If Visibility 1.0 focused on what and how to be visible, Visibility 2.0 is about your story. So what is your story? And how do you tell it? Do you feel clear about what you want to say and how? Or do you tell your story like the folks described below?
Are you a ‘Rambler’? Do you have ‘Jargon-itis’? Are you an ‘Evader’ or ‘Avoider’? Are you Shy? Are you a ‘Monologuist’?
Nancy Q. was a ‘Rambler.’ She would go to an event and enjoyed meeting new people. She was friendly, energetic and outgoing. And once she got going it seemed she would never end. She started at the beginning because she thought everyone wanted to hear the whole story. They did, maybe, just not the 20 minute version. And often, once she started, it was unclear when the story was going to end, if ever. And what was her point? –it often got lost along the way.
So rather then tell your whole story…”I was born in…” or “I started my career at…” — start at the end. Here is where you are now and you got here by taking these significant steps. Listen to Nancy’s story: Nancy decided she would prefer to work in the nonprofit sector focusing on fundraising and development rather than in the private sector. She had a successful career thus far in sales; as an account manager, inside sales, retail sales and manufacturer’s rep. Recently she had been taking classes in non-profit management and meeting people in the non-profit sector to gain information to help her confirm this is the right fit and to translate her sales experience for this new environment.
So instead of telling the whole story as in: “I started in sales at Macy’s…” She can start with the end first.
“I made a decision to explore moving into fundraising and development in the non-profit sector. I am very excited about my decision — I’ve been meeting people at various non-profits and taking classes and learning how to translate my sales background into this new area. It became clear to me at my last job that though I enjoyed sales, I was ready to sell or promote something that an impact on helping society.” To continue her story, Nancy can now speak about her strengths, activities, beliefs and describe how she translates her experience for the non-profit world.
Nancy may not know everything she needs to know, however she can engage others in a conversation, maybe find out what they know or who they know. She is visible; she has let people she meets see her as she wants to be seen–that she is a sales professional who is interested in changing to a non-profit organization; she can select which experiences and strengths to emphasize. She can engage others in her enthusiasm. She has their attention.
And she hasn’t told them the ‘whole’ story.