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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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Watch Your “Packaging”

Filed under: Dress for NetSuccess,Image,Proper Dress — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Something very important to remember when you show up is to be aware of the image you project. Watch your “packaging.” Business networking is often about first impressions, and first impressions are often about presentation. Your image should reflect success. Show up dressed well for the occasion. Groom yourself well.

Never let your appearance cause others to want to disappear. Don’t overdo accessories. Carry yourself well. Your appearance makes a statement about you; it tells others what you think about yourself.

WellDressedMANLook at yourself carefully in the mirror before you leave for your meeting. Does the way you look add to or take away from the message you want to convey? You alone are responsible for how others see you.

“Networking is not an interview, and once outside the office, the strict rules of the dress code no longer apply. You’re left on your own to overdress and look like you don’t belong or underdress and look like you’ll never belong.” ~ Marc Cenedella

There is an ocean a of people who attend networking events. The first thing that they will notice is your physical appearance. Researchers have found that strangers start to assess each other immediately once they’re in a room. People generally form an opinion of your referability within the first few seconds of laying eyes on you. Dress smart! Wearing the right attire to a networking event cannot be understated.

If you’re not sure what everyone will be wearing, ask around to ensure you won’t be the only one sans suit. When in doubt, business casual is your best bet. This depends upon the environment, but universally means “not a suit.” It could be a blazer and slacks, a sweater, scarf and nice skirt, or khakis and a polo shirt.

WellDressedWOMANWhen in doubt, or until you are familiar with the environment you are working in, dress conservatively. It is always better to be too dressed-up than dressed-down. Professional dress is a must for interviews, business networking, employer dinners, or professional events including conferences and association meetings. When in doubt, dress up, not down. Making a good impression is nine-tenths being ready to make a good impression. The rest is just acting natural. No matter what standard of dress you’re at or what culture you’re in, you look well put-together and like you’ve paid attention to details. Also, never be afraid to show some personality too. It helps you stand out!

“At face-to-face events, dress well, polish how you speak, make eye contact and generally present yourself to impress others with your professionalism and charisma.” ~ Demir Barlas

UseNAMESAre you impressed when someone adds your name to the conversation? Another way you can create a favorable image is when you show up, call people by their name. Their name is their favorite word. You say, “I can’t remember names!” You’re right! As long as you affirm that you can’t remember names, you can’t. Not using names, says, “I’m not interested in you.” When you hear someone’s name, repeat it if need be to be sure you heard it correctly. A person’s name is their most important possession.

Have you ever been in a room full of people and someone from across the room shouted your name. When you turned around, you realized that they were trying to get someone else’s attention. Hearing your name short-circuits your brain. People want to know you are interested in them. Calling them by name helps accomplish this. Insert their name in the conversation immediately. It will help you remember it.

Name tags can help you in remembering names. They can also help others to remember your name. Wear your nametag on the right side, in line with your vision when you shake someone’s hand. I favor the plastic holder that allows you to slip your business card in it. This kind assists you in connecting their name with their business. It helps build your brand.

BONUS Articles: How to Remember People’s Names
Proper Dress Code for Networking Events
What Image Do You Portray at Networking Events?

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Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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!”

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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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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

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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/

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