Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Networking Goal Achievement is NOT an Individual Sport

Filed under: Accountability,Mentoring — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: ,

You cannot be successful at business networking alone! It’s about finding the right accountability partner to help you reach your goals. The very first members of your accountability team should be the individuals who will help you to learn the necessary skills to reach your goals. Choose this person very carefully.

accountabilityNicole Bandes writes:

You must have accountability partners. These individuals are a unique breed and require careful selection. Here are some of the things to consider when looking for a good accountability partner.

1. Spouses and/or significant others DO NOT make good accountability partners. There’s just too close of a relationship there to make this work. I have an amazing relationship with my husband and I would NEVER consider ruining that through working with him as my accountability partner. Even if you work with your spouse, it isn’t a good idea. See Business Partners.

2. Business Partners do not make good accountability partners. They are too involved in the end goals to be objective.

3. Friends and family do not make good accountability partners. They are likely to be either too soft on you or too critical. Accountability partners need to be able to walk a fine line between being understanding and not letting you get away with your BS.

4. Colleagues do not make good accountability partners. They are usually great for a week, maybe three if you are lucky. After that, they get distracted with their own objectives and goals and don’t stay in touch with you or follow up when you don’t check in.

5. An effective accountability partner should have an ability to determine your motivational style so they can help yo develop a plan that will keep you engaged in your goals long after the initial excitement has worn off.

6. An effective accountability partner should be willing to follow up with you when you fail to check in on your goals.
An effective accountability partner will hold you to your commitments even when you have a “really good reason” for not doing what you committed to.

7. An effective accountability partner will be there to help you brainstorm solutions to challenges that are getting in your way.

8. An effective accountability partner will help you to see just how far you’ve come when doubt and fatigue are setting in.

It isn’t always easy to find a partner that will truly be committed to helping you achieve your goals. Most people have a lot going on and would love to help but just can’t spare that much of a mental commitment let alone a time commitment to check in with you regularly.

When you are able to find someone who is willing to make this kind of a commitment to you and your goals, be sure to write out a clear description of what the expectations are from both parties. This will help to remind you each of what your responsibilities are to be. Also be sure to include a clear end date that may or may not be renewed as agreed upon by both parties.

BONUS Articles: It’s the “A” Word… Accountability!
Need Help Networking? Find a Mentor!
Networking Mentors – Be One and Find One

Copyright © 2014 – Nicole Bandes. Nicole’s passion is to inspire women entrepreneurs to find harmony and balance in their lives so they always have time for their “WHY.” Visit her Website at: http://LifeSystemOrganizer.com

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netHQLarry 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!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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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Monday, August 19, 2013

It’s the “A” Word… Accountability!

Filed under: Accountability,Mentoring,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Some of you networkers will not like this article. Why? Because I’m going to ask you to move out of your comfort zone.

For many, networking is not something that they are comfortable with. For others, networking is just not working!

ANPWhy is that?

There are as many reasons as there are networkers, however I’m discovering that most networkers have had no formal training about “how to” network. They attend weekly meeting or large events, collect a bunch of business cards that collect dust on their desk. After that… they’re lost. They haven’t a clue what to do next. They focus their efforts on selling their services primarily to the members of the group. BIG mistake! They can’t answer these questions: “What does a good networker do?” or “How does he/she act?” or “What is his or her basic attitude?”

Networking is much more than just getting out and meeting people. The best way to succeed at networking is to make a plan, commit to it, learn all the networking skills you can and execute your plan.

“Accountability breeds response-ability!” ~ Steven Covey

Here is an idea that has worked well for the many networkers that have requested coaching.

Find an “accountability networking partner!” So, what’s that? An accountability networking partner is someone that is similar to a mentor. It’s someone who you already have a relationship with; someone you trust. You must be authentic to each other. You agree to meet at least once a week to have lunch and review your networking progress; you brain-storm new ideas that work all designed to increase your networking performance. You agree to hold each other accountable for learning more about networking. It’s someone who will nudge… make that “push” you out of your comfort zone; someone who will hold you accountable to do what you know you must do to stay out in front of your competition and be more successful at business networking.

When you decide to have an ANP (accountability networking partner) you must first keep your word to each other. Be at the weekly meet-up (no excuses) and come prepared to review your past weeks successes and failures while networking. Consider this a long term project – at least six months, perhaps longer. You must become strategic partners. Create and discuss some new networking goals. It’s important to focus; begin developing relationships now with the people whose help you will need in the future. Volunteer for positions in your group.

