You know the scene – you’re at a networking event or maybe at a Christmas party at the neighbours, and someone asks you what you do. Many people give a simple answer, if that’s possible these days – I’m a teacher / lawyer / accountant / nurse. It’s not the kind of answer that makes them intrigued to know more though, is it?
Some of us get tongue-tied and start wittering on, trying to explain what it is that we do. I know that I’ve done that on more than one occasion! Again, you’re often met with a polite smile, then they take a sip of their drink, notice someone across they room they ‘need to say hello to’, and next thing you know, you’re on your own again.
Over the weekend I came across this little video from Simon Sinek. In it, he says that we shouldn’t introduce ourselves by What we do, we should start with Why we do it. So he introduces himself by saying that every day he wakes up to inspire people to do what inspires them. It’s certainly more powerful that talking about his consultancy business and the clients he works with!
I’ve been mulling this over and thinking about how I would introduce myself. I’m not there yet, but it would be something along the lines of, “I wake up every day inspired to help organisations to thrive”. By helping organisations to thrive, we improve the lives of staff, customers, and help to make the world a better place. As I say, it’s not 100% yet, but I prefer that to saying that I run a consultancy business and then blabbing on about design thinking, the kind of clients we work with, etc. That’s what we do, and how we do it, but it doesn’t speak to Why we do it.
How do you introduce yourself? Do you talk about What you do, or Why you do it?