If someone asks you to introduce yourself, what do you typically say?
Do you start with your job title?
The various roles you play in life (mom, sister, entrepreneur)?
With what you're passionate about?
About your favorite attributes?
Next week I am starting a digital facilitation course through Howspace, and as part of the onboarding to the course we were invited to introduce ourselves.
Before filling mine out, I glanced down at the other comments and was a bit shocked.
Besides, saying where people live, not one person said anything about themselves personally.
Not one person talked about things that they love or do outside of work.
And on, and on it went.
When I left teaching and educational leadership, I was adrift for a while because for so long I had defined myself by my title.
Who am I if I am not a teacher?
Who am I if I am not a school leader?
It was hard for me to conceive of how my skills and knowledge were transferrable, because they were all tied up in my title.
Over time, I realized that titles can box us in.
They can prevent us from being more, and they prevent others from seeing more.
When people introduce themselves to me and say, "Hi, my name is Jane and I am a product manager for XYZ company," I often have no idea what that means.
If I don't know the company or the products and services they sell, I have no ability to make a connection.
It's not the job titles that allow us to connect with one another, it's the humanity underneath the job title that matters.
If I say to someone, "I am the founder of Emerge Book Circles," they have NO IDEA what I do, or what I care about.
If instead I say, "I am a passionate learner and leader who loves books, so I started a company that brings book-learning to companies to make it more social and transformational. The participants move beyond just consuming ideas in isolation, to connecting those ideas to themselves, their colleagues, and their work."
The second one still leaves you wondering, but gives you so much more to work from.
How would you introduce yourself if you couldn't give your title, where you work, or even the industry that you work in?
Originally posted on Linkedin. Head there to read the comments.
Read Deeper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq (I dare you to try to pronounce it...)