Last night I was at an amazing event and had the opportunity to meet some wonderful business women. And naturally, when you are at these events meeting other business people, the age old question comes up, "So what do you do?" How do we answer that question? How truthful are we? Do we give them a easy superficial answer or are we truthful and give them something deeper and more complicated that can lead to meaningful connections with each other and our self.
Many years ago when I was a consultant for a popular kitchen product company we talked about our 30 second commercial, it was our answer to "so what do you do?" The concept was that you could creatively answer that question in a mere 30 seconds ....... and, for me, sound like all those infomercials on TV. I never particularly cared for this approach. I really don't have a neat and tidy answer for that question. My answer is often, "well, I do many things"...and then I proceed to rhyme off the many hats I wear. What I really want to say is, "I hold space for my clients on their healing journey"....but seriously, no one knows how to respond to that. It would likely be a wide eyed Oooooo as they look for a way to get out of the conversation. People want a tidy, easy to understand answer that doesn't make them feel awkward. So now I say, "I am a Reiki Master and I use art and dance as part of my healing methods." This gives the person who has asked the question a more accessible answer and leaves room for them to dive deeper into who and what I am about with further questions.
Let's face it, regardless of how much we try to not to be judgey... we do judge each other in those very few seconds we meet new people. That is reality. We are judging that first impression we get of each other. Interestingly though, that judgement is actually a mirror of our self and not about the other person at all, but we can talk about that another time.
I have also heard it suggested that instead of asking "what do you do?" we should ask people "what do you love to do?" This is great. It allows us to easily talk about our self and what we are passionate about in our life. Many women find it challenging to talk about themselves, they will easily tell you about their children's many achievements, but find it hard to boast about their own. But ask about the thing that they love to do and you can tap into who they are truly. Their answer may surprise them as they may never have been asked this very question.
The choice is simple. Do you ask a question that is looking for a simple, neat and tidy answer? Or do you ask a question that can lead to a connection with the other person. I vote for making connections. Meaningful, honest connections are what we are here for, so let's ask the questions, let's dive deep, let's reveal our true self.
"So what do you love to do?"