You might not believe this since I love teaching our “Be A Boss! 10 Secrets of a Mega EA” class to as many people as possible, but . . .
I. AM. AN. INTROVERT!
There. I said it. Phew!
I used to believe that because I was an introvert, there were certain things I could not do or I would not enjoy. (Some people might call this a “limiting belief”. And it was!) What I’ve learned is I just experience things differently than extroverts (or ambiverts). What once felt overwhelming (going to Keller Williams Family Reunion #KWFR or Mega Camp #KWMC with tens of thousands of people) is now something I look forward to and grow from. I used to have a goal to SURVIVE and now I’ve learned how to THRIVE!
We all know the magic happens OUTSIDE your comfort zone. So here are my tips on how an introvert can make the magic happen at ANY big conference:
1. Plan a “Reconnaissance Mission”.
Check in early. Get your nametag. Get the “lay of the land”. Scope out where the general sessions will be and where your favorite breakouts will take place. Which door/security entrance will you use? Find a good breakfast place and where you’ll get your coffee. Then you won’t feel so overwhelmed when the “masses” appear.
2. Get a Massage. Or sign up to use the hotel spa.
I’ve done this before Family Reunion and Mega Camp several times. As soon as I checked in and registered at the convention center, I got that nervous, butterflies in my stomach feeling. You know the one when you start seeing TONS of people and you feel like you’re part of an ant farm? Heading to the spa right after that allowed me to gather strength, get over my jet lag, and re-enter the world energized and ready to roll. Even if you don’t want to spend the money on a massage, most spas have a small fee you can pay to use the facilities. At KWFR in Vegas, I really enjoyed the “Quiet Room” and soaking in the spa pools.
3. Practice Your Self Talk.
Do you have a little voice in your head at events like this that says “You’re boring. Why would anyone want to talk to you? You’re terrible at small talk. Why would these big shots want to spend time with you?” I do. So I practice my self-talk before I go. My tribe of girlfriends implemented a rule. “If you wouldn’t say it to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.” I love that. So start talking to yourself like you would to your BFF. “You got this girlfriend. You’re awesome. The whole world should know how smart you are!” Write it on your bathroom mirror in your hotel room if you need to!
4. Get Your Own Room.
This has been a lifesaver for me. I know it costs more to do this, but you can more than make up for that with one referral during the year. Having my own room means I have a safe haven. And I don’t have a roommate who I feel like I have to talk to all the time. I always stay in the main hotel and as close to the convention center as possible. That way I can pop upstairs to freshen my make up, drop off materials or just have a quick 15 minute breather.
5. Wear a Hat.
Not a real hat. (Unless you are Renae Gibson, then you may wear a cowboy hat!) Just one in your mind. When I step onto the elevator and head down to the conference, I pretend I’m putting on my “High I” hat. (Watch this video if you’re not sure what High I means. It’s from the DISC profile.) I mentally put that hat on and lean in to the experience. It’s kind of fun sometimes to give yourself permission to see what it’s like living life on the other side!
6. Plan Meals Ahead.
Invite one or two people to join you for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s ok to invite people you don’t know. Post in the BE A BOSS, Mega EA or Real Estate Admin Facebook groups. Chances are there are others in the same boat. Been wondering about Brivity or CTE? Invite other EAs using those platforms to join you for a brainstorm over coffee. Wondering how your team can get from 200 units to 350 units? Set up a dinner mastermind. Has someone in the Facebook group really jumped out at you for their positive thinking? Invite them to join you for lunch. Having meaningful one-on-one conversation is important to introverts and planning ahead removes the anxiety that comes from big group gatherings.
7. Don’t Feel You Must Attend EVERY Breakout and EVERY session.
Sometimes the one-on-one meetings outside the sessions are more valuable. And sometimes you might just sit by the pool or nap in your room to recharge. Give yourself grace and build in that down time.
8. Have Conversation Starters Tucked in Your Pocket.
You’re already starting out with something in common with most people in attendance. Real estate! You’re here to learn & you love to grow. If you’re like me, you’re not necessarily comfortable with small talk, so come prepared with questions. Here are a few to try:
- “What’s the ONE THING you’re here to learn this week?”
- “What was your biggest accomplishment last year and what’s your biggest challenge this year?”
- “Where are you from and what does your team look like?”
- “What was the best book you read last year and what are you reading now?”
- “Tell me about the breakouts you went to yesterday.”
- “What’s your best AHA so far?”
And remember there are LOTS of High I’s in attendance, so chances are if you start the convo, they’ll run with it. Piece of cake!
If all else fails, PM me on Facebook. I’ll come find you and put you at ease!
Now let’s get BOSSY!
Christy Belt Grossman, CEO, Ops Boss Coaching™