Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, April 30, 2012

Do You Support the Networking Tip Jar?

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Supporting the networking tip jar is about giving back. The tip jar represents the members of your group and the business leads you have given them.

NETpuzzleWhen you give someone in your network a business lead, think of it as a way of investing in your future. What you give, you get. Many networkers focus mostly on the getting part, not giving. That’s backwards. You first determine what kind of leads someone needs then you give it. It’s not that much of a puzzle. That’s what makes the pieces of the networking puzzle fit together!

If you want to get noticed in your network become a networking philanthropist. Plug into the power of intention. When you intend to be a business lead giver, you become more aware of those who need leads and the opportunity to find leads to give. Be a big time contributor. Contribute your energy by being “active” in your group.

There are other ways to contribute to others in your network beside giving business leads. You can give information. Donate links to blogs and articles that support the benefits of networking. You can give your attention to someone in your network who may need some support in getting started in networking. That is supporting the networking tip jar. Give your time to your group by making a presentation that isn’t just about you but offers networking tips, etc.

passingNETleadsIf you have had success from networking, share your wisdom and advice. Your knowledge has value. Do everything you can to be the champion lead giver.

Be aware of networkers who take and rarely ever give and only want to “pick your brain.” Networking is supposed to be a “reciprocal process” based on the “exchange” of ideas, advice, referrals, leads and contacts. To be effective it must be done in a true spirit of sharing.

Volunteering your services to your networking group is supporting the networking tip jar. That may come in the form of assisting members at the name-tag desk. I like this idea because you get to meet all the members of the group more quickly.

Start a special project and solicit others in your group to support it. Attach the name of your group to the project to attract others to your group.

Supporting the networking tip jar is having an unselfish concern for the welfare of others. The gifts that one receives from giving back and from reaching out to help others are immense and priceless.

BONUS Article: NEVER Give Referrals to Crazy People in Your Network!

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Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

7 Keys to Help You Turn Up Your “Burn!”

Filed under: Network Training,Personal Growth,Self-Image — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I’ve been thinking lately about people who complain that networking really doesn’t work for them. I’m thinking that perhaps it’s really them who is not working at their business as effectively as they could. I’m also thinking that many of those people I meet have lost the spark that drives their business. Their flame for what they do is but a flicker. They have become discouraged, disappointed and are not quite sure what they should do about it.

openyourmindIt’s time we change that. Turn up your “burn!” Light a fire under yourself! Give yourself a good kick in the pants (or panties), get off your butt and do what is necessary to get back in the game. There are many effective proven ways to regain the burn. Doing nothing is not one of them.

Discouraged, disappointed or whatever, you have to take the first step while you are floundering around in the dodo. It’s call starting fresh. Beginning again. Starting over. You must rediscover the desire to excel. The desire to excel is an amazing flotation device. It keeps you from going down for the third time. The uncertainty of discouragement and disappointment can take its toll.

You have to learn to be a trail blazer again. To get excited about the career path you have taken or jump ship and do something different. Get back the sparkle in your eyes. Move forward on instinct. Never let them see you sweat. Demand that extraordinary become mandatory!

How do you turn up your “burn?”

1. Unclutter your mind. Let go of those thoughts that keep you stuck. How do you do that when you are discouraged and disappointed with the way things are going? It’s simple. . . not easy. You change your thoughts to what you want instead of staying on the destructive path that leads you in an endless loop – getting you nowhere. It’s important to have clearer thinking if your want to be successful in business networking. Think something different. Make it a habit to change your thinking to what you want whenever you catch yourself backsliding.

One of the biggest obstacles your business faces is the way you think. Never say, “This isn’t working!” Instead focus on a solution instead of the problem. This take strong mental discipline. Are you afraid of failure? Ask yourself, “What would I do if I were not afraid?” then do that! Or, “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” Give yourself some brain food – fresh thoughts that make you feel good and help you to move forward. Quiet your mind – think only of what you want. Test some positive thoughts. If things have been stagnate for a long time, this won’t happen overnight, but you must stay on track.

