Ultimately, it’s your level of visceral vitality that determines people’s desire to be with you. It’s all about the 0.19 second advantage.
Think about this question: What are you really to the people around you? Aren’t you just a bundle of emotional energy? Through your
words, actions and sheer presence, don’t you make them feel good or bad? So, how do you make the people around you feel? Are you a vitality-enhancer or a vitality-vampire?
Over 90 per cent of all communication is non-verbal. That means the sound of our voice and our physical appearance and gestures are what truly impact others. So, if I were to listen to your voice, would I hear the tone of turned-on passion and vitality? Or would I hear anxiety — the arch-enemy of vitality? Or would I just hear the usual tone of neutrality and compliance?
And if I looked at you, what would your stance and physiology be? Would I be struck by your aura of confidence and assurance? As I watched you speak, would I say to myself, “My goodness, this person loves what he’s doing. He really cares about helping me”? Or would I say to myself, “This person is just going through the motions. He seems a little bored”?
Why am I asking you these questions? Because just ramping up your visceral vitality will set you apart from the crowd. In a highly competitive world, we all need the edge. Often, just having high levels of vitality and energy will be enough to differentiate you from others. I’m walking this talk every day in my sessions with companies across the U.S. and Canada.
That’s really my job: sharing my visceral vitality with others. Yes, I believe that my content is world class but then, so is the content of hundreds of my competitors. What people really want is a high speed T1 line to energy and enthusiasm. In fact, that’s why you’re still reading these words. I know that you can feel the heat of my excitement radiating off the page.
Do other people get that sense from you? It doesn’t matter whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert. Some of the most vital people I know are quiet, softly-spoken individuals. But when they look at me I can see the four magical ingredients of visceral vitality in their eyes: intensity, sincerity, caring and conviction.
In fact, I believe that if you’re naturally shy, you may even have an advantage over more ebullient fellows like me. You know why? Because you’re gentle. You engage the trust and confidence of others immediately. Shy people are often the most eloquent people. So, if you are shy, use your shyness to your advantage. Don’t hide behind it.
So what’s the 0.19 second advantage? Well, did you watch the Olympic 100 meter men’s track final in Sydney, Australia in 2000? If you did, you’ll know that Maurice Greene came first in a time of 9.86 seconds.
What did Greene get? Everything — the gold medal, the acclaim, the lucrative sponsorships. Unless you’re a real running aficionado, you didn’t know that the name of the man who came fourth was Bernard Williams.
His time? 10.05 seconds, less than a fifth of a second slower than Greene. But look at the disproportionate reward that accrued to Greene in contrast to Williams. Williams is still the fourth fastest human in the world. But what did he get that day? The memory of having participated.
So I’m not asking you to make a quantum leap forward as a result of reading these words. I know you’re already among the best of your breed. All I’m asking is that you enhance your performance by 0.19 seconds. We all know that life isn’t fair, so you may as well use its unfairness to your advantage.