It wasn’t the first time I’d seen something like this.
Once again, I watched as a colleague confidently strode toward the party.
Eager to talk to any and everyone in the room, she helped herself to a drink and hurried in.
In the fundraising biz, it’s easier to be an extrovert. Extroverts don’t hesitate to wade into a room full of strangers. They don’t mind phoning someone they’ve never met.
Those of us who are not outgoing usually feel envious.
But I noticed something interesting. There was my gregarious colleague, talking and having a wonderful time. But her “targets” were looking like something between politely bored and trapped.
Of course, most extroverts use their powers for good. But some people seem to have only one setting. Yes, they’re confident. But their ability to talk to anyone can also be a flaw. They can talk to anyone, but they don’t know how to stop talking.
Your ears don’t work when your mouth is going.
It’s truly a gift to be comfortable with strangers. It’s a huge blessing to have that confidence.
But if you find yourself doing all the talking, you’re not being effective.
Because the people you’re talking to don’t want to be talked to.
What they really want is to be listened to.
As a fundraiser, you’ll be much more effective if you learn to listen well.
What are their interests? Their concerns? What makes them tick?
You need to know those things. But you’ll never find out until you stop using (only) your mouth and start using your ears.
What do you think?
Photo: another great image from Ryan McGuire