2. Go back to school. Maintain your brain. Begin to study the success traits of those who are doing what you want to do. Find a mentor. Follow a leader in your field. Read a good book that energizes your mind and stimulates your thinking at least once a month. My friend and professional speaker, Larry Winget, reads about 50 books a year. You’ve probably seen him on A & E, and national television or heard him speak somewhere in the U.S. If he can do all that and keep as busy as he is, so can you. Never say, “I don’t have time to read a book!” Perhaps you may want to consider “making” some time to read. If you only devote 15 minutes to reading everyday you can read no less than 15 books a year (you probably spend that much time in the bathroom each day). A commitment to read everyday takes strong mental discipline. When you stay focused your attitude changes from one of self-defeat to one that has you begin to feel good about yourself. It jump starts a good attitude. And you know what they say, “Attitude is everything!”

tellthetruth3. Improve your relationships. Studies show that your relationship with your significant other or spouse has a corresponding effect on your business relationships and your success. What happens in your day-to-day private life, especially your close relationships has the potential of intruding subtly, and often not so subtly into your daily working lives. When it comes to the workplace, in the past many managers have tended to ignore the personal, and private emotions of their staff in situations of conflict at home.

Novus Card Services (the Discover Card people) hired me twice to come in a talk to their people about the importance of having a good relationship at home. The HR person told me that “if things weren’t working at home it was noticeable in their productivity at the office.” Bravo for Novus! The stress of conflict at home follows you to the office. It’s important to do damage control when things at home get out of balance – and do it quickly. Express love for family and it spills over into your business relationships. If you are bankrupt in the relationship department at home, your business relationship may follow suite.

4. Truth rocks! Maintain a high level of integrity. Treat others with honesty and respect. The Golden Rule of Engagement is: Always tell the truth. It sounds simple, and it’s really important. If the customers trust you, they will come back. If others in your network trust you amazing things happen. Honesty pays great benefits. Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”

5. Hang with the right people. If you don’t you are susceptible to boredom. Successful people associate with people who are like minded, focused, and supportive. Like attracts like. Smart people usually hang out with other smart people. Be a smart person. (See #2 above). People who are smart are fun to communicate with. I admit that not all of the people I hang out with are smart (you know who you are… ;-)) however most are not into trying to impress me with who they are. Smart people usually don’t do that. Half of being smart is knowing what your dumb at! If you have been in the business for any length of time you know that many people around you are content to live mediocre lives. Not me! The point is: you can learn a lot from people who are doing what needs to be done. They are disciplined and decisive. They focus on being productive, not just being busy. Most work outside of their comfort zone. They take calculated risks. They maintain a positive outlook as they learn from their mistakes. You can learn from that.

6. Love what you do. It is important to “love” what you do. If you don’t love what you do you should find something else to do. Doing what you love doesn’t feel like work. There is a sign in my office that reads, “If it feels like work, you must be doing something wrong!”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” ~ Steve Jobs, Apple

repent7. Repent! Forgive yourself for all your past bad business and networking habits and begin again. There is no shame in starting over. Turn over a new leaf. Make some new choices – choices that you promise yourself to maintain. No excuses. Green lights and straight ahead!

Money is often the center of conflict if things aren’t working at work. (Note: To me, that pretty much proves that, “What happens in our day-to-day private lives, especially our close relationships has the potential of intruding subtly, and often not so subtly into our daily working lives.” Interesting isn’t it?

One of my mentors, Keith Belknap, (Tulsa, OK) used to say, “You gotta have a burn!” Be on fire with what you are doing. Following the guidelines above will help you make the adjustments needed to get you back on track money-wise, networking-wise and help you to move yourself forward to more success that you can imagine. It will help change your way of looking at the world and, most important, your attitude about yourself and business networking. It will also help to to be inspired to do and be better in all that you do.

Okay! It’s time. Give yourself that “kick in the pants (or panties)” and get busy!

howcanihelpnetHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Sunday, April 22, 2012

“What Do You Do For a Living?”

Filed under: Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Kathy McAfee, Guest Author

NetworkingAhead

More info? Click book cover!

Bad question! It’s so dull and predictable. “What do you do?” is equally a bad choice. Worse yet you usually get a title-driven answer that rarely inspires or stimulates interesting conversation.

questionmarkNetworkers need to learn to ask more interesting questions – questions that stimulate and inspire; that help you connect quickly. Once you have introduced yourself and the hand shaking is out of the way, try tossing them a creative conversation starter such as:

“Who has been a very influential person in your career/work life? How did he/she help you?”

or

“What is one thing that you hope to accomplish this year? Why is that important to you?”

or

“Share a personal goal that most people would be surprised to hear.”

