Embracing the Awkward
23 August 2019
Meeting people for the first time has the potential to be VERY awkward. What do you do? What do you say? Maybe you offer your hand, or maybe not. Handshakes vary from culture to culture. Maybe you're used to a kiss on the cheeks, a hug between friends, or a turkey, salmon, or butterfly.
Yup. A turkey, salmon, or butterfly.
Since breaking the ice puts everyone in an awkward and vulnerable position, why not embrace it. Acknowledge that you're in a space that few people enjoy being in and everyone wants to get out of as quickly as possible. Shout about it! "We're in this awkward space so we might as well make the most of it!"
Try these three ways to greet someone new AND learn something about that person. With each handshake, find a new person and embrace the awkward. By the end, you'll have met three new people and learned three new things about that person, and possibly about yourself.
Turkeys make a silly, gobble noise. Use your turkey handshake and answer the question, "what do you do that might be silly to others, but makes you feel comfortable?"
Fish often swim together in a school. Use your salmon handshake and answer the question, "what can you learn from a school of fish?"
Butterflies begin as caterpillars and grow through phases. Use your butterfly handshake and answer the question, "what do you need in your environment to grow?"
Are these weird? Yeah. Will they get your group talking? They sure will. Use what your group learned from each other to build a learning community that values each other’s opinions, thoughts, and ideas. Once you’ve embraced the awkward, that’s when your community begins to grow.
Find your turkey, your fish, your butterfly, and your community.