Power Inside an Elevator
The Elevator. We’ve all been in one. Usually we are awkwardly starting at the buttons, the ceiling, the floor, anything to not make contact with the other riders traveling up and down that small confined box. It’s probably the one place in the world that we are the closest in proximity with other people, but the most distant.
Just this week I had a conversation with a friend who told me about a recent encounter with an upper-level manager at her organization. While she didn’t know exactly who the man standing less than a foot away from her was, she did know that she was just tired of standing in awkward silence. So she built up her courage and just said, “Hello. I’m Michelle.”
With that one simple introduction, a friendly smile and her Why Not! attitude, my friend had just opened the door to the start of a mentoring relationship with a very prominent regional manager. He appreciated the break in silence as much as she did, asked her who she was and where she worked. By the time they reached the ground floor, he invited her to schedule some time with him as he acknowledged her gusto in just saying hi. Now my friend is being mentored on a weekly basis by someone who can really help her navigate her career.
So the next time you are in an elevator, do yourself and your career a favor by just introducing yourself. It will break the awkward silence and give you something better to listen to than just that annoying muzak. You never know. You may wind up making a new work friend or, better yet, a new mentor.