by Nancy J. Lewis, MS, SHRM-CP, PHR, RCC
Intentional networking is critical to your business and career success. You may feel you are a great networker, but do you really connect with those you meet at events? Whether you meet one or ten individuals; ask yourself, how many people did you really connect with and will have conversations beyond the event? Consider the following three strategies when you go out to your next networking event.
1. Have a plan before you go to your networking event. That means doing your homework before you show up. Why are you going? What goals have you set for yourself when you get there? Is this your targeted group you want to make connections with? Is someone there you know who can make key introductions for you? Is this the best use of your time? Evaluate and answer these questions for intentional networking and watch your connections increase.
2. Get used to not giving out cards to everyone you meet. Everyone you talk to is not a connection. Business card exchanges should not just be something you do out of habit but with purposeful thought. Often times, you may exchange cards because you want to be a conduit for putting the person you just met with someone in your network. The business card exchange may not be for you personally and that is okay. The real issue
we have to address is simply giving out cards because we feel it is expected. How many times have you exchanged cards with someone you talked to for a minute or two? Did you follow up with them? Did the card even make it to your credenza in your office? Be willing to have great conversations with others; and, if there is not a reason to exchange cards be intentional, polite and keep it moving. The next person you meet might be the connection you have been waiting for. That is the power of intentional networking.
3. Get used to rejection. Develop thick skin and don't internalize every conversation that didn't go the way you thought it should. Be willing to smile and realize that when you practice intentional networking, everyone is not in the same place you are. Learn how to graciously move from those situations and remember every no is getting you closer to a yes. Rejection helps develop your character and confidence as you continue to grow your business and career.
Determine that your next event you attend you will practice intentional networking.
By Debra W. Gould, MS
We’ve all heard about the power of persuasiveness. Persuasiveness isn’t about getting others to agree with you. Persuasiveness is the confidence to overcome objections in order to get others to help you in reaching a goal.
1. Encourage: Don't rush into answering an objection. Don't defend, but also don't ignore. In this phase, you do not need to agree but you need to acknowledge the other person's right to object. Be willing to let the other person express his or her reservations completely. Listen carefully and pay attention to body language. Encourage by showing empathy. Put yourself in his or her place. Some key phrases include:
3. Confirm your understanding: Don't offer solutions until you are sure you understand the real objection:
If there’s a misconception, then clarify.
If there’s skepticism, then prove with examples, statistics and references.
If there’s a real drawback, then show the big picture; how advantages outweigh disadvantages.
If there’s a real complaint, then show action with a plan to address the complaint or concern.
4. Check for agreement: Has the person's concern been resolved? If not, start the process again.
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Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and
by Michelle Porchia
Nowadays more meetings are being held virtually—phone, webinars, Skype, etc. Below are suggestions on how to have a productive and effective meeting where people feel heard, understood, and time is used well.
People listen differently and hear differently. I'm sure you've replied "that's not what I said" to someone who has repeated what they thought they heard you say. I call this "different styles."
Main styles of communication:
Keep in mind that we all have elements of each style. What I am talking about are the main (strong) elements of communication styles. I am not labeling or putting people in a box. My intent is to help folks realize that it is often communication styles that impact our giving and receiving information, not our personalities. When we understand how we communicate and how others communicate, we can become more effective communicators and listeners.
For example: I have a tendency to ask a lot of questions. Some people saw this as interrogation. Others saw it as questioning them personally. I had to learn to adjust the way I asked questions and how many questions I asked. I also can be very direct and matter of fact and get right to the point. Some find this offensive. I’ve learned to “soften” my communication. It is not about changing who you are. It is about being heard and understood, and hearing and understanding others.
Phone Meeting Tips:
When we understand our communication style and how it impacts or off puts others and then we try to understand how others communicate, we can become more effective communicators and listeners. It will also help you to have more effective meetings.
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.