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Don’t Underestimate the Unlikely

I was recently at a party and saw “that guy”.

You know, the one who keeps surveying the room for someone higher in the food chain while acting like they’re engaged with the person in front of them. His occasional laughs and periodic eye contact could not cover his blatant disinterest. Most of us have been there; both as the recipient of this dehumanizing engagement as well as the instigator of such ego-centric activity.

As a third party watching this occur, I was reminded of some simple truths:

  • We all have the potential of becoming extremely self-centered, even at the cost of someone else’s dignity. #Fail
  • We often underestimate the person standing in front of us to our detriment. Here’s the reality: The person you’re overlooking will often be the person you don’t want to overlook. Life just works out that way, doesn’t it? Got to love poetic justice! The only predictable thing in life is that it’s unpredictable.
  • Faking interest can’t be hidden. Our body language won’t let us hide our intentions. Believe me, people who act this way aren’t liked or respected.
  • The bottom line is every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of whether or not they ever personally benefit us.

Although none of us are perfect, I believe we still need to strive to honor each person we come across. If we go into conversation or engagement expecting to honor the person we’re about to meet, it will change everything. Make every opportunity count. I promise that good will often result from this posture.

This is just a friendly reminder…don’t become that guy!

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Charles is the CEO & Chief Idea-Maker at Ideation, a brand innovation company that specializes in helping businesses & organizations build remarkable brands via innovative business design, organizational change architecture, brand integration, design, web, and marketing services. He is also the author of Good Idea. Now What?: How to Move Ideas to Execution, a practical book designed to help people move ideas to implementation. Charles is regularly invited to speak to leading companies and organizations on topics such as creativity, innovation, idea-making, and branding. Executive leaders from brands including Wells Fargo, Toyota, The White House, Catalyst, William Morris Endeavor, mun2, Council of Urban Professionals, Chick-fil-A, and many others have benefited from having Charles present at their key events.