Although Ralph Waldo Emerson once called consistency âthe hobgoblin of little minds,â consistencyâs role in success should not be underrated. To achieve any goal â personal or professional â requires consistently doing what it takes to reach the objective. Â … Continue reading
How do you establish a connection with someone youâve just met? A crucial element to kicking off any relationship is building rapport based on trust, understanding, and commonalities. Power networking works best when you can build rapport quickly and genuinely. … Continue reading
An old adage says that 80 percent of success is just showing up. But how do you accomplish that other 20 percent â particularly following a networking event like a tradeshow or membership meeting? What comes after collecting a stack … Continue reading
In todayâs fast-paced, digital world, it gets easy in the hustle and bustle to overlook the human aspect of a business relationship. âThe foundation for successful networking and relationship building is making a good connectionâthat initial contact with someone rooted in mutual interest or experience that breaks down the wall that exists between us,â said Randy Haim, managing partner of Atlanta-based Bell Oaks Executive Search. âThese connections should emanate from your genuine desire to learn about the other person and determine what you have in common.âÂ
In his whitepaper âConnectingâ¦ The Forgotten Art of Social Interaction,â Haim outlines 10 connection-building skills to develop before your next big networking opportunity. Here are a few:Â
- Ask questions â This may be one of the oldest pieces of networking advice, but it holds true: you are more interesting when you ask questions. People love to talk about themselves, particularly to someone they can tell is listening with genuine interest. As you get them talking, listen actively, looking for common ground.
- Get personal â Weâre often trained to avoid personal information in business conversation. However, conversations are human interactions, and those personal components â faith, family, values, perspective â are what make us who we are. Donât shy away from sharing your values and talking with someone about theirs. However, getting to this personal level is uncomfortable for some, so gauge the reaction you receive and proceed accordingly. When done well and with a warm reception, this is a powerful way to an authentic, deep dialogue that can lead to a strong relationship.
- Use humor â Laughter is one of the easiest icebreakers. Jokes veer toward awkwardness, but when you use humor by making light of a situation or poking fun at yourself, it can build an instant â and positive â bond.
- Connect through content â Donât be afraid to take the next step in showing someone youâre genuinely interested in what they have to say by putting that interest into action. If your contact mentions struggling with a professional development challenge and youâve recently read something on the subject, go ahead and send them an email with the link to the article or a review of the book. This creates a point of discussion and follow up for future interactions.
As you work to better connect with new contacts at a personal, human level, youâll be surprised at how naturally and easily networking becomes. Focusing on individuals as people, not stepping stones to success, forges a deeper bond that may sustain beyond the business at hand.
Networking is undoubtedly an important professional activity, but could you use it for marketing â or even as your sole means of marketing? By harnessing word of mouthâs power while providing a quality good or service with potential to help … Continue reading
In todayâs world of social media, it seems like everyone and their dog has a blog. (No, really â Iâve seen âdog blogsâ!) However, blogging can and should be valued as a platform for differentiating yourself from peers and competitors. Not only is it a space to opine, but itâs also a way to find and create opportunities you never knew existed. Here are a few ways that blogging could lead you to bigger and better things:Â
- Build a personal brand â A blog provides a platform in which you can share your personal passion and expertise, whether that be related to your profession or not. Some hobby bloggers have gained such followings that theyâve made blogging a lucrative full-time gig, like Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman. Reeâs quirky personality and killer recipes made so many fans that sheâs gained sponsors, national exposure on morning shows, and even her own series on The Food Network, not to mention publishing a cookbook. Her success is one in a million, but it showcases how much people connect with passion and stories, no matter in what specific area. If youâre an avid golfer, tell some of the experience that stand out from your time on the course. Draw analogies between your golf game and business or life in general. Help your personality shine through. Many bloggers have made their way to the corporate speaking circuit or the realm of consulting.
- Increase your network â One of the interesting dynamics of todayâs online world is that perfect strangers can find one another by connecting over content, whether it be vigilance over car-seat safety or a shared interest in bird-watching. Place relevant, engaging content in the blogosphere, and then take the time to find bloggers with a shared passion. If you comment on their blogs and engage in a conversation â not merely trying to direct traffic to your own blog â then you will be able to find like-minded online friends. Increased connections up your chances of professional opportunities, either from focusing your blogging energy on a professionally relevant issue or by making new friends who might know someone with the ability to get you to the job you need.
- Keep current on whatâs hot (or not) â Blogging can be a great way to learn what connects with people. See what people are talking about in the blogosphere, and notice what posts you write draw the most comments and debate. Donât shy away from being a little controversial. Donât purposefully incite a fight, either â but if you have strong opinions on a particular subject, be bold in stating them. Listen openly to those who counter, and respond thoughtfully. Not only will everyone benefit from a reasoned discussion, but it will also help frame you as an individual who is willing to take a stand.