Friday, December 17, 2010

Turning Embarrassment into Inspiration

I had a slightly embarrassing moment two Sundays ago. As part of my new role on the board of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers I made a short presentation describing factors that affect the success of an association. It was based on a model I created that demonstrates that many factors are linked to member satisfaction. (If you would like more information on how the model helps explain association success or failure, drop me a note.)

The embarrassing part came after the presentation, when an audience member asked "do you have a Twitter account?" I do have one, but I had never seen much use for Twitter, and thus had a grand total of five posts. My response was "yes, but I don't Twitter much" (at which point my grammar was corrected; it should have been "I don't Tweet much." )

But that wasn't the most embarrassing part. The audience member asked for my Twitter username, and there was a long pause before I answered "I think it's thinking_guy."

My mission is to provide people with the motivation and tools to think more deeply and to address complexity rather than ignore it. My filter was that it was not possible to say anything useful in 140 character tweets. But faced with someone who wanted to follow me - presumably to know more than what I had for breakfast - I started thinking again about Twitter.

And this is where the inspiration struck: I realized I couldn't provide answers in 140 characters, but I might be able to inspire people's thinking by asking questions. So as of Monday morning, I started a daily question Tweet. If you like you can follow them at thinking_guy on Twitter. And feel free to respond to them.

The "tip" from this tip? Embarrassment often results when how we are perceived is different than how we think we should be perceived. Addressing it means changing either what we're doing or the perception. It can be a wake up call of a nagging issue we feel we should address, but have suppressed because we haven't figured out how to move forward.

If you have felt embarrassed, do you need to change your perception or your actions?

Good Thinking!

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