Home > Weekend Post > A smile and wave can lead to big connections

A smile and wave can lead to big connections

Photo credit by Pink Sherbet

The other day I found myself in unfamiliar territory. Sort of an awkward situation of not knowing anyone from the environment nor was I sure if I was even where I was suppose to be. The reality of it all could have worked against me had I chose to be taken over by fear of the unknown.

Or the reality of my perception could afford me confidence to look at the situation through eyes that saw things for what they were worth. Opportunity. Now you maybe thinking, “Was this guy in some sort of potentially violent situation?” Not at all, I was simply picking up a set of keys for a facility that was being rented in a city I wasn’t familiar with from people that would recognize me from another neighborhood than theirs.

The scenario is common in all sorts of circumstances, but its paying attention to what’s going on around you that can produce the results you need from potentially stressful situations. I was on a schedule to find the place in a certain time frame, my Blackberry battery had died, and the location wasn’t exactly where I was told it would be.

Would you introduce me to him?

Driving to the back of the building I noticed a young girl playing with a rather large dog. Approaching her put a welcoming smile on her face as she began to waive and apparently signal me to a parking spot.

As I got out of the car she became aware of her surroundings and was less warm than before. My reaction was to recognize this and see the little kid as a connection to the person I was meeting. Careful not to spook her (or the rather big dog) making any inappropriate movements, I introduced myself and took a gamble of asking if her dad was there? With a smile I asked little Becky to introduce me to him since we had already met each other. I asked Becky’s dad if he was affiliated with the adjoining rental hall. He said he was a friend with Karl, but that Karl was a business partner with Tulane who rented out the reception hall upstairs.

While waiting for Karl to finish with a customer, Becky’s dad explained that while in Germany he had developed a taste for the variety of brews and upon returning to the US hooked up with Karl to start a hops and barley supply business where they offered products for brewing and distillery. My Grandfather fermented homemade wines and I had also toured Germany while serving in the Marines so the conversation took off from there.

The Red Salamander and 7 Islands Meeting and Reception Hall

Karl took me up stairs to meet his business partner Tulane and there I had been connected with a wonderful group of people that began with an introduction from a kid that smiled and waived. Becky suspected I was in an unfamiliar place yet she drew on her confidence from simply being aware of what was going on around her. I was aware of my surroundings and drew on the power of a wave and a smile as a trustworthy act that could lead to big connections and it did. Paying attention to your surroundings and knowing your limits could give you the confidence needed to solve problems without stressing over them.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.

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  1. veronicaschultz
    December 1, 2009 at 10:08 am

    LaRon, this was an awesome blog describing the events of that moment and how you handled them. I can get complacent or distracted and forget to be aware of my surroundings, so this is a good reminder and thanks for sharing with us.

  2. December 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Thanks Ms. Veronica, I forget about all the small lessons throughout the week my self. But, like you paying attention to the details of an event creates learning opportunities and develops teaching highlights like the possibilities of connecting a smile or two. Please pass it along. And thanks again for commenting.

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