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!
I had a customer years ago that taught me this lesson in a painful but constructive way. I have always been a very tactile person, touching my friends and clients on the shoulder, forearm, etc. to connect. I had a female client who, after the sale, complained to my manager that I made her 'uncomfortable' by connecting in this manner. I was upset, and went home to vent to my wife, figuring on her support. "You probably shouldn't do that anymore." was her reply. At the time, I felt betrayed, but over time I realized that how I connect to people isn't what matters, it's how they connect to me, and if there is any activity or behavior that precludes them from connecting or prejudices that connection, it's up to me to adjust. A hard lesson to learn, but worth it. Well worth it.
At age 59 I finally had a chance to fulfill a life long dream to take flying lessons.--And that is when I discovered that I am an intensely nervous individual! Looking back, there were always signs, but I couldn't see them at the time. I think that the only time in our life when we can truly focus on who we are is when something happens to us (not nessisarily dramatic) that enables us to see ourselves as others see us.
So True! Thank you for reminding us that we are not always what we hope and think we are. Seeking first to understand, thank you Stephan Covey, is not as easy as it sounds. It is; however, so crucial to fully understand who we are, who our customers, family member, friends....are. It seems like those who really need to understand this concept are the ones who need it most. Too bad. I try to see myself through others eyes, which again, is not as easy as it sounds. Everyone's perception is different so, you have to still be yourself and, be the best person you can be in that other persons eyes as well. It's a great opportunity to create new friends, business associates, etc. Thanks again!!!