Sunday, April 1, 2012

#13: Begin in a friendly way.

My two-year old son, Tyler, is a poster child for Principle 13.  He says a big, friendly "HI!" to everyone who walks by our house lately (he even shouts his greeting through the kitchen window if he isn't outside at the time). 

I like to think that Tyler's friendliness is something he gets from his "Midwest friendly" parents.  This week's principle would normally come pretty easily for me but as fate would have it... life is rarely easy!  You see, I had the pleasure of being a participant in Dale Carnegie's High Impact Presentations course on Thursday and Friday this week. 

We gave our first presentation on Thursday morning and we were told to "give it our best."  The person I saw in the review room (all our presentations were taped) was just like my fellow participants described.  She was super "smiley" and "happy."  She was definitely beginning in a friendly way!  In fact, she was a little too friendly to be entirely persuasive and convincing as a presenter.

So the twist of fate?  I spent the next two days working on being more "stern." At one point, I actually channeled Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men: "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"  By the seventh presentation I gave, I saw a woman who was not only friendly but also more professional and credible.  I think she is someone people will still find likeable yet respect even more.

It's important to be friendly but in life there's a time for pure friendliness and a time to dial up the professionalism.  Don't worry friends, I plan to continue to be friendly.  After all, that's me and I have a little boy who needs a role model!  Going forward, the challenge for me will be striking the right balance in situations where my credibility is on the line.  What about you?  Have you checked your "balance" lately?

"Hi man!"

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