If I were to ask you, “Who are you?” how would you respond?
The other week I was able to attend a networking event and I find them really interesting because I don’t know who I’ll meet. Sometimes I shy away because I just don’t want to have conversations that begin with, “What do you do?”-- I feel like I’m speed dating for a business partner!
This last event I went in with the intention of just getting to know people for who they are and then maybe asking them what they did later. As I walked in, I saw two women at a table and asked if I could sit with them after I grabbed a bite to eat (oftentimes I’m enticed to go to these events because there will be food!)
I sat down and asked, “How are you doing?”
One woman responded, “I struggle around this time. My husband passed away during the holidays and I’m reminded of it during this time each year.”
I was a little taken aback with her response because not many people are willing to share about such a sensitive topic to a stranger, especially at a networking event. As she continued to open up about what she was experiencing, I was able to really be there for her.
She opened up about how things have been different, the changes she and her son have experienced (even having to move from their home), how they are managing, and I asked her what has helped her through this.
She said she had a strong faith in God and the support of her Mom, is able to acknowledge that it's a tough season, and is able to lean on her support. She has taken some steps each year to do different things to celebrate and memorialize her husband, which has helped her continue to heal.
As the conversation progressed, she asked me, “What do you do?” I shared that I am a grief specialist and life coach. She gave me a huge smile and nodded.
How might this conversation have gone differently if I were to start off with “what do you do?” instead? I can’t say for certain, but I’m so grateful that this woman chose to share her heart with me.
I guess it would be really weird to ask people, “Who are you?” versus “What do you do?” when initially meeting them. Instead I will continue to ask, “How are you doing?” and let the conversation flow from there.
So, how are you doing?
As always, however you are feeling today, I want you to know that you are never alone. I encourage you to reach out—if not to me, then to someone!
I believe in you,
P.S. How helpful was this? If you think of someone who may benefit, please do not hesitate to forward this information. Thank you!