Read, “Conversation Starters” by Kathy McAfee. It’s a list of 40 sample questions to get your networking conversation started.

netHQCopyright 2012 – Kathy McAfee. Kathy McAfee is America’s Marketing Motivator and author of the book Networking Ahead for Business (Kiwi Publishing 2010). In her role as an Executive Presentation Coach and Motivational Speaker, Kathy helps her clients become the recognized leaders in their field by mastering the arts of high engagement presentations and more effective networking. Learn more at her Website: MarketingMotivator.net and NetworkingAhead.com.

Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to Build a Bridge of Connection

Filed under: Connectors,Guest Author Articles,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags:

Jenny Davidow, Guest Author

How do you react to differences in others? Are you curious to learn more, or do you get impatient and put off? Will your reactions build a barrier or a bridge of connection? It’s up to you.

followUPAt work and in all aspects of life, I guarantee that you will meet people who don’t see the world like you do. People who don’t operate the same way you do. They may have very different goals and values. They may dress differently. They may speak differently. They may be from a different culture. Or they may look and sound just like you, but you still notice the differences.

In “The Art of Connecting,” the authors suggest that every individual is a “culture of one.” Because we are each unique, we have our own preferences. And our preferences make us “different” from others. Although much has been said about the value of diversity in team-building and society, still, in practice, I observe again and again that different preferences can get judged as “difficult” in either business or personal relationships.

This judgment gets us into trouble, because we are focusing on the negative, on how someone is not like us. Right away, there is a barrier, a polarization.

Learn how to build a bridge of connection, no matter how different, or difficult, someone is.

When you find yourself in a job, group or relationship with someone who is very different from you, the task of building a bridge of connection may seem daunting. Here is a short list of ways in which you can start:

Make an offer. In terms borrowed from improv performance, whatever words or gestures you make with the intention to make a connection is an “offer.” An offer is an invitation to connect, to find commonality.

connectingAn offer can be as simple as a hello and a warm smile. If it is returned in kind, your offer was accepted. Build on that by making another offer, and another. Each time the connection will get stronger.

Set a conscious intention to build a bridge of connection. Your intention is key. Even if your efforts are clumsy, if your intention is friendly, respectful and interested, your offer for connection is still positive.

Find common ground. If you are engaged in a business deal with someone who is very different from you, remind yourself of ways in which you will both benefit from a successful outcome. Find common ground and shared humanity. For example, talk about your kids or your pets. Always assume that you and the other person have something in common. There is always the potential for a bridge of connection.

Whatever you focus on, you get more of. If you focus on differences, you will become polarized. If you focus on commonality, you get more connection.

Be curious and respectful. Curiosity is one of the top five qualities of people who are most satisfied in life. Curiosity creates new pathways and connections in the brain. The more pathways, the more flexibility and creativity.

Search for similarities. Think about interests or experiences you may have in common. Share something that is important to you, such as a love of children, gardening, hiking, etc. Tell a little about your last visit or outing. Ask what the other person likes to do to relax or have fun.Observe visual cues: Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, describes how researchers could make detailed observations about personality and preferences, describing a student they never met, simply because they paid attention to how the student organized and decorated his or her dorm room.

Use your powers of observation to note the other person’s style and preferences: Does the other person seem formal or informal in the way she or he speaks and talks? Is his or her energy level high, moderate or low? Notice choices in office decor and desk accessories (Are the choices personal? Is neatness and organization foremost?). Notice how he or she is dressed (casual or formal).

embracing

More info – Click book cover!

Build nonverbal rapport. To build a bridge of connection, never underestimate the power of nonverbal communication. As much as you can, notice the pace and tone of the other person’s speech. It may not be the style you naturally prefer. Try to modify your style to match the other person’s preference, at least some of the time. This step builds rapport non-verbally.

Build rapport through body language. Notice the other person’s way of standing or sitting. How much eye contact are they giving you? Are they smiling or not? Face the other person without being fully frontal. Let your body position be open and relaxed. Let your gaze be soft and non-challenging.

Shape the outcome. Hold your positive intention to make a connection and let it express through your conversation and body language. Be careful about asking too many questions, as this could seem like domination. Balance your communication with some sharing about yourself, some respectful questions that could find common interests, and some attentive listening, while nodding your head. Listening well gives you what you need to put the right words together.

