Flash on the Beach after-thoughts: An ode to people – and a word of advice

I’m fresh back from Flash on the Beach in Brighton. The conference was great, hugely inspiring, and not to mention rather exciting, because I was fortunate to speak in the Elevator Pitch session.

And you know what made the conference even better? The people. I met so many interesting, bright and friendly people there, and that for me was the true high point of the conference.

As I mentioned, I got a chance to speak in the Elevator pitch session (see the video of my pitch here), and it was a fun experience speaking in front of such a great, large crowd. But what made me feel truly fortunate was all the kind people who took the time to comment on my pitch afterwards, both on Twitter and in person. I feel very, very appreciative that so many lovely people took the time to do this.

Which brings me to my second point of this post. Because it made me realise just how odd the Danish culture/ mentality is when it comes to praising, acknowledging and complimenting. A lot of Danes simply don’t do it. This oddity has its origin in the Jante Law; if you don’t know about this phenomenon, read up on it. It’s nasty.

Personally, I have consciously worked on breaking this pattern over the past many years. I still remember the first time I consciously decided to give a stranger a compliment. I was standing in line next to woman who was wearing this amazing, green coat, so I complimented her on it. My comment made her smile, and it quite possibly improved her day. How awesome is that? :)

Changing my behavior into acknowledging and complimenting others has given me so incredibly much – including a lot of great friends and acquaintances whom I think highly of.

And so here’s a suggestion to all who feel like this hit home: The next time you see someone doing a great job or something out of the ordinary – acknowledge them for their achievement, regardless of its size. It will cost you nothing, and I guarantee, you will leave an unforgettable impression. Who knows, you may even gain a friend.

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