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Subject matter experts or SMEs.
If you are one, you likely know others in your field who share your knowledge base. Your contemporaries might be well-known and respected superstars with tenure and a massive fan-base, or they may be junior staff with few connections who are thirsty for mentoring, or, perhaps, they are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. In any case, being a SME, in whatever your industry, can surface feelings of competition with those who play in your sandbox.
Whether we are competing for a cut of the annual allocated wage increase for our department, or vying for the same potential client, our fellow SMEs might induce us to step up our game and polish our natty ways. And that’s healthy. We should always try to be our best selves, right?
I appreciate that not everyone feels this way.
During a recent networking event, I suggested that I’d like to connect a SME with another in their area of expertise – I’ll call...
In those first few precious seconds of meeting someone new, they have already made dozens of assumptions about you.
Some of them might even be accurate.
Our amygdala, that part of our brain responsible for fight-or-flight, is wired to make decisions about our surroundings before our sensible thoughts can catch up. We immediately decide whether we like someone or whether we want to run away from them. We subconsciously calculate personal risks to our wellbeing and forecast various hypothetical scenarios in our minds based on very little information. Because of that, according to a large body of scientific research, our first impressions are most often inaccurate.
If people we meet are drawing conclusions about who we are and what we are like, wouldn’t you agree that it’s important to increase self-awareness of our non-verbal signals, our body language and facial expressions?
At a networking event, attendees are sizing up folks in the crowd,...