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Being overwhelmed by meeting your idol

We all have idols and there are those special occasions where we actually have the honour of meeting them in person! SO exciting. But there is also the risk of being overwhelmed by meeting your idol and not making the most of the opportunity and experience!

Certainly I have met two of my heroes (heroines) in the last few years, and not only did I have to push myself from being a blubbering idiot who was overawed by being in the presence of greatness, but also to have the courage to ask for a selfie!! On of the first of these encounters was with Baroness Betty Boothroyd, whom I had contacted to ask if I could ask her some questions on how she used her voice when she was Speaker of the House. She invited me to the House of Lords, where she graciously gave me an hour out of her busy schedule to ask her questions.

It is so easy to NOT make the most of the time, because it is over so quickly, and I had to really concentrate to avoid the little voice in my head saying “OMG!! YES!!” As I always say to my clients in these situations, remain in the moment; don’t think about what might happen if you muddle something up, and enjoy the experience! Of course it is a memory I cherish.

Another time was when I became totally starstruck when I was in the greenroom at a conference I was speaking at, but where the keynote speaker was Alex Pollizi. I had no idea whether to speak to her: remember I’d come from the opera world where speaking to the Prima Donna was frowned upon unless they spoke first. Fortunately she started the conversation and was the warmest, down to earth lady. Such an energetic, intelligent person who was so interested in everyone else’s businesses. Being so ‘English’ I didn’t want to ask for a selfie, but it was only when I was elbowed out of the way by a delegate, wanting a selfie, that I asked!

The reason why I mention these stories is that one of my clients has been head hunted for senior positions. At the last two interviews she has met her idols in her particular industry. Her first reaction was excitement and ‘OMG!’ (like mine had been), and I was so worried she would be overawed by meeting them, rather than  having a proper recruitment conversation. We worked quite hard together, to prepare her mind, so this didn’t happen.

We all have idols, and it is a genuine privilege to meet them, particularly if they have taken time out of their schedule to have a conversation with them. Make the most of this opportunity, and remember, they are only human and are wanting to meet the best you, not a starstruck version of yourself. Good luck.

If you would like to discuss working with me please contact me or call 0800 093864

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