I recently attended an Empathy Lab at KC Design Week put on by the lovely ladies at Idea Farm. Instead of a normal meet n' greet, they had use break into small groups and take one-minute turns listing everything we loved. The idea was to meet each other as people and to create empathy through shared experiences and passions. It worked.
I've long thought it was odd that we proclaim our occupation within 30-seconds of meeting anyone. It really says so little, especially to people outside our industries. I think it's time we change these introductions and lead with personal purpose and happiness statements.
"Hi, I'm Jessica. I put more happy into the world."
"How do you do that?"
"I'm so glad you asked! I enable people to literally make happy through creative expression and I consult with small businesses to design happier relationships with customers."
Isn't that so much more useful than stating that I'm a Creative Director and Strategist? You don't have to understand a specific industry or the hierarchy within it to understand what drives me. On top of that, I'm opening up by sharing something you can relate to, allowing empathy to quickly and easily enter our conversation.
Even more, when we constantly remind ourselves of what drives us, we infuse that purpose into everything we do, making even routine tasks more meaningful and us happier.
Some thought starters to help you figure out your more meaningful introduction:
What do you love?
What makes you happy?
What kind of work do you do?
Why did you choose that path?
What does your job afford you?
How do you enjoy spending your time?
I think we'd all be happier and more understanding of each other if we stopped placing so much emphasis on titles and paychecks. Let's instead focus on who we are as people – what's our passion, our purpose and our happiness.
Hi, I'm Jessica. I put more happy into the world. And you?