Discuss how many times did you offer, ideas, tips, business leads, etc., to others in and out of your network of support. You may want to visit other networking groups together. You will be encouraged to focus on giving to others first and receiving from others second. In other words, don’t become known as a “taker.” You will drop the “what is in it for me?” attitude and focus on others. Always prioritise helping and giving to others ahead of taking and receiving for yourself.

accountability“Networking is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!” ~ Larry James

The more you put into your ANP meeting, the more you will get out of it. It is truly a winning formula. Why? Because you both will benefit from this strategic alliance. Business networking is productive and fun, and that is why it will always be the right road to business success.

BONUS Articles in the Networking Article Index. Click here and begin your new networking education.

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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!”

Invite Larry James to speak to your networking group or at your networking event! He is also available for a two hour networking seminar.

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Need Help Networking? Find a Mentor!

Filed under: Mentoring — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

A networking mentor is an invaluable resource for your networking success. If networking hasn’t been working as well as you would like, you would be wise to find one.

mentor2A mentor can be a great partner to have in a broad range of scenarios, whether they provide pointers on business strategy, bolster your networking efforts or act as confidantes when your work-life balance gets out of whack. All of us can benefit from having a mentor at our back to teach, promote and encourage us.

“What is a mentor? And how and why does one become a mentor. The concept is almost as old as humanity. The role of the mentor was established in law by Hammurabi in his code, which is recognized as the first codification of civil law, about 1770 BC. The word “mentor” is derived from the name of the person entrusted with the education of Ulysses’ son, when Ulysses went off to fight the Trojan War, in about 1200 BC. The concept was institutionalized down through the ages in every apprenticeship and guild that has ever existed. But while every management book of our age raves of the benefits of mentorship, still few of us actually have mentors.” ~ Dave Iuppa

You could buy some networking books or attend some networking seminars, however there is nothing like having someone you can turn you when you get lost in the networking jungle. You’re basically flying solo. The definition of mentorship includes people at all ages and experience levels; mentors aren’t just for twenty-somethings anymore.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” – John Crosby

Everybody needs a good reliable sounding board, a second opinion, and sometimes just emotional support. Look around. Identify the people already in your network, people who have “been there, done that.” Look for someone who motivates others by setting a good example. You can usually tell who the successful networkers are. If not, ask around. Let those already in your network know that you are looking for someone to learn from, someone who is willing to teach you the ropes.

Never be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything there is to know about business networking. Every time I speak to a networking group or hang out with my networking friends I learn something and I’ve been doing some serious networking for many years.

“Mentoring is an voluntary advisory relationship between an older, more experienced individual and a younger person. Sometimes these relationships are formal and structured (think Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization) and sometimes they are loose and undefined. Sometimes a mentor is selected for you; more often you decide who you want to mentor you based upon whom you respect, admire, like and trust. Sometimes the mentor picks you because they see great potential in you that can be realized with a little positive guidance.” ~ Kathy McAfee

Keep your eyes open for possible mentors when you meet fellow networker with whom you share a common interest, perhaps one that has nothing to do with business. In this hi-tech world where everyone is overloaded with e-mail, sometimes a simple phone call can be surprisingly effective when reaching out for guidance.

mentorMentors are readily available, usually free of charge. You can begin by scheduling monthly mentoring lunches. Agree to meet close to their office and make sure you demonstrate that you’re grateful for their time and guidance. Be willing to buy their lunch several times a month, to hang out with them at their various networking events to watch, listen and learn.

Make sure to make it clear to the person who becomes your mentor that you envision the meetings and relationship will be a two-way street, with each party learning and contributing. Another thing is to be sure that the person who mentors you already has a good reputation in networking and has already achieved what you want to achieve.

When asking someone to be your networking mentor, don’t make it sound like work. Exude a sense of excitement, smile, and laugh a little. Mentorship is an energy-boosting opportunity for both of you, and it often turns into a long-term friendship as well as a business relationship. Mentorship is responsible work but if there isn’t a promise of fun, initiative or excitement on your part, don’t expect your would-be mentor to embrace the opportunity to help you.

Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI, has identified “7 Characteristics of a Good Mentor

1. A desire to help. Individuals who are interested in and willing to help others.
2. Have had positive experiences. Those who have had positive formal or informal experiences with a mentor tend to be good mentors themselves.
3. Good reputation for developing others. Experienced people who have a good reputation for helping others develop their skills.
4. Time and energy. People who have the time and mental energy to devote to the relationship.
5. Up-to-date knowledge. Those who have maintained current, up-to-date technological knowledge and/or skills.
6. Learning attitude. Individuals who are still willing and able to learn and who see the potential benefits of a mentoring relationship.
7. Demonstrated effective managerial (mentoring) skills. People who have demonstrated effective coaching, counseling, facilitating and networking skills.

The person you are looking for should have all seven of these characteristics in place and be willing to spend some time with you.

BONUS Article: Networking Mentors – Be One and Find One

netHQ

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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Networking Mentors – Be One and Find One

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

If more networkers had a mentor, and some really great training then their chances of truly reaching their dreams in life would be so much closer. A mentor can have a major impact on your life and your career. Only a mentor can truly share wisdom with you on an ongoing basis. You get expert business networking skills at your fingertips.

The Merriam-Webster WWWebster Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” A mentor is someone with more business networking experience than you have and who serves as a trusted confidante over an extended period of time. Mentoring is about contribution. A true mentor is a veteran in the wings who you take to lunch or visit occasionally and who offers kernels of wisdom just because they have the experience you desire. Usually they do not charge a fee. Why? If they are like me, it is a way of giving back to the community. This may sound altruistic and it is. It is an unselfish concern for the welfare of others or in other words: selflessness.

mentoring makes a differenceAsk anyone successful in any line of work how they did it, and there’s at least one thing they’ll all agree on: You’ll never make it without the guidance of special people who’ve walked your path before. They have been there and done that.

There is a saying that the teacher teaches most what the teacher needs to learn. Some do it to develop their skills as a teacher, manager, strategist, or consultant. A true mentoring relationship works both ways – the mentor learns about new ideas from mentee as the mentee learns about business networking from them. You choose them and they choose you.

A mentor will become not only your advisor, but your friend and confidante. However, a mentor relationship is a trusted relationship that develops over time. It cannot possibly come from someone you just met at a networking event. Relationships – especially trusted relationships – are very special. Your mentor has no ulterior motive – no service or product to sell you. That combined with their experience creates a great foundation for trust.

“If you want to improve your networking skills, teach someone else what you know.” ~ Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization

If you are looking for a mentor, here are a few things to remember:

1. Clearly define the area of your business where you need the most help. Make a list of your top goals for the mentoring relationship. A mentor is there to help you set goals and hold you accountable.
Mentors2. Be selective about who you approach to be your mentor. Research available information about them.
3. Ask them about their career.
4. Pick their brain at lunches – Pay for lunches and coffees.
5. Find out who they learned from.
6. Ask what was the one piece of advice that they received that made the biggest difference in their business.
7. Discuss the length of time your mentor will be available. Frequency of contact is important in the relationship to keep the learning process moving forward.
8. Take notes. Bring a recording device of your choice: pen and paper, PDA, laptop, or voice recorder.
9. Really listen to what they say. Pay attention. Be coachable.
10. Be honest about your strengths, weaknesses, and skill level.

Not knowing how to create their own success is frustration. Admitting you don’t know everything you need to know about your business is a strength.

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) provide entrepreneurs with free mentoring and workshops at hundreds of local offices nationwide. SCORE also offers e-mail mentoring and an online database of their mentors.

Solicit former bosses or professors, people you meet through professional associations or networking groups, or even online social networks. Some are more than willing to be a mentor. It’s not a life-long commitment. All you have to do is ask. You will usually have only one mentor at a time, but over time, you may have several mentors in several different areas of your business.

“Coaching and mentoring are often better online or over the phone because it’s less about who’s giving the advice and more about the topics at hand.” ~ Nell Merlino, president of Count Me In, a New York-based women’s business advocacy group.

Always remember that while a mentoring relationship generally lasts more than just one or two meetings, neither of you is locked in. You continue the relationship only if it continues to serve you both well. The job of a mentor is not to take you by the hand every step of the way. It’s to give you some guidance while you are on your way.

Your guidance will be influential in helping that person succeed and grow, just as you have. Think back to any Mentor or person of significant influence in your life and how grateful you are to that person for helping to steer you the right way. Now is your chance to guide someone else’s path.

“No one gets to the top of the mountain alone. Why would we want to when the view is so much better when surrounded by friends?” ~ Kristen Marie Schuerlein

BONUS Article: Become a Networking Mentor
The Networking Collaborative
5 Tips to help You Choose the Best Mentor

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry 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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