By Rowena Horne
When you meet someone who is passionate about what they do, you can tell in an instant.
Their eyes light up when they talk. Their stories are compelling. They invite you into their world. They are generous with both information and time. Even mundane questions from you are enthusiastically answered.
I was privileged enough to spend a couple of hours “behind the scenes” recently with a master distiller of a well-known brand. Co-owner and founder, he has been part of putting together a group of smart, strategic thinkers who remain down to earth. They are innovating and experimenting while staying true to their roots…and their passion is contagious. Sure they have had their challenges but the business results are unarguable, it’s working.
Tim’s* passion for his craft, his ability to translate for the layman (and woman), to tell engaging tales of highs and lows, to provide educational content in a truly interesting, authentic way was really refreshing.
But it did get me wondering, why was this such a unique experience for me – why don’t I feel this passion from my barista, my tram driver, my handyman? I took that thought a step further, how do we ensure we can all become more like Tim?
- Let your passion show. Try unapologetically owning that this is a topic you love and you want to share that passion with others. Approaching something positively and enthusiastically helps others respond in the same vein. Genuine passion (just like genuine smiles and laughter) is hard to look away from.
- Find ways to connect your passion to something meaningful for others. Explain without jargon, contextualise and build an understanding. Use synonyms or stories to help people see your passion as you do. WHY you are passionate about something, how it makes you feel or helps others is usually much more interesting than the history or stats or dry data.
- Invite them to experience it firsthand. Demonstrate, sample, workshop, use pictures, invite them to your next meet up or to sit in on a presentation. Something experienced is much more powerful than something abstract.
Let’s begin to foster a culture that celebrates drive, that demands engaging experiences, that expects employees who can’t help but share their stories. We should feel compelled to answer our calling.
“I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein
Tell us about your passion…we dare you!
*Not his real name