Most of us go into situations hoping we’ll make a good impression and be liked. Let the other person leave the meeting with the feeling of being respected and liked. Each time you meet, the bridge of connection will grow stronger.

Referenced: The Art of Connecting, by Claire Raines and Lara Ewing
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell

JennyDCopyright © 2012 by Jenny Davidow. Reprinted with permission. Jenny Davidow is a Communication Coach and clinical hypnotherapist with 30 years experience. She specializes in training and support to hone the persuasiveness and impact of your presentations – in words, body language, and print. Through subconscious communication, she accelerates change to remove blocks, boost confidence and creativity. She is the author of “Embracing Your Subconscious.” Read Jenny’s articles on her Website and Blog.

netHQLarry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Saturday, April 14, 2012

BE Contribution!

Filed under: Contribution,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Don’t just talk about how important contribution is to networking, Be it! Be contribution. Work to become known as someone who is always willing to help others in your network.

Contributing to others is one of the most important principles of networking. Before you think about asking for help from those in your network, you should ask others about their needs and offer to assist them. When you offer to help others, it is important for you to follow up on your promise.

contributeIt doesn’t pay to be selfish or self-centered. Only self-centered people reach their level of incompetence. When your energy is self-directed it is easy to lose touch with who you can be for others. Self-centeredness is an energy drain. It will have you only pay attention to yourself. Not good. “Me only” doesn’t work. It causes your focus to be on only you. Contribution is a two-way street. The famous psychiatrist, Alfred Adler said, “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow man who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from such individuals that all human failure springs.”

We are called to share our lives with others. It is important to understand that contribution can be like a candle. Have you ever noticed that a candle loses none of its power by lighting another candle? In fact, as long as a candle burns, there is no limit to the number of other candles it can light. This is because it is the channel for an energy, which comes from a limitless source.

Often, without our even being aware of it, we contribute. A simple word or gesture can serve to bring inspiration or healing to someone else’s life. Our primary responsibility is to keep our own light shining brightly! Brighten the corner where you are.

A burning candle is no less a burning candle after it has shared its flame to light another candle. Never fear that bringing light to the lives of others will deplete your own light. As with the burning candle, the Source of your light is unlimited. You can never be less than who you are when you are willing to give a part of yourself to others to make a difference in their lives. Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world.”

It is important to remember that whatever you put out to the universe, the universe will put out to you. If you put out a negative attitude, you will attract that which you give out. If you give out good vibrations, you will find people of like mind being attracted to you. A farmer doesn’t plant corn and expect tomatoes. The Bible says it best; “You reap what you sow.”

contribute2Contribute to yourself first. Me first is okay. When you take good care of yourself, you cannot help but take good care of others. Author Cherry Hartman said, “Put yourself first. You can’t be anything for anybody else unless you take care of yourself.”

Contributing to yourself is paramount. It is most conspicuous in its absence. Be good to yourself first. You feel better when you exercise 3 or 4 times weekly for periods of 15 to 20 minutes. You feel better when you do not have to work so hard breathing the smoke from cigarettes. You feel better when you eat the right foods, take vitamins, cut out alcohol and drugs, and drink drinks without caffeine. Get lots of rest and occasionally treat yourself to a relaxing full-body massage. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The first wealth is health.” The ultimate contribution is to yourself. Take care of yourself. You are often your own biggest obstacle. It’s a contribution you must be committed to. . . first.

For you to be able to effectively contribute, you must be able to accept contribution from others. Remember, you can’t give away something you don’t have. If you are not supportable, you will find it difficult to support others. Allow others to make a contribution to you.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

Make a contribution to other people. Be giving. Give unto others, as you would have them give unto you. Those who give willingly, get. Share. Make a new commitment, “Help others help themselves.” It is not possible to help someone else. It is possible to help others help themselves. Success is a by-product of contribution.

Make sure you have an understanding of the needs and interests of people in your network so you can provide them with referrals, important information, job and business leads or resources. In order to network effectively and genuinely, you must continuously contribute to others. This builds trust and credibility within your networking circles. It takes time to reach this level, and it is well worth the extra effort.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Contribute!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Image Do You Portray at Networking Events?

