for me.
Take the Challenge:
We all have that neighbor, that coworker or that person we see each day. For years now you’ve either been seeing that person and pretending you didn’t or seeing them and offering the gift of a nod. I encourage you to take the initiative, break through the social cocoon you’ve been weaving all these years and simply talk to 1 person. Just 1. That’s all.
If you genuinely want to become more of a people person it begins one conscious decision at a time. A little confession for you: After all these years I still get nervous every time I reach out with more than a wave or nod. I’ve felt the awkwardness of a conversation that didn’t really go anywhere. But just like that second trip to the gym you slowly acclimate yourself to the mechanics of how the whole thing works and the results simply must follow if you commit yourself to the process.
Be sure to comment below to let me know your tips on how to become more of a people person & definitely stop by and let me know what happened when you took the challenge! Awkward, grandiose or otherwise I’d love to hear your story!
This loving others is a messy business but it is guaranteed to help you in every facet of your life. Trust me, I’m living proof!