Here’s a link to a GREAT primer from Portland’s Neighborhood Notes blog that’s titled, “How Small Business Owners Should Be Networking.” It’s really all about the basics of networking for everyone and even covers how to utilize new school tools to make the most out of in-person opportunities. Below are the first few paragraphs to hopefully entice you into reading the rest of the post:
Networking doesn’t have to feel like a sale. Or an awkwardly ostentatious forum for egotistical schmoozing and one-upmanship.
Networking should feel more like socializing—finding common interests and then sharing ideas and solutions to problems—especially in Portland’s diverse but cooperative small business culture.
So-called networking “events” shouldn’t even necessarily be formal affairs or paid conferences, but rather a real, honest encounter where you can develop professional collaboration or even a friendship. And while networking often means breaking out of your shell and putting your best foot forward, many difficult situations in life are also moments of growth and require going outside of your comfort zone.
Here’s the link again:
In this next meeting, we’ll be joined by a good friend of Career Horizons and one of the top local experts on professional networking, Sandy Jones-Kaminski of Bella Domain. Having recently published her new book, mentioned above, Sandy has agreed to come share some of her top tips about how to win friends and influence people in the modern marketplace. A huge proponent of the “pay it forward” philosophy, she’ll be discussing some personal stories of how she’s leveraged her network of relationships to great effect and how her constant attempts to assist others have brought her many levels of personal/professional prosperity, in return. It should be an exciting discussion, and in the first hour of the meeting, we’ll also be engaging in some networking exercises and icebreakers designed to help all of you make some new acquaintances and become more effective at this important interpersonal aspect of the job search process.
One of the things I reviewed with the group had to do with some networking myths (included below) which I believe I adequately debunked during the presentation. My goal was to set the stage for all 47 of his guests to read the gift copy of my book (he provided them) with a much more open mind. Based on the feedback I received at the end of the event, as well as Matt’s kudos, it appears I did fairly well and I think I even achieved my goal!
What a great time I had and what a wonderful group this was to be part of today! Thanks so much Matt – you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan than moi!
|Myth #1: Networking means you’re looking to use people to achieve selfish goals, or opportunistically ask people for help. REALITY: The definition of the word network according to The Oxford Dictionary:nétwerkn. & v. a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes.
Networking can be defined as one’s efforts to create this group, and of course it can be done honestly and considerately!
|Myth #2: You have to be a born networker or a natural at it. REALITY: The skills needed to be an effective networker can be learned by anyone. Get comfortable asking folks you meet, “So, what are you working on these days?” or, “What do you need help with right now?” Then, just read my new book titled, “I’m at a Networking Event—Now What???” for more ways to further develop your networking muscle.|
|Myth #3: You must have above average charisma to be a good networker. REALITY: You merely need to be thoughtful, sincere and genuinely helpful. You get offered a job or opportunities from people who are trusting of you. There IS a hidden job market out there, but you have to be willing to be open and giving to be part of it.||Myth #4: You have to be a good talker or an overly chatty “schmoozer” to be a good networker. REALITY: The truth is it is almost the exact opposite. According to Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Garage Technology Ventures, Forbes columnist, and author of the recently published, Reality Check, “The mark of a good conversationalist is not that you can talk a lot. The mark is that you can get others to talk a lot. Thus, good schmoozerʼs are good listeners, not good talkers.”|
It’s time to start making a list of the things you’d like to leave behind in 2009.
As I shared last year, a few years ago, my hubby and I learned about an incredibly helpful year-end tradition that we’ve embraced. For us, and other folks that aren’t fans of a new years resolution list, making a list of the things you’d like to leave behind in 2009 allows us all to create space for the things we really want to have in our lives in the new year.
Be sure you can print it though, and then on New Year’s Eve say a little “goodbye” to your entire list and do something dramatic with it like burn it in your fireplace, flush it down the toilet, bury it in the sand at the beach or in the dirt in the woods or somewhere other than your backyard (it’ll still be around then).
If you’d like an example I’ve decided to once again share mine (I’ll add to it between now and Dec 31):
Sandy’s best left behind in 2009:
Unconscious people (still working on this weed out from last year)
The excuse that I have no time to work out if I’m writing a book (I’ve joked that you too can write a book if you just stop working out!)
