One of the greatest skills to have as an adult

I didn’t like the assignment that much—the idea of going up to strangers and asking them if they want to sign up for a mailing list. But I did it anyway, because it was my assignment. After all, my goal was to support organizations dedicated to social causes.

Our “team” was of 4 people or so. Each of us were given a FAQ prior to the event which I read thoroughly and printed it out.

“Do we have a pitch?” I said.

“Oh I think that people will just say whatever they want.”

I grimaced, knowing exactly how that would go. Partly because I didn’t quite trust people to know how to involve people, make them feel empowered, and engage them at the right level. But instead, I shoved my distrust aside and just smiled, saying some words that I would say.

So with all the experiences I had in establishing rapport for user research, I dragged out the extrovert and approached people. All at once, with the first ten people, I chatted up people. Complimented their signage. Created a safe space where they could opt in freely without any pressure. Set expectations of the email message and/or text message frequency. And most of all, thank them them for showing up.

Interestingly, although it wasn’t a competition, I was able to garner more than 10. Credit, yes, for myself. But I thought about this—my most hated type of job to beg for support. And yet, success did arrive nonetheless. But I hope at least this wouldn’t be everything that I would need to do.

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