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Monday, August 14, 2017

Always Stay Humble and Kind

I’m not really sure why I signed up for LinkedIn. It’s been a while and I continue to get requests to connect. Some people I know. Many I don’t. But we have mutual connections. Once in a while I get personal messages sent via LinkedIn, so that’s useful.

One unexpected benefit is the frequent list of articles people post that show up in a weekly LinkedIn email. Some are written by people with superb credentials on a given topic. Others raise my curiosity.

This one caught my eye. "The Hierarchy of Nonverbals and Conversing." I was expecting this from a communications-meister seasoned with years of experience. Nope. This was posted by a business world novice named Brenden Moran. A mere youth whose success identity for the piece is set at “searching for an opportunity.” Nine of his articles are available. I predict we’ll see more.

For example, Brenden must have just graduated from college as a communications major. In describing where he hopes to grow next, he writes, “My current interests are in coaching, leadership, training, and changing company culture for the better...I want to walk in on a board meeting and hear people talking about revenue, branding, and policies and stop them all to say, ‘You got this all wrong. Our focus needs to be on the people first.’”

Smart Alec, eh? Maybe. But I think this guy has a lot on the ball. His article on the “nonverbals and conversing” expresses his frustration in failing to get decent response from coworkers when he asks them questions. He thinks it’s because he’s low man on the corporate totem pole. Which he is.

Brenden blames a “hierarchical system that is designed to privilege people in high positions with good communication and disadvantage people in low positions with poor communication.” He challenges his readers to remember that their body language, tone of speech, etc. deliver a message well beyond their words.

He offers solutions! “Simply take the time to engage with other people in a meaningful way. Give them your attention and your respect. Forget the hierarchy of the organization…Your customers and your peers will greatly appreciate the compliment you pay them when you relay through your entire body that they mean something to you.”

Somebody should grab this guy! And the sharp, on-the-lookout, corporate talent scout will! I’ve seen this movie before.

Two people for whom I have previously worked were the talent seeking types. One, in particular, would watch the way restaurant servers or hotel front desk people treated him. He saw sales talent waiting to be groomed! And he was usually spot on.

I confess. Both of these men sought me out for jobs earlier in my life. They heard or saw something they liked and believed in me. I’m in their debt because my life advanced well beyond the basics due to them.

The lesson here for management and business owners is simply to be on the lookout for talent. Grab it and develop it. You’ll advance your game in potentially big ways.

If you’re an employee, start taking notes on how your company can improve. Offer suggestions. Solutions. Make the effort to stand out.

Young talent is worth mentoring. The legendary Apostle Paul did exactly this with his protege, Timothy. He even challenged him by saying, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (1  Timothy 4:12, NASB)

I’m cheering for Brenden Moran. Hope he hits it big. Then has the smarts to be looking for a protege.

And as country singer Tim McGraw tells it, “Always stay humble and kind.”

That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.

Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand can be heard weekdays from 4-6 PM Central. To listen outside the Chicago area, tune to for live streaming or podcasts, or download the AM1160 app.

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