Acquaintances that simply do not demonstrate an interest in creating a quality or meaningful connection
Working without even the opportunity of a few decent windfalls
Netflix (boo hoo!)
Buying things that I can easily just borrow from others
Trying to remain “friends” with people that really don’t have the same core values as I/we do
AMEX Rewards plan loyalty
Checking my book ranking on Amazon daily
So, that’s all I have come up with so far, but I am sure they’ll be more and here’s to a very HAPPY 2010!
No doubt due to the increase in unemployment rates, many of us have seen an increase in LinkedIn invitations in our inbox. I’m all for helping and connecting people that I’ve met and/or know via a trusted contact, but for those unrecognizable or unsolicited invitations (and especially those that don’t even bother to personalize their invite, which LinkedIn makes so very easy to do), I thought I’d go ahead and share a set of guidelines from LinkedIn that I abide by:
Invitation to Connect
Only accept an invitation if you know the sender and want them in your network.
Accept invitations when:
- You want to stay in touch with the inviter
- You know and trust their judgment and expertise
- You’ve worked with them and would recommend them
- They know your work and can represent your potential
Do not accept invitations when:
- You don’t know the sender well (consider replying or deciding later)
- If you don’t know the sender at all, click on the “I don’t know” button or “Flag as Spam”
Flagging as Spam:
When you select “Flag as Spam” on an invitation, the sender will be blocked from inviting you again, and their invitations will be reviewed to make sure the User Agreement has not been violated.
So, if we’ve never met, and you’re working with (and paying money to) someone that advises you to send unsolicited LinkedIn invites, please contact me for a different point of view. I’ve worked with LinkedIn both corporately as well as an individual since early ’04 (even attended a 4 hr LinkedIn training hosted by BMA Chicago and LinkedIn), and understand their best practices thoroughly. I never advise my business or personal branding clients to send unsolicited or impersonal invites to non-recruiters because it quite often does more damage than good.
Note: See my Consulting Services to find my Learning to Love LinkedIn session info. $295 for 3 hours of personalized in-depth learning.
ADDENDUM FEB, 20, 2009 – CIO reports that LinkedIn is clamping down and getting aggressive about enforcing their acceptable use policy (AUP). Read more here.
A few years ago, my husband and I learned about an incredibly helpful year-end tradition that we’ve embraced as our own and have even shared with a few close friends. IMHO, this is an especially great exercise for those that aren’t huge fans of new years resolution lists. Instead, why not consider leaving behind what you don’t want to carry into 2009? This way, you’ll create space for the things you really want to have in your life in the new year.
Just start making a list of the things you’d like to leave behind in 2008. Be sure you can print it though, and then on New Year’s Eve say a little “goodbye” to your entire list and do something dramatic with it like burn it in your fireplace, flush it down the toilet, bury it in the sand at the beach or in the dirt in the the woods. I can’t recommend burying it in your backyard because then it’s probably still in your realm, so to speak.
Want an example? Below you’ll find the start of mine (I’ll add to it between now and Dec 31):
Sandy’s best left behind for an auspicious 2009:
Acquaintances that have the means (financial or otherwise), but show absolutely NO interest in helping others less fortunate (or not) than themselves
My apparent addiction to sugar
People that never ever initiate opportunities to connect
Acquaintances that simply do not demonstrate an interest in creating meaningful connections (or intimate relationships, to use a Keith Ferrazzi term)
Buying any new plastic bottles containing water or otherwise
Hosting PIF Parties in the Seattle area (I just co-host them w/others now)
Acquaintances that can’t talk about anyone but themselves
A-holes (btw, am definitely a fan of The No Asshole Rule book)
United Mileage Plus plan loyalty
Being a back seat driver, even if it will get us there faster
Continuing to help opportunistic people that try to covertly “leverage” my (or my friends) connections, openness and intellectual capital (great ideas). I. Must. Stop. Enabling. Them.
Playing with my own WordPress site too much
So, that’s what I have so far, but I think you get the idea. Have fun with this because it’s truly a good reflect and release exercise, if nothing else, and here’s to a HAPPY 2009! P.S. feel free to share the beginnings of your list via Comments if you’re into sharing.Read More