When you meet someone for the first time – in a job interview, a sales meeting, wherever – it’s amazing how easily you can differentiate yourself by communicating that you are an actual, living human being.
Actual human beings aren’t just smart and articulate – they also have hopes and fears and joy and aspirations. Yet so often we keep all of this under wraps.
How you share glimpses of what really makes you tick will depend on your personality, your openness, to whom you are speaking. But giving even a glimpse of your own humanity is the dry tinder to spark genuine, personal connection.
The challenge is that you can’t go halfway. You can’t say “I’m really excited about / passionate about / committed to…” if you don’t express (in your voice, your eyes, your face, your body language) the emotions you are describing. Describing enthusiasm in a monotone; saying “I’m passionate” while you lean back, with arms crossed; claiming “my whole life I’ve dreamed of” as if you’re ordering a side of fries…this is worse than nothing.
Put another way, there’s no shortcut to being open, genuine, excited, and inspired. You have to FEEL real emotion and be comfortable sharing it (in a professional way).
It is precisely because there are no shortcuts that doing this right will set you apart.