Monday, May 23, 2011

The Brittany Barton Guide to Filling the Room

Oscar Wilde once said, “Some people cause happiness wherever they go, while others cause happiness whenever they go.”

Which type of person are you?

IT ALL DEPENDS: When you walk into a room, what do you fill it with?

Filling the room is about choosing how you want to show up.
Filling the room is about establishing an emotional identity.
Filling the room is about leaving the room better than you found it.

In honor of my girlfriend's birthday, we're going to explore a few possibilities for filling the room:
1. Fill the room with laughter. My girlfriend has a laugh that could end a war. A laugh so expressive, so energetic and so uninhibited that people look up from their plates just to see whose mouth it came from. And I’ll never forget commenting on it during one of our first dates, to which Brittany replied:

“I never laugh small.”

Can you imagine how different the room would feel if you practiced that philosophy? After all, laughter isn’t just contagious – it’s constructive. It fosters relaxation, enables listening and builds trust.

Unfortunately, most of us never allow ourselves to laugh big enough. We check to see if anyone else is laughing first. We suppress our laughter for fear of drawing attention to ourselves. And we never exhale as powerfully as our spirit requires. As a result, the only thing we fill the room with is self-consciousness.

Let your funny bone lose. Stop laughing small. People won’t ask you to leave – they’ll ask you sit next to them. When you walk into a room, how does it change?

2. Fill the room with mirrors. During a recent sermon, my mentor shared the following insight: “Most of what we do has no witness. But it is the sum of our witnesses that creates the picture of who we are.”

Whom are you witnessing? Whom are you reflecting? Because without a witness, people’s lives go unnoticed. Without a witness, people’s value goes unaffirmed.

Your goal is become a walking mirror. Someone who reflects people’s reality. Someone who gives people front row seats to their own brilliance. And someone who makes people’s own experience immediately available to them. After all, approachability isn’t about being the life of the party – it’s about bringing other people to life at the party.

Forget about whom you know. Focus on whose life is better because you reflect it back to them. People never walk away from a mirror that makes them feel more beautiful. How are you laying a foundation of affirmation?

3. Fill the room with soul. People want to feel. They want to emotionally vibrate. And they want to sense a palpable presence of something real and true. In short: They crave soul. And if you can deliver that everything you do, the room will never be the same.

Here’s how: First, soul comes from heartfelt individual expression. Are you speaking the language of the heart or the handbook? Second, soul comes from giving everything a recognizable human touch. Do you use technology when it would be more memorable to do it by hand? And third, soul comes from exhibiting naked personhood. Are you willing to take your private values into the public arena?

The point is, how you talk to your customers, your unique way of interacting with people, is what makes your brand matter. How could you turn every room you enter into a place where soul finds expression?

4. Fill the room with possibility. Every time I give a presentation, I give my audience permission not to listen to me. Not to ignore my words – but to listen to their own reactions to my words. That way, they can get lost and arrive at a destination of their own making.

Yes, it’s an unorthodox approach to audience engagement. But in my experience, that’s where possibility lives, that’s when creativity flourishes and that’s how inspiration grows. Ah, the beauty of crowdsourcing.

The challenge is: You have to surrender. You have to keep the loop open. Otherwise your room becomes a closed ecosystem locked in a daydream of the past. But if you’re willing to be vulnerable, if you’re willing to open the door and invite everybody in, the room will fill with more possibility than you ever could have done alone. How are you creating an environment where people can think for themselves?

5. Fill the room with gratitude. Gratitude is not a chore. It’s not a corporate initiative. And it’s not an annual act of forced kindness that makes you feel good about yourself. It’s a way of life, a way treating people and a way of showing up.

What’s more, gratitude isn’t an event – it’s an ongoing process. A calendar of consistent action. The secret is, gratitude is more than just giving gifts. It’s about letting people know that they matter to you – then demonstrating how they matter to you in front of an audience.

Because while people love to hear how great they are, they long to hear how great you’ve become because of who they are. Making thankfulness a non-negotiable. What gift could you give someone that would erase the memory of every other gift they’ve ever received?

REMEMBER: You can’t own the room until you fill it with something that matters first.

The choice is yours.

Be like Brittany.

Bring happiness wherever you go, not whenever you go.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When you walk into a room, how does it change?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!