We are more similar than different.
Who would have guessed?
This insight unexpectedly popped up at a workshop I led the other day. I have the privilege of conducting a three session workshop with folks who are mentoring 8th graders in the Cleveland Public Schools. I am very impressed with this program and these wonderful volunteers. They signed up to help 8th graders figure out the path they want to follow for the rest of their lives, beginning with the important choice of which high school to attend and which career path they want to explore.
This is a big deal. Like the mentors, I had no idea what I was signing up for.
I was asked to present three workshops on how to confidently speak in front of a group. I ended up learning so much more.
Like any public speaker or trainer, I consider the outcome I want to achieve then find exercises, activities and stories to allow the participants to make observations that result in change. But you never know what will happen!
The room was loud with laughter and conversation as these folks learned from each other, sharing life stories that will influence their relationships with the young people they mentor. Many people continued to talk long after the session ended even though these volunteers had already worked all day. The enthusiasm was contagious!
Here are some observations from the participants:
- Importance of story and being personal
- Learned speaking from the heart is the best method
- We are all similar
- Communicate with passion and relatable stories fetch the best attention
- Sometimes you have to go with the flow of the audience
- Even in a group of diverse people, we all have similar stories
- Not everyone hears the same things the same way because we have different perspectives driven by different experiences.
- Experiences are all relatable despite everyone taking their own unique path
I share this experience because I see strong similarities with folks seeking to advance their careers or find a new job. We are most successful when we are relatable. The stories you tell from the heart, with passion get attention. Realize that even diverse groups of people have similar stories and you have the power to connect with other people. It is that connection that moves you forward in your career or in your job search.
Be brave. Share your stories with passion so you can relate to other people. Relationships build careers. Use this information to your advantage!