Do you remember playing the Show and Tell game in elementary school?
Students were encouraged to bring a unique item to class with them and share with their classmates its significance by holding it up or passing it around (showing) and describing it to their classmates (telling).
The idea behind the game was to boost confidence, help foster better communication skills, build relationships, and encourage collaboration and dialogue.
Whatever you chose to share — whether it was a favorite toy, pet, or stuffed animal — also allowed others a glimpse into your world and let them know what mattered most to you.
The same principles of this beloved childhood game can be applied to our careers and reap similar rewards, provided we’re mindful about it.
Here’s how to make the most of professional show and tell:
Your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions in ourselves and others.
A huge part of EQ is self-awareness, which is understanding not only how you move through the world but also how your energy affects others. It allows you to realize that everything is connected—your interactions with other people, how they perceive you, your attitude, and your responses to them in the moment—and all can be enhanced through better self-awareness.
You can also demonstrate your emotional intelligence through empathy, which is about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective.
One of the best ways to develop your empathy? Listen more and talk less. And when you’re with someone, resist the urge to multitask. Instead, give others your full and undivided attention so you can truly listen to what matters most to them. Add to that an open-mindedness to considering differing points of view, and you’ll make others feel valued and heard.
When you’re curious, you’re open. Open to exploring new ideas, experiences, and possibilities. Open to meeting new people and learning new things. Open to leaving behind outdated mindsets and limiting beliefs to make room for your highest and best self. And it’s that openness—that curiosity—that fuels growth. Leading with curiosity also means you’ll become a lifelong learner, which is an asset in any career.
Others they can trust you
Trust is the basis of all successful relationships. And ultimately, in business (and life), cultivating relationships is how you’ll excel.
To build and keep trust, put others first. Listen more than you speak, focus on serving (not selling), always do what you say and say what you do to eliminate ambiguity, and align your words and actions to demonstrate your integrity, reliability, and dependability. Finally, remember that attention is precious, and trust can be abused. In a world where you can be anything, be kind and respectful—especially if you hope to earn someone’s trust.
Others you appreciate them
Words have power, so use yours for good. Thanks and gratitude can be expressed by telling people you appreciate them and their efforts, lifting others up with words of encouragement, and publicly acknowledging a job well done. Small acts of kindness are contagious and create a virtuous cycle of good.
When you mess up
We’re all human and inevitably will screw up from time to time. In those instances, immediately take responsibility for your mistake and share how you’ll rectify it. When things go astray, demonstrate accountability and be a person of your word to preserve trust and maintain your relationship.
People about your journey
Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. But it transforms into something truly powerful when shared because all the wisdom in the world is meaningless without application.
Sharing your journey shows others how you navigated challenges, overcame obstacles, and found successes. This opens up a dialogue and can help you become a resource to serve others. It also inspires people to apply your insights to better their lives and careers.
By regularly sharing your insights and experiences, you’ll be seen as an emotionally intelligent thought leader who strives to serve others.