Let’s say you think you’re funny. As far as you’re concerned, a sense of humor is one of your best traits. There’s just one problem: Nobody else thinks you’re funny.
This is indeed a problem. Humor is a two-sided exchange. It’s a feedback loop between you as the joke teller, and your audience. Humor doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
It’s not enough to only consider how you see yourself. You must also consider how the world sees you. If nobody else thinks you’re funny . . . well, you’re probably not funny.
Humor is in the eye of the beholder. So are likability, leadership, and a range of other subjective qualities that are rooted in the perception of others. You get a vote, but your listener has veto power.
For example, you might see yourself as lovable, but if the world sees you as a coldhearted curmudgeon, there’s a disconnect. You might think that you’re respected or independent or practical, but if nobody agrees, you’re out of luck. You might see yourself as good with kids, but if small children cry and run to the other side of the street at the very sight of you, there’s a disconnect (as well as a serious impediment to any career aspirations you might have of becoming a birthday party clown).
By looking at yourself from the outside in, and systematically measuring the effect you have on your listener, you can improve results. Whether you’re a comedian or a kindergarten teacher or a crisis negotiator, you can become more successful by understanding how the world sees you and hears you and responds to you.
How does the world see you?
You might never have considered this question before. It might feel unfamiliar. It might make you feel awkward or self-conscious or vain, like you’re staring at your reflection too long in the mirror.
In the modern work world (unless you find yourself alone and shipwrecked on a desert island, where physical survival is your chief and only concern) you do need to know how to communicate and connect. If nobody hears or remembers your message, it failed.
In order to succeed, you need to tap into your natural mode of communication. Some people are born leaders, while others impress with their analytical thinking, or their relationship skills.
So what makes you stand out?
From page 10 of How The World Sees You
Have you discovered how the world sees you? If not, find out now.
To your fascinating success,
Sally Hogshead and Team Fascinate
What do you do to impress the person sitting on the other side of the table (be it your boss, or your significant other)? Let us know in the comments!