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Don’t Shy Away From Networking

You’re probably familiar with the old quote: It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. We think it’s what you know AND who you know. But the point is still valid – it pays to know people. So meeting new people is essential to building your career.

Lyndsey Pollak, a blogger for The Huffington Post, recently wrote about this subject in her post, Why Shy People Make Great Networkers. There’s a negative connotation associated with shyness.

Yet, according to Marti Laney, in her book, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, 60 percent of the people that are considered “intellectually gifted” are shy. People like Albert Einstein and Bill Gates. Pretty good company, huh?

So being shy can work to your advantage, even in networking. Here’s how:

Ask for referrals from people you know.
It’s more comfortable reaching out to someone when you have a common connection. It’s much easier because you can open with a mention of your shared friend. Plus you can develop relationships faster because you build upon the bond the two of you already have with your mutual acquaintance.

Ask more questions.
By their very nature, shy people talk less, and listen more. And they listen intently. That’s an advantage in following up. You’re able to bring up something you learned in your last conversation to launch your next one.

Most people love to talk about themselves. Shy people play into this natural tendency. That makes them more likeable. Which makes them more memorable!

Bring a friend.
If you’d feel more comfortable with someone by your side, then bring them along! You’ll be more at ease, so you’ll be more likely to reach out to strangers.

Networking experts usually advise against this, with good reason. They fear that you’ll be “wallflowers.” Resist that tendency with all your being!

Pollak suggests that you bring the most extroverted friend you know. Let him or her reach out to people. Of course, you’ll chime in once the conversation has started.

If I’m shy, you must not be …
Pollak cites studies that show that 40 to 50 percent of all people describe themselves as “shy.” Remember this the next time you want to reach out to someone.

If you’re shy, chances are they’re not. Just get the conversation started and they’ll run with it! If you’re not shy, chances are they are. They’ll welcome you initiating a conversation.

Our bigg quote today is by Rachel Naomi Remen, the educator and author.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person
is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever
give each other is our attention. A loving silence often has far more
power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”

So don’t be shy about listening … to people you know, to people you just met. Paying attention pays off!

Make it a goal this year to meet new people. Speaking of that, we’ve developed The Bigg Goal-Setting Workbook, which you can download free when you subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. Check it out today!

Next time, we’ll ask the question, “Does it pay to be smart?” We’ll talk about what your IQ says about how rich you’ll be. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Don't Shy Away From Networking

You’re probably familiar with the old quote: It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. We think it’s what you know AND who you know. But the point is still valid – it pays to know people. So meeting new people is essential to building your career.

Lyndsey Pollak, a blogger for The Huffington Post, recently wrote about this subject in her post, Why Shy People Make Great Networkers. There’s a negative connotation associated with shyness.

Yet, according to Marti Laney, in her book, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, 60 percent of the people that are considered “intellectually gifted” are shy. People like Albert Einstein and Bill Gates. Pretty good company, huh?

So being shy can work to your advantage, even in networking. Here’s how:

Ask for referrals from people you know.
It’s more comfortable reaching out to someone when you have a common connection. It’s much easier because you can open with a mention of your shared friend. Plus you can develop relationships faster because you build upon the bond the two of you already have with your mutual acquaintance.

Ask more questions.
By their very nature, shy people talk less, and listen more. And they listen intently. That’s an advantage in following up. You’re able to bring up something you learned in your last conversation to launch your next one.

Most people love to talk about themselves. Shy people play into this natural tendency. That makes them more likeable. Which makes them more memorable!

Bring a friend.
If you’d feel more comfortable with someone by your side, then bring them along! You’ll be more at ease, so you’ll be more likely to reach out to strangers.

Networking experts usually advise against this, with good reason. They fear that you’ll be “wallflowers.” Resist that tendency with all your being!

Pollak suggests that you bring the most extroverted friend you know. Let him or her reach out to people. Of course, you’ll chime in once the conversation has started.

If I’m shy, you must not be …
Pollak cites studies that show that 40 to 50 percent of all people describe themselves as “shy.” Remember this the next time you want to reach out to someone.

If you’re shy, chances are they’re not. Just get the conversation started and they’ll run with it! If you’re not shy, chances are they are. They’ll welcome you initiating a conversation.

Our bigg quote today is by Rachel Naomi Remen, the educator and author.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person
is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever
give each other is our attention. A loving silence often has far more
power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”

So don’t be shy about listening … to people you know, to people you just met. Paying attention pays off!

Make it a goal this year to meet new people. Speaking of that, we’ve developed The Bigg Goal-Setting Workbook, which you can download free when you subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. Check it out today!

Next time, we’ll ask the question, “Does it pay to be smart?” We’ll talk about what your IQ says about how rich you’ll be. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Success Snake Oil – Know When You’re Getting Scammed

We’re always on the lookout for good coaches. So last week, we had two phone calls that we want to share with you — one good, one bad. But there are lessons to be learned from both of them. Specifically, we want to discuss when it’s worth spending your time and money, and when you should run … and run fast!

  • If they don’t live up to their promises, even in the sales call …. run!
  • In what turned out to be the bad call, we were promised a one-on-one conversation with an internet expert. It turned out to be nothing but a scripted sales call.

    The good call, on the other hand, was a conversation. It was exactly what we were promised it would be … and more! It was personal. He had done research on us and our web site. It was what coaching should be.

