I’ve been having second thoughts on something that I threw out on twitter this morning.
I originally took up the ninja brand because I admired traits like quick reflexes and stealthy effectiveness. Face-to-face networking isn’t just about listening. It’s about digesting all the information fed to you by your heightened ninja senses, using that intel to correctly and instantly relate to the other party, and doing it all in a very condensed time lapse. This is the real reason why speedy reflexes are a must, and also the secret behind why most people (myself included) find networking an exhausting happenstance.
Why happenstance? (Such an awesome word.) Because networking goes on everywhere and anywhere, whether you’re dressed to impress or rocking oil-stained sweats on your off day. Whether you’re typing out a much-revised, wordy blog post in zentext or tweeting on the fly.
Family Negates the Networking Rules
Going back to that ranty twitter update, what I probably meant to say was: all of the ninja tactfulness and diplomacy goes down the tubes whenever I’m dealing with blood. Relatives, that is.
It starts well – always does. You square off open, communicative, ready to come to a meeting of the minds. You think back to all of the snazzy tricks you’ve learned in ninja school. You’re confident that just this time, things will go differently. Yeah, optimist. Somewhere in between fielding arguments of “if you really cared about me/us, you would do this…” all logic goes out the window and you turn into a snarly brat.
Self Admission Comes First
I have a quick temper and little patience for things that don’t work ‘properly.’ Sometimes, I get so wrapped up with perfecting the process that I forget about the people affected by my decisions. It’s both a strength and weakness that I’ve known since I took that first mandatory Myers-Briggs evaluation way back in high school. (I’m the INTJ sort of ninja.)
Having experienced running my own company, and now heading marketing initiatives have taught me how to see the field from other perspectives. It’s something I continually have to work at, but with experience and great role models, I’ve learned internal ways of dealing with problems without the accompanying emotions. Most of the time.
These strategies have always failed dead-on when there’s family involved. I’m starting to wonder why: is it more of an age thing or a clashed personality thing? Am I going to have to deal with foot-in-mouth-syndrome my entire life, or is there something to be said about the twenties that makes it harder to relate to your relatives (yet infinitely easier than the preceding teenager decade)? I don’t really have a final say on this one. I’ve only been able to go as far as effectively putting the full-stop on inquiries to my most un-ninja-like behaviour: