One of my favorite (paraphrased) quotes is by business consultant Alan Weiss:
“If you can read with comprehension, write with expression, speak with influence, and listen with discernment – the world is yours.”
That quote is the reason I am contributing to this blog. Because by helping you learn how to use language to lower people’s defenses, I can help you build a career with far less effort and far less frustration than other, equally talented actors may experience.
First though, you need to clearly identify what people are “defending” themselves against. What are they afraid will happen if they engage with you?
Well, they are afraid…
…you will talk their ear off.
…you won’t keep track of the time which means the burden of ending the conversation will fall to them .
…you won’t have any questions for them (or just one, big question: “What do I need to know?”) Which puts the burden of figuring out what to tell you on their shoulders.
…or that you ‘ll have a million questions.
…that one email exchange or conversation with you will turn you into an unwanted penpal.
…they will give you great advice that you don’t act on, thus wasting their time.
…that after engaging with you you will make them feel obligated to do something (watch your reel, call you in, etc.)
Those are the reasons why (it can feel like) people avoid actors. However, if you can address some of those fears from the very start of your communication with someone, you can make them feel much more comfortable interacting with you. In future posts, we’ll talk about exactly what to say, what to write, and what to do…