Filed under: Dress for NetSuccess,Image,Proper Dress — Larry James @ 8:00 am

People make judgments about us within the first 3 to 5 seconds of meeting us. Right or wrong, how we are perceived visually is as important as what you might be able to do to help them. According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look. The professional image that you choose to portray during a networking meeting or event will send a strong visual communication to the other person.

Business_peopleI know. It’s cliche, but it’s worth repeating… “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression!” How you dress becomes part of your personal brand. Your professional image is an expression of your brand. It is the external presentation of you. A polished appearance is no longer considered frivolous or egotistical.

Networking events are almost trickier to dress for than a normal day at the office, because what you wear has a big impact on how people perceive you. Most networking events do not have dress codes but if they do, it’s up to you to find out in advance of attending. In general, you can expect to wear business casual to most networking events. Business casual is a style of dressing that is neat and comfortable while maintaining professionalism. It can be one of the most confusing terms used to define appropriate dress.

Clothes help make the first impression, so what should you wear to be your best at such a Networking event? Your first impression is your best networking tool so you want to look your best. Choose something that represents you and your company.

The Greater Phoenix area is warm pretty much year round. Unless it is a formal affair, informal or business casual (but not too casual) works well. You can still dress casually and comfortably while looking professional. Safer to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

dressWellMen: dress sloppy and other networkers may avoid you. Scuffed or dirty shoes and a wrinkled blazer don’t work. Blue jeans, a t-shirt and sandals may not be projecting the right image. Your intention should to to look like someone who looks like they have it all together. You get only one shot to come across as confident and competent. Your goal is to make people want to get to know you better after the initial meeting. For men, a suit consists of dress pants, jacket, shirt, and tie. Any time you want to convey the image that “you mean business” or need to show you are in control (even if you are not)… wear a nice suit. Wear clothes which are clean and neat. Press your clothes if they are wrinkled. If ever in doubt, dress more conservatively.

“Whether you’re introducing yourself to an individual or to a group, people will judge not only the message, but also the messenger as well. How you look, carry yourself, listen, and leave the conversation will affect what others do with the message you’ve delivered.” ~ Ivan Misner

For women, a suit consists of a jacket, blouse, and either a dress pant or skirt. The traditional look includes: a skirt that hits just above the knee, slacks and perhaps pantsuits, simple jewelry and just a hint of makeup. Nothing too sexy. Forget the sleeveless and ruffles. Forget the hot pink and the high heels. Avoid underwear that is visible under clothing and even worse – bras and tops which show your nipples. Look smart, professional and feminine.

Dress as everyone else, and you end up labeling yourself as a follower who cannot think outside the box. You would be wise to overcome this label and empower your competitive advantage by spending just a few more quality minutes in front of the mirror before a networking event.

In general, wear what you normally wear to work unless that is overhauls or nurse scrubs. The idea is to look professional and approachable. Body art such as tattoos and multiple piercings are unprofessional, and while it may not be true, some more conservative networkers may see them as a sign of low education and ignorance.

Always wear a name tag to networking events. You can purchase an engraved name tag with your name and business name usually for less than $15 with a magnetic back. Be sure to leave a spot on the “right” shoulder for a name tag. This is so when you reach out your right hand to shake, your right shoulder naturally moves forward and your name tag is easily read. Name tags help people remember you.

Always dress professionally and appropriately. Dress as you want to be seen – serious, professional, upward-bound and ready to meet and interact with other networking professionals. Invest in your appearance and you are making an investment in your career! You make a connection with your eyes, smile and approach with confidence. Be sure to wear your best smile. 😉

BONUS Articles: Proper Dress Code for Networking Events
Five Quick Tips for Professional Men

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Listen Before Joining the Conversation

Filed under: Networking Tip,Rules of Engagement — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Have you ever been to a networking function and noticed several interesting people in conversation and wished that you could be in on what they are talking about?

netgroupHere is a tip. Take your time. Stand close by and listen. Don’t rush. If you determine that this is a group you would like to participate with, move a little closer. Usually the group will open up and before you know it, you will be standing close as part of the group. Listen. Observe. Notice the direction of the conversation. If it doesn’t appeal to you or you have nothing to contribute… move on.

If you like what you hear… say nothing until you have something that contributes to the conversation – then speak up when you have the opportunity.

