I went to a women’s business gathering last week that was one of the top 5 events I’ve attended in recent years (and possibly ever).
It wasn’t the fact that it was in one of my best friend’s beautiful backyard, the perfect summer evening, the glowy bistro lights, or the fact that it ended by the light of the moon that made it so special (though these aspects were indeed magical).
It was how my dear, dear friend Sarah Tangredi, our hostess, set up the introductions that was truly magnificent.
Instead of having each woman stand up and introduce herself, Sarah decided that each woman should stand up and brag on another woman in the group as a way of introducing her.
She knew the women wouldn’t celebrate their own brilliance in the same way their sisters would. So she had their sisters do it instead.
What was so poignant was that many times the woman who was introducing another woman got so wrapped up in talking about who her sister was that she completely forgot to talk about what she did for work until she was reminded.
It was the only “networking” (for lack of a better term) event that I’ve ever been to where I felt like I knew the heart of the fellow attendees instead of their tagline.
I heard about their generosity, their knack for screwball humor, their loving honesty, their enthusiasm, the way they mother, and how they love.
And before I even knew what they did to make money, I knew I wanted to know them. To connect with them. And, as a total side effect of knowing who they are, I wanted to know what they did and, of course, find a way to do business with them.
Even the women who showed up without knowing anyone got the most incredible introductions just from the short conversations they’d had as everyone was getting settled.
Share this post with a few of your closest friends and ask them how they would introduce you if they were talking about who you are, not just what you do. It will make you feel like a million bucks (than which you are even more valuable). Plus, it will reflect back who you’re actually being in the world, which is powerful information. You can then either choose to do more of what they reflect back or course-correct if there’s another part of you that you’d like to have show up even stronger in the world.
At your next networking gathering, try having people introduce each other instead of themselves. Witness the magic unfold.Desiree Adaway, a powerful leader and educator around inclusivity, equity, and liberation says it best:
When we get to know people for who they are, not what they do, we bypass our inculturated tendency to think, “What can they do for me?” and instead move right into our heart’s desire to truly know one another, to see and be seen.
As a result we learn, we get uncomfortable, we grow, our minds open, and our hearts expand.
Whether you end up doing business together or not, you’ll be connecting. And right now our world doesn’t need as much commerce as it does connection.
OVER TO YOU:
What do you think someone would say if they were introducing you based on who you are instead of what you do? Tell me in the comments!