Stop Talking About Yourself

I recently attended a conference where I heard two speakers. The first speaker chose to relay a message that was applicable to our business, our life and our field. There was nothing really specific to architecture about it, however it addressed topics that we as architects could relate to and understand. We could use his insight to better our future endeavors. It was clear that his address could have been to anyone: architects, lawyers, accountants or doctors. It was interesting, engaging and helpful.

The second speaker spoke about himself. He started with a slide show of projects his firm completed, continued with projects his firm completed, interjected slides of two paintings that he painted himself, and ended with projects his firm completed. Though aesthetically interesting and even architecturally inspiring, I found the approach to educate and engage versus talk about oneself much more appealing.

Maybe at times, we, the architect or designer or lawyer or doctor, who love what we do and love to talk about what we do, look beyond ourselves to express our ideas. I know it’s hard, but the people around us may appreciate it much more than seeing an abstract we painted for over the mantle.

~Barron Schimberg, AIA, LEED AP