The Blog

Number 277

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You

Getting to like you. Getting to hope you like me.

The company I work for did this trade show/convention thing in Las Vegas last week for several days and it was an opportunity for people from all factions of our organization to come together and work together and play together and get to see another side of each other, if not several other sides of each other.

It’s interesting how quickly, pre-concieved notions about people can fall by the wayside, once you actually meet them in person. Often you find out that the know-it-all arrogant nimrod isn’t so arrogant after all. He’s just overworked, frustrated and under-appreciated. Show him a little love and he’s a blast-and-a-half, and your new best friend, and, moving forward, probably a great ally and collaborator.

Or how about the sweet young woman who is invisible and silent in Web-Ex meetings, but, in reality, is an endless font of ideas and witty beyond belief and basically the smartest person in the room…but very shy and petite and summed up and marginalized by certain kinds of men, who should never assume anything, for so many reasons but quite simply because, as I said before, she is the smartest person in the room…and they are not.

Or how about the people who, over the phone for the last year, have seemed kind and fun and funny and charming and smart and generous and appreciative and crush-worthy, and then you meet them and they turn out to be, in real life, kind and fun and funny and charming and smart and generous and appreciative and crush-worthy. Wonderful Just wonderful!

In the ever-evolving world of business, as we become more and more remote and phoned in and unattached, I think these kinds of meetings are so-much-more-than-just-necessary. They’re a kind of group-dating. A getting-to-know-you-getting-to-know-all-about-you kind of thing. In corp-speak they call it team-building and networking, which, as is the case with much corp-speak terminology, manages to drain the humanity from it and make it feel competitive and cold. I prefer to think of it as spending time with friends and making new ones. It’s social, it’s common sense…and it’s a really good time.  

At any trade show/conference, the product knowledge you accumulate is valuable. But the people-knowledge you accumulate is priceless.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller 

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Everyone is beautiful, each in their own way, but those who make their own way have a different spark – something in the eyes, I think.