Some days are great, others are not...but no matter what twists and turns I encounter, you can be sure I'm going to write about it!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gorillas and Shakes

The company I work for strives for its employees to be diverse, thus offering mandatory diversity classes twice a year. This past week, the class I attended focused on "diverse networking". It was two hours long, and I actually learned some fairly valuable lessons.

The first lesson I learned was I am not as multi-faceted as I once had thought. We were instructed to watch a video and count the number of bounce passes. When the video was started, there were about six people weaving in and out of each other, some throwing the ball between them with random bounce passes mixed in. I focused very intently, completely sure my eye for detail would allow me to prevail and win a small prize and boast my ego a little. After the video was over, we started discussing our answers when one of my coworkers stated he was distracted by the person in the gorilla suit who walked through the people. Long story short, if you are a multi-tasker/good observer, you see the gorilla...if you are like don't (Note: over half of my employees did not see the gorilla).

This class also opened my eyes to a more professional and respectable way of presenting myself. I'm not sure if you know this, but I tend to revert to a very shy and introverted person when I am in rather large groups (more specifically when I do not know the people I am with). This would make "networking"/socializing at a work event difficult for me. The class gave me tools for asking questions of others, and also left me with a slight amount of confidence to talk with new people. I put the confidence to the test last night at the fields by asking a team we didn't know to come over to our cooler for a cold one. The conversation didn't last long, but it was long enough to introduce ourselves, and make new alliances. I am not the best with names, but I do remember some small tidbits about this team so if we were to ever play them I would feel more comfortable walking over and saying hi.

The only item discussed in the class that I didn't agree with, was the proper way to shake a hand. Here's how they taught us:
-Make your hands look like that star trek "Spock" sign.
-When shaking hands, you are supposed to have your pointer finger, and middle finger rest on the other persons inner-wrist
This method is supposed to prevent you from getting your knuckles crushed...but really, I think it's just plain creepy. The more you get to know a person (on a professional level) the more you can allow your handshake to fall along the lines of mine, which does not include the Spock sign separation of your fingers. What's your take?

By any means, I am the furthest thing from a networking genius...this, for me, is more about baby steps in the right direction. Last night, I took a few baby steps. I went to sleep with a smile on my face for a change. I am looking forward to more opportunities to put my better foot forward, and I'm doing it with some pep in my step.

1 comment:

  1. New blog pictures/colors/layout! I like it! Very twisty and turny of you.