Learn from this powerful metphor for taking the lead
Think about this. You are in a group meeting where you are not the chairperson. Think about how you would routinely participate in the meeting. Are you more prone to sit back, and have to be prompted in order to participate? Or, do you take the lead and contribute without prompting?
People who take the lead in meetings – who are attentive and present; who draw out contributions from more reticent people in the meeting; who help the chairperson conduct the meeting – by for example helping the agenda stay on track – leave lasting positive impressions.
Midway through my sales presentation workshops with clients I often tell people to metaphorically consider that the workshop is a ‘ship’ sailing on the open seas and they are on-board. Then I write write three words on a flip chart. From top to bottom, the words are Wind, Passenger, Anchor.
I ask people to consider their participation in the workshop to that particular time. Specifically, I ask them: have they been the the Wind – ‘blowing’ the workshop forward and helping it be successful in its journey? Or, have they been a Passenger, just going along for the ride? Or, have they been an Anchor, holding back the progress of the workshop.
Most people say they have been Passengers just going along for the ride. There rarely are any Anchors (or people who will admit this). More importantly, rarely, are there any who say they have been the Wind.
In practically every situation – a meeting, forum, interaction etc, there’s always room for more people who are the ‘Wind’.
The ‘how to’ for this blog is to strive, to more often take the lead in your interactions with people. Be the wind. If you make a habit of doing this – you’ll maximise the positive impressions you leave.