Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, September 15, 2014

Are You Letting Hurtful Words Sabotage Your Success?

Michael Hyatt, Guest Author

We all know our words are powerful. We can slice someone to pieces with just a few syllables. That’s bad enough, but what happens when we turn that power on ourselves?

As a young man, the writer Peter Leonard showed a short story to his famous father, novelist Elmore Leonard. Instead of encouraging his son, Elmore Leonard wrote a lengthy critique saying his characters were flat and lifeless.

NETsabotage“I didn’t write another word of fiction for 27 years,” Peter recalled. But as sad as that story is, we do the same thing to ourselves, don’t we?

How many potential writers, artists, athletes, speakers, and performers have chopped themselves off at the knees with self-criticism?

Not long ago, I was playing golf with a friend. Every time he hit a bad shot, he berated himself. “Ugh,” he said when he really duffed one, “I’m such an idiot. I never hit it straight.”

What do you think that did for his game? Exactly! It got worse the longer we played. It got so bad in fact, I started paying more attention to his words than the game. They were:

Accusatory: “You can’t hit anything!”
Abusive: “You idiot!”
Self-defeating: “I knew I was going miss that.”

Thinking about the game now, I’m stuck on this question, and I wish I had stopped things long enough to ask my friend: “Would you ever talk like that to one of your children?”

Maybe some, like Peter Leonard’s father, would. But we usually strive to protect our kids. We recognize that words like that are harmful. So why don’t we protect ourselves the same way?

Some self-criticism is useful. But accusatory, abusive, and self-defeating criticism is useless and destructive. If we wouldn’t say it to our kids, it’s best to steer clear of saying it to ourselves.

Proverbs says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Our language reveals our thinking, and if it’s the deadly kind, we need to change the way we address ourselves.

There are some pretty deep psychological and spiritual reasons for this, but it also affects practical questions of accomplishing our goals. Our words can set us up to fail if we’re not careful.

Here are three steps I’ve found helpful in my own life for controlling my words:

1. I record disempowering words and sentences I catch myself using. Awareness is crucial to controlling our words. Whenever I catch myself saying something negative, I make a note of it. If there’s a pattern, I can address it.

2. I craft words and sentences to use in place of negative ones. We all know the best way to eliminate a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. It’s the same here. When I default to a negative thought, I now have phrases and affirmations I can use instead. It makes a huge difference.

3. I ask an accountability partner to call me on it. I felt odd calling my friend on his words when we were playing. I was’t invited to. Instead of letting that stop someone in my life, I’ve let certain people know I want them to hold me accountable for my words. Sometimes it hurts, but it’s worth it.

Our success is too important to allow hurtful words—especially our own—to derail us. We have to learn how to do for ourselves what Elmore Leonard was unable in that instance to do for his son: Use the power of words to encourage and give life.

Language shapes our perception of reality. It’s a powerful tool we can use for good or bad. It only makes sense that we would give ourselves the best advantage imaginable with the words we use.

MichaelHyattCopyright © 2014 – Michael Hyatt. Michael Hyatt, one of the top business bloggers in the world, provides down-to-earth guidance for building and expanding a powerful platform. Michael is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. I have worked in the book publishing industry for most of my career. He is the author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson). It is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller. Recently, Forbes magazine named me one of the “Top 10 Online Marketing Experts To Follow In 2014.” Visit Michael’s Blog @ http://MichaelHyatt.com/

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netHQLarry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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!”

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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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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Your Networking Credibility is Earned!

Heather Townsend, Guest Author

Credibility is an intangible quality which is difficult to define accurately as it means different things to different people. I personally define someone who is credible as a person who has developed a reputation as someone who “walks the walk and talks the talk” and delivers on all their commitments. Ivan Misner, founder of BMI, defines credibility as “the quality of being reliable, worthy of confidence.”

Before someone is willing to risk their reputation by recommending you to someone within their network, they want to know that you are credible, i.e., committed, will conduct yourself appropriately and will be able to deliver on something they put you forward for.

CredibilityRobin, a coach, had a friend called Steve who was a committee member of two local photographic clubs. Both clubs were small but had different kinds of members. One had a long, extensive history and an older membership; the other was much younger and had a good mix of ages. Steve was treasurer for one and secretary for the other “because no one else would volunteer.” But holding committee posts in two clubs was adversely affecting his credibility. You may be wondering why.

His credibility was low because both clubs saw he had divided loyalties. Robin asked him, “In your heart of hearts, what do you want to be doing?” Steve said, “Taking good photos.” “So, which club is going to provide you with the best stimulus for that?’ “The younger on,” “So what are you going to do” “Resign from the other club!” Steve did that and his photos are now being critically acclaimed around the world. One photo has been viewed 21,000 times in its first weeks on the Internet.

Until you get the opportunity to actually win business or get and interview, like Steve at the photography clubs, your credibility is built up via the perception of your personal brand, and your behavior and attitudes. For example, if you want to be seen as “credible” when networking, you need to:

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Click book cover for info!

• do what you say you are going to do, e.g., phone people when you say you are going to
• arrive on time to meetings and events
• share client and customer success stories and testimonials
• have business cards with your contact details, plus details of your personal associations and memberships, professional qualifications and any awards won
• keep your messages consistent over time
• focus on building the relationship rather than selling
• find simple ways to help the person you are meeting, for example connecting them with someone in your network
• get introductions to people you want to meet from “credible” people within your network.

I found my first coaching client, who was not an employee of my old employers, as a direct result of a recommendation from a partner within my old firm. This trusted recommendation helped my credibility and was a key factor in the client’s decision to first talk with me and subsequently hire me as his coach.

Make sure that when you are out networking, you are focused on finding out “who you know” rather than the heinous crime of selling. There is nothing quite damming for your credibility than a sign on your forehead that says “I am desperate for business” or “I am selling.”

Your credibility is normally tested after a networking event or after meeting someone. Why? Remember that your credibility is directly linked to your ability to “walk the wal and talk the talk” and deliver on all your commitments. Potential clients or employees are always looking fr someone who is keen and eager to work with them.

It may only be something small, such as sending a short e-mail saying you enjoyed meeting the, but the small and often inconsequential stuff is taken as evidence of how you may behave if they hired or employed you. I was amazed, when I started face-to-face networking in earnest, how few people actually did follow up after a networking event. On the basis of my personal experiences, I can promise you that a simple e-mail or handwritten note stating how much you enjoyed meeting someone will make you positively stand out from your peers.

heatherTCopyright © 2014 – Heather Townsend. From the book, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” Heather helps professionals and firms become the Go-To-Expert. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, she accidentally became a writer and used her knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” (75+ five star reviews on Amazon). She is a widely published writer, international speaker, Executive Coach and a referral marketing expert. Visit Heather’s Website!

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netHQLarry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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/

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