It’s my first go at a co-working morning. I don’t get it. I don’t work with these other people. What business is it of theirs what I do? Is that guy looking at me? How dare he listen to me on the phone. I bet he can see my screen too. I bet he thinks I should be doing this differently. And what if he sees something he shouldn’t? I’m not liking this. I’m going to make an excuse and get out of here. “Sorry everyone, just had a text from school, I’ve got to pick my son up. He’s not well. See you next time. All the best”. Great now I can go home, set up in the front room, put the snooker on in the background and I’m happy again.
Maybe I just didn’t understand it. Other freelancers who I know, like and respect co-work and they shout about it. It can’t be all bad can it? These are people that talk with sense and wisdom all the time. I’m missing something.
The other day we had a stall at a business exhibition. It was great. We were proactive and welcoming to people and we got a lot out of it. There were three of us in front of our stall and we got a great response from people. When it was quiet we would talk to each other, the stall next to us and the stall across from us. It was great fun. We all enjoyed it and that positivity then filtered into how we were with the visitors. I looked at a few other stalls where there would be one person sat down behind the table. Immediately there was a barrier but most of all there was either a glum or a neutral expression on the face. Because this person hadn’t been talking and therefore smiling they didn’t look ready to interact. They would have to warm up and then speak in one go. With first impressions so important to people (especially as we’re all in a rush these days) could these people afford the time to warm up this way? I don’t feel that I could do that.
This got me thinking about sitting in my front room with the snooker on. How bad would I sound if I answered the phone to a customer 2 hours after even saying a single word to anyone. A smile comes across in a voice. You can’t disguise it with a handkerchief over the phone Frank Drebin style (one for the teenagers there). If I’m in a room with good people, there’s interaction and enjoyment then I’m going to be in a better place to communicate well with customers. If people in the same room as me hear it then it might impress them.
So perhaps this co-working lark is a good thing after all. Who knows, I might even find new customers, or suppliers, or share new ideas. Maybe even make friends. Perhaps I should ignore any silly anxieties I might have and give this co-working a go. Maybe even next week.