To succeed and thrive in your endeavors, it’s essential to shape the version of yourself you want people to see. I’ve previously delved into this subject, emphasizing how useful it can be to align external appearances with internal personas – professionally and personally.
I’ve been asked quite a lot lately about the “how,” and there isn’t a one size fits all answer to that.
However, the answer is already inside you; you must pull those pieces from the inside and let them out.
Let me share two stories with you.
Story 1: Find Camaraderie in Stories of Debauchery
A young woman meets several friends for lunch at a local pub, and they start reminiscing about the “good ole days.”
Saturday nights with friends usually bring about stories of escapades and mischief. The bar buzzed merrily as the ladies shared their worst ‘drunken night disasters’ alongside tales from unforgettable house parties, tailgates, and tumultuous times in the woods. From harrowing hangovers to hysterical hilarity, each story was a window into life’s chaotic excitement that can only come when alcohol is involved.
Some ladies talk about passing out; others about watching friends trip over a sidewalk. The conversation lasts over an hour, and smiles and giggles fill the room. Finally, a couple sitting next to them shakes their heads and whispers to one another, “what a bunch of party girls.”
Disgusted, they get up and leave.
Story 2: Reminisce and Connect Over Shared Memories
A young woman meets several friends for lunch at a local restaurant, and they start reminiscing about the “good ole days.”
They recall stories of being on the debate team and the beta club. Laughter fills the restaurant as they continue further down memory lane with talks of planning high school proms and making class floats for the homecoming day parades.
The women each share both their horror stories and their successes post-high school. Some ladies talked about the clubs they joined in college; others spoke about their careers and how far they’ve come since high school. The conversation lasts over an hour, and smiles and giggles fill the room.
A couple sitting beside them smiles and starts reminiscing about their high school years.
Which Story Resonates With You?
What did you think about the stories?
What are the significant differences between the two stores?
Which young woman would you want to have lunch with?
What if I told you it was the same young woman at both lunches?
Well, it was. Does that make you feel the same or different about each scenario?
The truth is we are multifaceted individuals. Without knowing it, we put on a different version of ourselves regularly.
The answer is simple; it’s the audience we cater to.
The young woman was enjoying a reunion lunch with friends from her adolescence, reminiscing about their wild parties and shared memories.
Later that day, she also had a networking meal, this time discussing the importance of academic club involvement for women – swapping stories on how it shaped each one’s school experience.
Become the Person You Need to Be
Our paths through life are never set in stone; each moment presents us with fresh opportunities to redefine ourselves – to become individuals adapted for the occasions that populate our lives. To unlock limitless potential, we need only to reawaken and embrace those parts of ourselves relevant to the current demands.
We do this in several ways. One way is by finding the commonalities and playing to those strengths. Another way is “putting on the face” that needs to be seen.
Interacting successfully with a wide range of people demands the ability to switch between versions of yourself. For example, if conversing with a legal expert, take one approach; if chatting up the leader in plumbing services, another entirely – this way, you’ll ensure that your message resonates every time.
Harness the Power of Change
You aren’t changing who you are. You’re just putting forth the version of yourself that best relates and correlates with the task.
If I walk into a lawyer’s office in sweatpants, I may give off a very unprofessional vibe, albeit unintended. Likewise, if I walk into a plumber’s shop with a three-piece suit, I may leave the impression that my services are too expensive.
Lawyers and plumbers have devoted much time and money to their respective areas of expertise. Through this investment, the former is schooled in legal systems. Yet, simultaneously, the latter provides noteworthy services for homeowners alike — hence why we must utilize our knowledge when engaging with these professionals on any subject matter.
Each client in the above example is educated, intelligent, good at their craft, and deserves the same level of service and attention.
To connect and build trust, you have to be able to put forth a professional version of yourself that can relate to them.
Cater To Your Audience for Better Conversions
I can give countless examples of you “becoming” a different version of yourself to relate to your audience.
How about “baby talk”? You don’t walk around saying “baba” or “da da” to your coworkers, but you damn sure put on that smile when you see a baby.
You also don’t have the same conversation with your teenage son as you would have with your toddler. To serve them best, you become the version you needed then.
I am sharing all this with you because people must understand that you must cater to your audience.
You must put forth the version of yourself that will allow you to get the job done effectively.
You have to become a chameleon, especially in business.
Again, you’re becoming someone you are not. You are just calling on your experiences, skills, and history to recall and pull forward the needed pieces of you.
It’s ok to be that person who reminisces about partying. I hope everyone has party stories to share when appropriate. However, being the party girl who was still a straight-A student is also ok.
You are multifaceted, multi-talented, and absolutely brilliant.
Let that shine through for each and every meeting, conversation, and role you may have.
Last modified: February 21, 2023