Stretching your network can be instrumental in achieving professional goals. One client confessed that he thought networking was supposed to be terrible. He's not alone! Read his story to find out how he stopped overthinking it.
I thought networking was supposed to be terrible. That was my experience with it: you go into a room full of strangers and try to make a “connection”. What that meant to me was to impress my contacts and convince them, in a short conversation, of my brilliance. As I never succeeded at this, I wasn’t really sure what would come next, or what I hoped would come of it (perhaps an immediate job offer?).
Clarity gives you the courage to walk through the door and curiosity makes it easy for you to keep your emotions in check. Armed with both you will make connections and initiate conversations that are as powerful as they are totally unpredictable. These talking tips were inspired by science-based conversation hacks.
Encourage people to talk about themselves and when you do, it gives them as much pleasure as food or money. Smile, make eye contact, and ask simple, open-ended and unexpected questions. Listening without interrupting takes practice. Read their name badge and use the information actively in conversation. “Hi Bill, you’re from BGH Consulting, what’s your specialty?” Play off a change of seasons, “It’s September. What were the highlights of your summer?” Focus on the event. “We’re hearing from a futurist today, what trends are you interested in learning about?”
Networking is very much alive but the dreaded elevator pitch is finally dead - and not a minute too soon!
We’re replacing the phoney, one-sided, introductions that cause other people’s eyes to glaze over while they silently scream, “Please get away from me!”, with a calm curiosity that gets people talking. When we listen to others, we uncover the clues that allow us to make real connections with them, and to support them in unexpected ways. Science shows that providing people with the chance to talk about themselves gives them as much pleasure as food . . . or money!
Have you hit the wall at work? It’s no surprise if you honestly can’t remember the last time you learned something new or led an interesting or challenging project. Your coworkers aren’t holding-up their end of the bargain, the rumor mill is churning, and sick days are looking like a great escape – even when it means you’re really sick. You missed out on a promotion and, instead of mentoring you, your boss alternates between ignoring you and micro-managing you while challenging every decision you make. You’re surviving in the aftermath of a hiring freeze and your single digit raise left you feeling more frustrated than motivated. All signs point to the closest exit.
Without realizing it, Maura was quickly derailing one interview after another. Frustrated, she reached out for help. With a little coaching, she was able to switch things up and nailed the interviews for the perfect position.
Two modest letters combine to create one powerful statement - “NO”. Thinking strategically, we can selectively use “no” to stay in control of our time and resources. Amy Gallo’s HBR’s Best on Saying No to More Work reminds us to:
“People make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy.” Jack Canfield
If not today, tomorrow or sometime this month, a challenging conversation is sure to pop-up sometime in your future. It’s easy to create your own luck with a clear strategy, preparation, and pre-conversation.
Here are 3 critical steps to prepare for any high stakes discussion:
How many of us thought of ourselves when we first read those four words? During this reflective time of year, remember that the most important conversation is the one we have with ourselves.
Marie Forleo’s video got me thinking. Here’s an exercise to set ourselves up to take pride in our work and to live the life we truly want. Put yourself first, take your time, and reach out to your mentors, fans, and contrarians. Get their help stretching your imagination, discovering how other people see you, and finding the clarity that makes it easy to take the first step toward achieving your goals.
Destroying a decade of hard earned trust is surprisingly easy and profoundly devastating.
Late one afternoon at a busy city clinic, Mika finished-up her patient work and was headed back to her office. She passed her boss Dave in the hall, and he asked her to drop by his office. She and Dave have worked together for 8 years and they have a great rapport. Walking over, she thought he would say something positive about the community outreach program she recently ran that attracted dozens of families and generated lots of positive PR. Yet, when she walked into his office, she quickly sensed a problem. He barely gave her time to sit down before saying, “People are noticing that you aren’t around much.”
At work, our network is a constantly expanding web of interwoven relationships. This network grows more valuable over time and skillful negotiation becomes the key to success.
A successful negotiation is an honest and respectful conversation where both people win. Win-win negotiations clearly reflect our values and our firm refusal to make concessions that put our fundamental beliefs in jeopardy. When we stay true to ourselves, we prevent the dreaded flood of anger, frustration, disappointment, stress, and guilt.
In How to Say No and Still Get to Yes, William Ury presents the components of a successful negotiation: