Friday, 8 October 2010

Being nervous again, but successful

In spite of trying to think about this in general terms, as in: "the task is to speak to many group leaders regardless of the outcome" and not: "I'm going to see this one person and will make them love me" I was still a bit nervous when meeting the photography teacher at the local college.

The solution I used is an old trick learned from Seneca and his mates the stoics. I started imagining that the person says to me that the college in no ways will get involved, that she doesn't like me and asks me to leave. This took the load of initially.

Then during the conversation, I didn't try to "sell" MY idea, but rather tried to learn as much as I could; I stressed a few times that I'd never done it before and if this fails it's OK, because I plan to learn from it and could relaunch next year.

This way I reinforced the image of such meetings as little pixels of a bigger picture, learned a valuable lesson and actually came out wiser from the meeting rather than feeling like I had been fighting an uphill struggle.

The success here lies more in learning from the person I met and getting more contacts that open even more doors rather than the added bonus of getting my point across and interesting the speaker enough to get their involvement.

Lesson Tokens:
  • Imagine each event with an uncertain outcome as a pixel in a large mosaic, and looking for ways to understand(, see, complete?) it in the most effective way
  • If anxious before such event, imagine the worst outcome I can come up with and become comfortable with it
  • Try to learn from each new person rather than forcing my view on them

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