Do you ever go over the top?
Now, this is a rather horrific over-exaggerated picture… of what my baby grandson Emile sees when I am looking at him!!
Well, I did channel my inner ham actress for that one. I don’t REALLY look that mad. HONEST!
It did occur to me, however, that lots of us probably do overdo the big wide face and smiley expressions for the benefit of babies; all sorts of contortions to get a smile!
It occurred to me, how it can be tempting to overdo it in life and at work too.
In a previous career as a fundraiser for a national charity, I remember getting a phone call from a (still) very famous newscaster who said to me, “Of course, I’ll come to your event Fiona, and donate what not; you didn’t have to work quite so hard in your letter!”. She was laughing at the amount of ‘we would be so grateful’, ‘of course, we understand’, ‘you are such a treasured supporter’-ish stuff of crawly-ness that I must have put in.
She knew us very well, and we had a really good working relationship with each other. She just thought it was hilarious that I went over the top on the buttering up. As she later said, “If I can’t do it, I will just say no. And when I can say yes, I will – pure and simple.”
I realise now of course, that it was the result of over-anxiety and lack of self-confidence. I always felt I had to appear to be bending over backwards. In that case, it was fine; she just thought it was funny. But that approach can seriously backfire.
VIPs and celebrities can get seriously bored and turned off by people appearing to approach them with a slug-like trail.
You can damage your credibility by being over-effusive as well as being under. Just looking as if you are trying too hard undermines your position.
I remember learning a lot from a great fundraising partner who used to talk about going “cap on head” not “cap in hand” when you are seeking support for your cause. After all, you are offering a great return, in terms of social investment, on behalf of the donor. One of the main drivers for major donors giving of their time and money is not necessarily recognition, but the great feeling you get when you are changing someone’s life for the better because you can, and have been enabled to do so.
Applying this principle to business owners, you can put people off or de-value your product by appearing craven, plying them with lots of something for nothing, and being prepared to move goal posts way down the field without anything in return. Generosity is a great thing, but when it goes ‘over the top’ it smacks of desperation.
Never a good look.
We need to be polite, enthusiastic, warm, generous and give a sense of common purpose. A great return for your investment, that has value.
Otherwise, you might lose the client or donor or…
…the baby might cry!!!
To find out more about Fiona’s training workshops or coaching and how to learn not to ‘overdo it’, do contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for details. Alternatively, find out more on the website.