I have been chatting with Tim (name changed to protect the guilty) since the Financial Executives International (FEI) Conference where I presented (see blog)
Tim is a great writer and in another life should be one. He has a knack for looking at things and seeing the interesting and the funny. Perhaps that’s why we connected.
What follows is a description of the email/story exchange. So it reads a bit choppy…
a) During one of our conversations, he suggested a variation on one of my business exercises when I ask participants to partner up and tell their short business introductory story, their elevator speech, the answer to "What Do You Do?" He suggested that I do the exercise in a manner like speed dating and speed networking. I call it Speed Elevator Speech.
b) I tried Tim’s suggestion and it worked well. I emailed him the next day telling him about the experience of using his idea.
c) Tim emailed me: "I’m glad that the circle idea worked well. It has one big point in its favour, in that it gets everyone up and moving (rather than sitting in their chairs and simply swiveling to left or right) which should be a great ice breaker in your sessions. Just leave the money in the usual place, OK?"
d) In the PS Line of my response, I wrote, "I left the money in the usual place." I thought this was the appropriate spot in the email and should provide a nice chuckle.
e) Tim wrote back nearly immediately, "Do you know, so many people have used that line about leaving the money in the usual place – and it never once occurred to me to tell them that I had done just that. You haven’t ever done any improvisational comedy, have you?"
f) I wrote back, "Funny thing, I always respond to things like what you wrote. It truly is in my psyche…never think twice about it."
After dragging this ever quick email exchange into a long blog entry, my point is that you never know what resonates with people. I suggest that you tell people–tell them good and tell them not so good. Give them constructive and positive feedback when it is the latter. And when it is good, thank them with praise, gifts, or even money, "in the usual place."