If anyone tells you that you are born an introvert and gregariousness cannot be learned, look them in the eye and say, “You couldn’t be more wrong!”
Born in a conservative family in a small town in rural Southern India, I was always very happy with my solitude. In fact, at one point I was anti-social to the extent that any social interaction would trigger a severe migraine (literally!). If you’ve known my for the last 5-6 years, I’m sure your eyes are opening wide and your jaw dropping. Yes, you can learn to be gregarious. I did!
Picture it. 2009. That was the time I didn’t know the definition of “social media” and wasn’t really keen on learning either. I was happy being the only marketing person at that small startup.
During the course of my MBA program, I attended a Women in Business event hosted by my business school, Santa Clara University. The theme of the event was “Personal Branding”. And when “social media gurus” that spoke at the event spoke about establishing one’s own brand identity, brand value and brand equity (yes, these are some very frequently used B-school terms), I couldn’t be more intrigued. Twitter was one of the first social media channels that became my experimental pad. It helped me learn how to be social. It taught me the easiest way to engage in a conversation where I still learned the most. It helped me get rid of the “introvert” in me. These are all reasons why I highly respect and value my Twitter network today!
Just like the three basic principles of real estate are “location, location and location”, the three basic rules for our growth (personally and professionally) are “network, network and network”. Rate of your growth is directly proportional to your network.
My recommendation to you — identify your personal and/or professional development goals. Do a little research to understand the best ways you can connect with peers and experts that can help you learn and grow. And then, just do it! Engage with others. The biggest revelation (the A-Ha! moment) for me was when I grasped the fact that everyone around me is so generous to help me learn! Everyone is here to help, IF you are open to learning!
Stay curious. Be eager to learn. Know you cannot be correct always. Keep an open mind. Have a question? Think it’s a stupid question? It’s alright. Ask away! You will be happy you asked!
Always ask yourself, “Why?” Always Be Curious. Those are the ABCs of my life. I’ve been extremely lucky for establishing a massive support network that helps me learn, every waking moment.
If I can do it, you can too!