On force, people, and expectations

On force Be careful not to be too forceful in your speech and your actions. You tend to think that just because you are comfortable with that energy, everyone else is too. That's not true. It actually makes many people uncomfortable when your speech becomes too stern. They're paying more attention to the nature of your speech rather than the substance. Don't let this habit distract from your message! You're probably not doing it on purpose, either. You might counter and say that you just have a naturally strong voice, and that might be true. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that you could control it. You could pay attention to the force of your speech and adjust it accordingly. In most situations, you do—emulate that in all situations.

On people You interact with a good amount of people on a daily basis in a variety of ways. Sometimes you see them face-to-face, sometimes you interact virtually. Those interactions must be well chosen. You are not saying no to nearly enough, and it is costly. You are achieving less and are less focused than usual. You spend way too much time keeping up with your correspondences throughout the day rather than working. You are putting what matters to the side simply because you feel obliged to reply. Yes, you are obliged to reply. Who said you must reply now? Past that, who said that you have to agree to a meeting? Who told you to continue the conversation for hours on end? With people, you have to have an end in mind. Think beforehand how you'll end the interaction. Have an exit, and take the exit. Return to your work. Return to what matters.

On expectations Nobody ever expects you to be exactly who you are. You don't expect many other people to be who they are. The power of a first impression is truly powerful, but it's also not the whole story. I've noticed that nearly everyone you talk to starts with very low expectations and ends the conversation surprised at who you turned out to be. That may or may not be a problem. What happens when you don't have the chance to sit down with them and answer questions for an extended time? They will leave thinking you're exactly what they thought you were. You will have failed to break the mold. Of course, you can't explain your entire being in an elevator pitch, otherwise you would. That would be effective, but it's impossible. I recommend that you pay more attention to your first impression. This may come in the form of dressing more professionally or even how you introduce yourself. Right now, you have leverage by stating your age. Because of your young age, people are intrigued. Soon, this advantage will wither away, so maybe it's time to focus on other ways to get people's attention. Don't introduce yourself as a mere child, and perhaps you won't be viewed as one.

Diego Segura