I think I’m one of the luckiest people in the world. Why? I get to tell people why they’re awesome every single day. Seriously. I can’t think of a better thing to do with my time.
Most of the time, I do what I do because a team or an individual decided to hire me. Sometimes, I work with someone who bravely put their hand up when I asked for a volunteer on stage. While every conversation is different, the approach I take is the same.
It goes like this.
- I ask the person why. The final result is always about the individual I’m working with. I want them to be happy with the amplified language—not just in general, but because it supports their goals.
- I ask them how they talk about themselves today. There needs to be a “before” to the “after.” (By the way, the majority of people stumble here.)
- I ask them to brag (for just a second) about why they’re awesome. As soon as I ask, I get uncomfortable looks. I can almost see the little jerk in the person’s head pop out and jump up and down on their shoulder in protest.
- I keep the questions coming. I gather intel on who are they and what are they all about. One of my favorite questions to ask is, “What were you good at when you were 10?“
- I hear something unique and exciting. And my brain immediately starts thinking, “Why would this be valuable to someone else?” Yes, I can hear value in other people.
- I improvise a new language for the person. The person is either right in front of me or on the phone.
- Then I recite an introduction to the person that is unique, bold, authentic, and compelling. I put myself in the shoes of the other person. Not literally, of course. It’s more like I become their voice.
- The person freaks out a little in the best of ways. Hearing the person on the other end of the phone say “Omg, yes!” or seeing the look of “Hang on a second, I AM awesome” in the eyes of the volunteer. Without a doubt, that’s the best part of the experience for me.
I started out being curious about them; now I’ve become one of their biggest fans. And as their biggest fan, I can’t help but be excited about their future.
The thing is, I get to be the luckiest person in the world because what’s in front of me is always awesome to begin with. All I do is amplify them. That’s all I do. Every. Single. Time.
Now, here’s a bit of bad news.
Most people still shy away from talking about what makes them awesome, even after I’ve given them a jazzy new language. Which is a downer, because if the language doesn’t get used as a tool to manifest something that they want, well then the whole exercise is a bit pointless.
So here’s what I want you to take away from my how-I-got-to-be-the-luckiest-person-in-the-world story.
YOU HAVE MAGIC IN YOU. EVERY SINGLE PERSON I’VE AMPLIFIED HAS A UNIQUE SKILL IN THEM. MOST PEOPLE I’VE MET HAVE MORE THAN ONE.
Why do people hesitate to talk about it, even after the makeover? I suspect it’s because of how the “valuable to someone else” part of the magic is a hard concept to grasp.
And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? Doing magic for yourself is fun, but doing magic for someone else? That’s having an impact. Tangible impact is how we know we’ve gone from doing “work” to “doing something that matters.”
If you wish to be doing work that matters, if you want every team member to be doing work that they feel matters, then, I have a suggestion for you.
Remember that teacher, friend, or coach in your childhood who helped you believe you could do anything. How did they make you believe? What did they say to you?
Now go find someone you think IS magic and tell them what you see. Show them how their unique skill is valuable to you, and valuable to many, many other people, too.
That’s how you show yourself, and the other person, “You have magic in you” and make it believable.