Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Get to Know People Like an Eight Year Old Would

When my youngest daughter was 8 years old we were living in a small complex of townhomes. I knew very few of our neighbors except what might be detected when driving by and seeing them coming and going (very SoCal unfortunately). My daughter on the other hand knew just about every person, young and old, and would regularly check in with all of the news from our neighbors. Simply amazing! She had no fear of walking up to fellow residents and asking, "So... what are you doing -- what's your name?"

All of my 8 year old's were just that way -- satisfying their curiosity was a far greater impulse than any internal fear of feeling silly in front of a stranger.

Two weeks ago I was at the annual LMA conference attending a dinner of legal marketers from the West Coast. Between the salad and main course I could no longer resist the temptation to get up and say hello to all of the many people I did not know. So, turning my own 8 year old loose, I walked around all of the tables and one person at a time I introduced myself.... Being curious is MUCH more fun than being fearful. Since that evening I have gotten several emails from individuals at that dinner. Totally COOL and TOTALLY connected!

The lesson here is ginormous for marketers and attorneys alike. Honor your urge to act curious and you will be miles ahead of your competition. The simple act of being curious will win you friends, information, and a larger community of people that know whom you are.