Today’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series topic – engagement – takes last week’s topic of Showing Up one step further. Because if you were at all impressed with what happened when you showed up and were present, you’ll be blown away by what happens when you show up and engage with others.
How many of you who are reading this – or any number of blogs – have left a comment? If you haven’t, what stops you?
- You don’t want to take the time or go through the hassle of figuring out how to actually leave a comment?
- You’re reading it from a location that doesn’t lend itself to responding?
- You think you don’t have anything to share?
- You assume other people will respond so you don’t need to?
- You prefer to keep a low profile and keep your opinions private or anonymous?
I certainly have used every one of the above reasons for not engaging with someone whose insights have totally shifted my way of thinking, saved the day, rocked my world, or even irritated the heck out of me. So I totally get it.
I once read a blog post that challenged readers to engage by essentially calling us out as a cyber-stalkers. A bit harsh? Maybe. But I had to admit, I could be a bit more involved in the communities I was claiming to be a part of. I posted my first comment that day on that blog.
Carolyn See’s book, Making A Literary Life, hints at something similar. She suggests we write a “charming note” to someone we admire in the industry five days a week , every week, for the rest of our lives.
Now that’s a tall order, but I bet you can write a charming note, send a quick email, leave an encouraging comment, or, at least very least, “like” something once a week. Just this morning I responded enthusiastically to an email from someone who consistently sends out great content. It made me feel as good as it’s bound to make the recipient feel.
This easily executable action not only helps another person feel appreciated. It allows me to be seen as a player, a contributor, an influencer or expert in my field. I really cannot afford to miss an opportunity like this to engage.
“But Penny,” you argue, “it’s easy for you. You do this all the time.”
Oh, not so. I’m a strange mix of an extroverted introvert.
If I know my job is to be the Hostess with the Mostess, I will play the part with gusto. It does takes practice, however. And I’m going to need a long stretch of silence and solitude to recover from that enormous output of energy.
But I’ve learned this.
Until you’re all in, until you do that thing that you think you cannot possibly do, you’re never going to succeed – even on your own terms. Because your success depends upon you showing up and engaging with others as only you can.
You cannot hold back. You have to put your whole self in. Whether you shake it all about is your business.
How do you do that?
Let me share what I call my Rules of Engagement:
- Suit up.
- Show up.
Until you apply these rules of engagement with other human beings, no one is going to see and respond to your light in the way you long to be seen, felt, or heard.
I guarantee this will make you feel vulnerable. So we’ll talk about how to work with your vulnerability in next week’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series.
In the meantime, let me know in the comments below (or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if that feels safer) what you’d love to be – or already are – known for, seen as, or valued and respected for.
For example, I’d love to be known as the go-to expert in transformational coaching. I’d love to be valued as someone who *gets* you and helps you unleash that certain something that makes you, you!
Now it’s your turn. I can’t wait to hear from you!