All posts in Networking Tips

Serendipity

It never fails to amaze me how much about successful networking is just remembering to mention things of interest to the people you know.  Having said that, I’m going to be a bit more circumspect than my normal lay it all out self as I share this story.  Sometimes you do have to remember that there are things that should stay private.

As some of you know, I am Chair of the BOA of Anthurium Solutions…which continues to move forward as we develop fantastic platforms for Unlocking Idle IQ.  A few days ago I’m having one of my regular calls with Tim Simard, our most excellent CEO, and happen to mention that I am meeting with a global healthcare executive of a major multinational about some possible projects in Africa for the Wharton Global Consulting Practicum.

We chat a bit about how Anthurium can do a few things that might interest Multinational.  How cool is this?  I agree to add talking about Anthurium to my upcoming meeting.

The very next day Tim sends me a note that he was talking with an organization where we expect (hope?) to get a trial started in the next few weeks and they mentioned…the very same Multinational.  Not only that, they mentioned projects in Africa…and the name of a fellow they know and work with at Multinational.

I’m not exactly sure yet, but from what I googled it looks like Their Multinational Guy reports to…My Multinational Guy.  I just love this.

And how did I meet My Multinational Guy?  I went off months ago and gave a talk at a Global Conference and so did My Multinational Guy.  He and I got talking and next thing you know…we connected. 

Serendipity Tip: It happens everywhere…if you speak up

And on a totally seperate note, I received these two pictures from a friend the day before Groundhog Day:

 

The note said that he had noticed a family resemblance and so wondered if I would be out looking for my shadow too.  The bizarre thing is that the longer I looked at these pictures the more I decided he was right.  Perhaps I’ve found the answer to why I like living in the woods and have this lack of a date problem.  Hmmmm…

Thinking Interruptus: comments on a comment

Seems I’ve managed to make it to three postings…quite amazing. And people are signing up expecting I’ll keep at it and be humorous and educational and entertaining and deliver useful information…each and every posting. The pressure is mounting.

Luckily, interesting networking things happen all the time. For instance, did you notice that I got two comments that were great networking tips? Of course they need a little of my special sauce to cook into something fun and engaging so….

Shaun wrote “congratulations on a job well done.” Ooops, that’s not the tip. The tip was hidden in his comment about not talking in the middle of a golfer’s backswing. While he was writing about breaking a golfer’s concentration his thought really generalizes into a big mistake people (not you, other people) make all the time: they interrupt while people are thinking!

People think and process information in different ways and at different speeds. And you need to give them the time they need before rushing on to your next comment. That silence you hear is them thinking it through, gathering their thoughts, ruminating on you and your ideas.

And if you want to connect with people and develop those nice, deep, long lasting relationships that lead to all kinds of good things…let them think. Show respect, show interest, show understanding. Treasure silence.

So I have an easy exercise for you. But you have to actually do it to learn anything. So Do It!

Exercise: Watch people carefully when you’re talking to them. When their eyes unfocus, when they stare at the ceiling, when they go inside…stop talking until they come back. That’s it. But there are two really difficult parts to this exercise: 1. you really have to pay attention to the other person 2. you really have to learn to keep your mouth shut and treasure silence.

Now practice this exercise and notice what a difference it makes in how people respond to you. And send in a comment about your experiences. And let them finish that thought.

Thinking Tip: thinking interruptus leads to networking destructus

Steve networking in Bryce Canyon last week.  He's the speck waving from the top of that spire in the middle

Steve networking in Bryce Canyon last week. He's the speck waving from the top of that spire in the middle

To my surprise, it’s me again…

To my great amazement, this blog thing worked. People actually read it and two posted comments. (well, one is my father and the other a partner in the folks who manage The Website and all, but still….) So far no yelling.

Speaking of yelling, I was with some people the other day and one of them was just so loud it made my ears hurt. And then a couple of the other people that were there asked me if it was them or was this person really loud. The conversation was nice and smooth, and then this huge rise in volume took place and pushed us back, and then it returned to nice and smooth. It was just like….when the commercial comes on and we all adjust the volume down until the show returns. Or leave the room.

Got me thinking about how many people drive others away rather than invite them in close due to not being aware of the volume, tone, and pitch of their voices.

So here’s a little something you can try to see if you’re inviting them in or driving them away with the sound of your voice: pay attention to your voice and vary it. Notice which volumes, tones, and pitches have what effects. And particularly notice how when you speak softly everyone leans in closer. Now isn’t that nice?