Lost: Poise, Reward offered, if found

Without getting into details, I must admit that this was an unusual enough ocurrence for me to want to write about and perhaps get a conversation going – this afternoon, an unexpected phonecall caught me off guard and I responded like a school girl, faced with Sting or maybe, if I’m really lucky, Harrison Ford. I giggled. I was flustered. I lost my poise.

In ten days, I will be 40 years old. A mature woman, by any culture’s standards. Normally, as those who have met me can attest, I’m reasonably competent and self assured. One usually is, after years of self sufficiency.

So, what happens, if in a professional situation, you lose your poise, and you find yourself suddenly bereft of years of professional countenance? How do you recover those precious moments of "first impression"?

What do you say? Has this happened to you? What can you do? What should one do? I’d be very interested to hear what you all have to say.

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6 Responses to Lost: Poise, Reward offered, if found

  1. There is always this old stand by…
    Overprofessionalism: Fear It
    First impressions may matter if you are cold calling.
    If someone is calling you, they already have an impression, do they not?
    Your impression has been made. The call was incoming. Thus, your impression is favorable.
    The single most important thing you can do, is smile into the phone. That’s a tip from every last bit of business literature I’ve ever read. Why smile? Because people like smiles. They like friendly faces.
    You simply did it one better.
    What man in the world does not want to be greeted as if he were Harrison Ford?
    You subjected this fellow to you genuine unabashed approval. Did you know that people respond well to that sort thing?
    Showering someone with with sincere praise and admiration, is in fact, terribly unprofessional. Indeed, you completely abandoned your many years of professional countenance at that moment.
    The pity is that you still feel some need to recover it.
    You don’t need the manila cloak of professinalism anymore, Niti. You are known for your personality, your humor, your engaging conversation, and your insight into design.
    Professional? That’s for juniors.
    Be personable. It’s what they expect of you now.

  2. Niti Bhan says:

    thank you alan, put in that context it does sound very positive 🙂

  3. Rita Patel says:

    I agree with Alan’s comments above – I think the personable is a human approach and that is what is really appealing about who you are and how you do things – your passion shows through.

  4. Be careful of that “professionalism,” Niti. It’s like a callous on your fingertips that reduces sensitivity. Edmund Husserl, one of my favorite philosophers, spoke about approaching situations as a “perpetual beginner.” The word appears again in the idea of “Zen mind/Beginners mind.” For me, having the wisdom of the old pro and the enthusiasm of the beginner is a continual aspiration.

  5. Niti Bhan says:

    Alright alright… it is apparent in this conversation where the will of the majority lies… when my mother asks me why I’m still behaving like a schoolgirl, I’ll know who to point to… 🙂
    But seriously, Alan, Rita, Tom, you all make very good points, and ones that have made me think and reconsider how I am perceived, how I want to percieved, and how I think I “should” be perceived. Less disconnect, more connect.

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