  • If there’s lots of conversation, but almost no information … run!
  • With the bad call, we’re still not sure how their program works. Even though we were on the phone for about an hour. Details were sketchy. Answers to questions were vague. The most popular answer seemed to be, “That’s proprietary.” We weren’t given any details about the credentials of our would-be coach.

    The good phone call was completely opposite. We know exactly what we’re going to get, after only thirty minutes. We were given advice that we’re already using. And the price tag is much less.

  • If you’re told you have to make a decision now … run!
  • We were immediately cajoled with the bad call to make a decision on the spot. We told them that we don’t operate that way. They pressed on. Our experience shows that the best decisions are thoughtfully made after consideration – not an on-the-spot emotional decision. If you’re being asked to make a decision immediately, your best response is usually going to be “no”.

    Our coach on the good call didn’t ask for an immediate decision – in fact, he is so confident in what he has to offer, he suggested that we should not make an immediate decision. However, he still gave his advice freely!

  • If they’re playing mind games with you … run!
  • Build you up, tear you down, wear you out. That was the process we experienced with the bad call. Don’t fall for it.

    We were offered words of encouragement with the good call. We were also given some constructive criticism, which was very helpful. Constructive criticism is great; just tearing you down to make a sale is not. If you don’t understand the difference, reread the first three points!

We could go on, but these are the highlights of our discussion. Hopefully, you’ll find these helpful the next time you’re trying to buy something.

Our quote today is by Thomas Jefferson.

“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, ‘til you know there is no hook beneath it.”

So don’t get hooked … if it smells fishy, it probably is.

Next time, we get a visit from Santa. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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When A Co-Worker Bad Mouths You

We received an e-mail from David. He recently overheard one of his employees make some very negative comments about his management abilities.

He wants advice on how to approach this long-time employee of the company, who is about ten years older than David.

We have three recommendations for David:

  • Know your purpose before you start.
  • You want to have a conversation, not a confrontation. You want to find out if there is an underlying reason for your employee’s comments. Behave accordingly.

  • Report on what you heard.
  • Try to use the word “you” as little as possible. As in, “You said …” Instead, say “It was said …” You’ll accomplish far more by not backing him into a corner. Be as objective as possible so you’re more likely to have a productive conversation.

  • Role play.
  • We talked about 24 role playing] a couple of weeks ago. David’s situation is a great example of an interaction where role playing in advance is beneficial. As part of your role playing, come up with the possible scenarios. For instance, He cops an attitude This is a bad sign. However, as nicely and unemotionally as you can, let him know that you want a discussion, not an argument. Tell him again that you’re more concerned about why it was said than what was said. Keep in mind, though, that he may have become the proverbial “bad apple”. You may need to let him go. If you do, your remaining employees will likely ask you what took you so long. He denies he said it This is probably the most frustrating. Remind him that you heard it first-hand; it’s not hearsay. Ask him if he agrees with you that effective relationships, at work or anywhere, rely on honesty. If you can’t communicate honestly, it’s going to be hard to work together. He becomes overly apologetic He may have just been having a bad day and you got the brunt of it. Then move on … we all have bad days. However, it’s possible he’s not being sincere; he just wants to get you off his back now. Only you can judge that. He admits it and tells you what’s wrong This is the desired result. Hopefully, it’s the only scenario you encounter, but you may take a detour through one of the others. Regardless, thank him for his candor. Then demonstrate what a great manager you are by working with him to solve the underlying problem!

Our quote today is by Ayya Khema.

“Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most .”

It’s difficult to see a difficult situation as an opportunity to grow. But if you do … you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss intuition – it’s not just for women anymore, you know! Until then, here’s to your big success!

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The Communication Debate: E-mail, Phone, Or Face Time?

Surgeons have a number of tools available to them. They choose the right tool for the circumstances. Think of surgeons the next time you need to communicate with someone. Consider all the tools available and choose the right ones.

There are three things you should mull over before you select your communication tool.

  • Know your audience.
  • All of us have our own preferences, including the person, or persons, you plan to contact. If possible, use their favorite method to connect with them. Too often, we do what’s most convenient for us. You should make it easy for them.

  • Consider the subject.
  • Are you trying to convey a simple message? Or is it complex? Does the subject lend itself to “one-way and wait” dialogue, or would real-time two-way conversation be more productive? The answers to these questions may dictate your method of contact.

  • Think effectiveness.
  • As with any interpersonal communication, effectiveness is more important than efficiency. What’s the best way to deliver your message so it’s understood? Focus on achieving your desired result, not how fast you can get it done.

Here are some examples:

  • If you need a response, but you can wait … just e-mail me.
  • If you need an immediate response … let me hear your sexy voice.
  • You need to present a very complex idea … let me see your lovely face.
  • You want to follow-up on a meeting or an interview … just e-mail me.
  • You need to discuss a delicate situation … let me see your lovely face.
  • I’m very busy and you need to get answers fast … let me hear your sexy voice.
  • You need to negotiate a deal … let me see your lovely face.

Of course, you may determine that more than one method of contact is appropriate. For example, you might e-mail me to schedule a face-to-face meeting.

As a fallback, e-mail is great because it is the least invasive. Obviously, face-to-face is the most invasive. But meeting in person is the richest form of communication. E-mail is at the bottom of that list.

Our quote today comes from Lee Iacocca.

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get
them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

So get it right – use the right communication method at the right time for the right crowd in the right way.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at what to do when a co-worker bad mouths you. How should you confront this difficult situation? Until then, here’s to your big success!