This is an effective way to contribute and be contributed to. Often others will begin a conversation with you to indicate that you are now noticed as part of the group.

If the group doesn’t open up to include you, don’t take it personal, be on your way.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Monday, April 2, 2012

Want Networking Success? Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Filed under: Comfort Zone,Networking — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Playing it safe and avoiding any risk has never worked for me. There is no greater time to buck traditions and move outside your comfort zone than now. Your comfort zone is that psychological place you retreat to so you can feel comfortable in an otherwise uncomfortable situation you may be faced with.

For me, safe is boring. Where there is lack of challenge, there is usually very little opportunity. We need challenges to help us grow – to help us maintain the energy to keep going. If you want to be successful at business networking you must put yourself out there. By that I mean to do things that are important to networking success even when it feels uncomfortable. Raise your own bar. Be brave.

You begin by learning the subtle necessities of business networking. Next put what you have learned to use. Dare to do something different the next time to attend a networking meeting or event.

If you dread approaching others and engaging them in conversation at events, Neil Munz-Jones, author of “The Reluctant Networker” has a way around that. “The best way to find people to talk to at an event is to be a guest speaker,” he says. “Find a subject on which you are an expert and offer to speak. Organizers are always looking for speakers and it is a great way to raise your profile. For some of you that puts you waaaay out of your comfort zone. (Review the image above!) That’s where the networking magic happens!

No time to be shy when networking. Face your fear and NEVER take counsel from your fears. Be what I call a “glad-hander” – someone who is not afraid to walk up to a total stranger and begin a conversation. Look for and approach the person standing alone. (Note: If you ARE the person standing alone… “Snap out of it!” That will get you nowhere!) If you notice something special about the person you are approaching, begin with a compliment. Smile. (By the way, a smile or a simple “hello” is a brilliant icebreaker.)

risktakerIntroduce yourself and begin asking about “their” business, not talking about yours. The one asking the questions is in control of the conversation. Ask lots of questions. Search for what you have in common with them. See if you can discover a way to be helpful to them in their business. Remember: Small talk is how we learn about our common interests, experiences and connections.

Effective networkers spend as much time helping others as being helped. Always be on the lookout for ways you can help your contacts such as interesting articles, people for them to meet and more. It feels good to help others and you never know when they will return the favor.

“If you want to make a positive memorable impression, treat people like people not like prospects!” ~ Susan RoAne

Be a “giver” and/or a connector. When you focus on “giving” and being helpful to others, the “getting” will come later… and it will usually come in unexpected ways. Be generous with your giving. Networking is about building relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do.

The simple act of introducing several people to each other or giving a testimonial about someone and their services to someone that you are unable to help will cause people to remember you. Explain who this person is, what they do, and something about them personally that the other person might be interested in. All of these acts allow you to focus on the “other” and grows your social capital in the group.

Be a committed listener – someone who truly pays attention to what’s going on in the conversation. Focus. Don’t let anything distract you. Spend more time listening than talking.

Walsh“It’s imperative that you understand when your time is up,” says Mark Jeffries, author of “What’s Up With Your Handshake?” “You win in the social world if you ‘release people first,’ so if you see a slow crossing of the arms, an increase in the amount of time they’re looking over your shoulder, or a sudden obsession with the word ‘anyway,’ they are giving you not-so-subtle hints that they’d like to move on. Say what you have to say and then graciously release them. It adds to your influence and it helps you sell without selling!”

Next… it’s time to expand your comfort zone. Not doing so will cripple your networking success. To help you expand your comfort zone, you must learn to expand the comfort level of your mind. Putting your fame of mind within the correct context to help you grow as a person is key to expanding your comfort level. To do this you must look within yourself and identify your fears and learn to deal with them. Feel the fear and do it anyway! You must get out of your comfort zone to achieve great things in business networking.

“You must set aside your fears and any social reluctance in order to connect with other people. It takes boldness to reach out and introduce yourself to people of greater power and influence than yourself – people who might be able to help you accomplish your career and business goals. Heck, I think it takes a certain amount of boldness to talk to strangers. And that is just what you need to do.” ~ Kathy McAfee

Now, it’s time to get to work. Like my friend, Jerry, once said, “Don’t back off in the curves!” Green lights and straight ahead!

You begin by showing up at networking meetings and events and always finish by following up!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

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