Monday, June 18, 2012
We All Want To Be Relevant (Surprisingly or Otherwise)
There is a lot of noise.
The internet and social media are wonderful tools that connect the world, but sometimes there is just too much stuff. There is competition for attention, and many who would have been celebrated for their relevance in their communities a generation ago seem to go unrecognized.
We are often confused about what is relevant. If you watch one episode of any show starring a Kardashian it quickly becomes concerning that society has lost sight of what is really important. Now, we can pick on Kim K all day long... but her family is everywhere and has all the media attention they desire. But have we really lost sight of what is relevant in every area of life?
I spoke at a meeting recently and an audience member came up and told me that the talk was "surprisingly relevant". He had arrived to hear my talk with a preconceived idea as to what I would be saying about the power of business relationships and "choosing people". He was pleased with the relevance of the presentation to his life, but it made me wonder how often we all pre-judge everything.
When we pre-determine our opinions, it often means we skip things that could be very relevant and we never know it.
I do it. You do too. We make assumptions about all sorts of things and push aside those things we determine are not relevant. But few people do things without the desire to be important to those they serve.
Are we being fair in our categorization of everything? Is there enough time invested in really understanding? What can we each do to be relevant in our own business community? Are we being honest about how people are pre-judging our own efforts? I do not think relevance happens by accident, nor should we accept that it does not matter. It matters.
Three ways to be relevant:
1. Ask questions and listen to the answers. You cannot assume that your own assumptions match with the opinions of others.
2. Do not copycat others. If you are a commodity, you will never stand out to anyone.
3. Focus on people besides yourself. When others know you care about them, they will care about you. People want to know that you are respectful to their needs, not just your own.
4. Provide extra value. If people expect three ideas, give them four. When you go a little further than expected it makes an impact.
This makes me think.... maybe the Kardashians are relevant?... Ummm, or not.
Have A Great Day