Are you a social magnet?

To be a social magnet you need to be socially in tune with others. So what does ’emotional intelligence’ look like socially?

Social Magnet

“Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. You place yourself in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.”

Psychology Today

Do you have what it takes to be a social magnet?

Consideration of Feelings

Change the way you speak to people. Be aware of how they are behaving. Identify how they are feeling and frame your conversation to create a safe and friendly social setting where they feel relaxed and open.

Showing Empathy

Recognizing how people are feeling and understand why they are feeling that way and then responding appropriately will create a non-threatening and trust environment.

Engaging

People will be more open with you when you appear to understand them and aren’t dismissive of what they see as important. Put their needs first!

Listening and learning

Discover what people perceive and what they see as real and how that impacts their behaviour and performance. This is helpful to learn how to support and work with that person to empower them to reach their potential.

Sharing

Respect is earnt by sharing ‘your’ experiences: both failures and successes. This shows you are human and you understand where the other person is coming from, what they need to do to grow and overcome the barriers that are holding them back

Take this FREE EQ test to help you discover more about emotional intelligence. This test is not an accurate scoring of you emotional intelligence but a tool to use as part of your journey of self-development.

To evolve as a person you need to constantly work on improving your emotional intelligence.  The benefits are far reaching.  Your life will be enriched both personally and professionally. The investment in yourself is one that will continue to pay dividends.

Good luck and remember a strength only becomes and stays a strength if you work on it.

Originally posted 2016-01-08 13:11:31.

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23 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Reputation Without Even Knowing It!

How often have you wondered why people behave in different ways when they meet with you, haven’t seen you in a while, or you both know the same person? Often it is your reputation that precedes you.

reputation

23 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Reputation

1. Dismissing people

  • Do you find that you are always busy and often people become just another source of ‘noise’?
  • Is it easier to prioritize the people that will have an immediate impact on what you, and dismiss others?
  • Are you guilty of reacting to people who become your ‘squeaky wheel’ and ignoring others?

You need to ask yourself what message this is conveying.

2. Giving people ‘lip service’

Are you telling people what you think they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear?

Often we are guilty of doing this, however, this is often because it is an easier way of keeping the momentum going and not getting bogged down in discussions that we may see as unnecessary, or that we feel we do not have enough time for.  

You need to ask yourself if your message is speaking the language your audience understands or are you speaking to them in a language that they need to have interpreted?  

If this is the case your reputation may suggest to people that you are out of touch. 

3. Talking trash

 Have you ever caught yourself listening to what you are saying to others as you are speaking, and said to yourself  …Wow!, that sounded great?

You need to ask yourself that if you felt it sounded great are you framing what you are saying to make yourself look good or are you communicating in a way that will make your audience look or feel good?  

This will leave a lasting impression as to whether your audience feels you are credible.

4. Believing your opinion matters more than others

You know your stuff right!  It is an expectation that you express your educated opinion because that is what you are employed to do isn’t it?

This is a dangerous assumption because you are more than likely to come across as expecting others to conform to the way you think, giving them the impression that their opinions are less important than yours, or worse still that you feel they are irrelevant.

You need to ask yourself what perception you are projecting and how people are interacting with you.  This will give you a good indicator of what your reputation is with the people you interact and engage with.

5. Needing to be right

We all like to think we are right, but the truth is, that more often than not, we may be trying to solve problems with solutions that are ’cause and effect’ only.

This may stem the flow of the problem initially but you will only be treating the symptom and not the disease.

Being ready, willing and able to contemplate, consider and collaborate. This is when your reputation will open doors for you.

You need to ask yourself honestly, does your need to be right means you are sabotaging you and your team’s success? 

6. Making yourself look good

This is often a fear driven behavior.  If we do not look good then people may not believe that we are doing a good job, are capable of being promoted, or of being of significant value to the business or others.

You need to ask yourself are you trying to promote yourself at the expense of others?

Are you excluding others because you feel that if you include them it will take the gloss off you?  

This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ultimately your ‘gloss’ will become tarnished because you cannot be everything to everyone. All you are doing if you are behaving this way is providing an opportunity to showcase your weaknesses.

7. Promising but not delivering

Words are cheap.

Actions speak louder than words.

We have all heard these phrases, but often we don’t pay them enough attention to them and this can be to our detriment.

You need to ask yourself when you suggest, direct or intimate something in conversation do you follow through even if the outcome is not favorable for the person you have spoken to?

 If you don’t, what is the impression you are giving to that person and how do you know that person will not become pivotal in your future direction?

The truth is you don’t know, but you can be assured that they will remember the way you treated them.

8. Not surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you

Have you ever been guilty of not employing someone because you felt that they might show you up?

Do you ever have that niggling feeling that you might be caught out as an ‘imposter’ in an area that you do not believe you perform as well as you should?

You need to ask yourself if you are missing an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills and team performances all because of lack of confidence in your own individual abilities?

9. Believing that there is an ‘i’ in team

We all joke about this statement because we have all heard it said at training sessions and in motivational speaking forums.

The  ‘i’ is really an ‘e’ and that ‘e’ stands for ego.

You need to ask yourself if you are putting you first when you lead, or the team first and if you are jeopardizing your reputation?

 

Your team will follow if you lead from the front, but will leave you, if you push them from behind.

10. Pretending you know what you are doing when you really don’t

Faking it till you make it may work in some cases but in the long run you will always get caught out and this usually happens when you least expect it.

You need to ask yourself if you are always waiting for that ball to drop, how many others are able to see your vulnerability, exploit you, or pass judgment?

11. Not asking for help when you really should

Flying solo may look attractive but everyone has weaknesses and things that they are not really good at.

You need to ask yourself what will happen when those holes in your armor appear and your team realizes you are only human.  

What message you are sending to the people who are following you? 

12. Fear of failure means you avoid trying new things

Being change-averse and risk-averse means you are stuck.

Being stuck means that others will pass you by and overtake you.

You need to ask yourself if you can afford to be left behind and seen as someone who was not forward thinking. Do you want this to be your legacy?

13. Always doing things the same way as you always have

Habit is a comfortable word.

It is so much easier to repeat the same processes than to learn something new, and often this is why we default to this, often subconsciously.

You need to ask yourself if you are guilty of complacency and recognize that people could see this as your ‘Achilles Heel’ and take advantage.

14. Worried about what others think when you determine how you act

As humans, we are very vulnerable to how we are perceived.

For some of us, this controls our behavior and can, when escalated, paralyze us to act according to what others deem as appropriate and not trust our own instincts and experience.

You need to ask yourself are you allowing your actions to be determined by others, or are you taking responsibility and setting an example.

Do you have a reputation as a leader or one who is being led?

15. Overanalyzing everything

Thinking too much can cause you to overthink and over analyze.

This can lead to doubt and indecision.

You need to ask yourself how you approach your decision making?  

Are you reticent to make any decision and procrastinate because you can’t? 

What impact does this have on your performance and reputation?

16. Communicating what you say will happen, and when it will happen, and then not delivering on that

This is often seen described as time management.

Don’t focus on where you aren’t going to proceed or get outcomes.

However, this approach often means that you, in good faith, promise to come back to someone, follow up, confirm a quote or offer or give them an update within a time frame with some sense of surety and optimism that this will happen.

You need to ask yourself when circumstance and timelines change are you guilty of blowing people off, forgetting to get back to them, dropping them down the priority order or just ignoring them because getting back to them is no longer as important?  

If so what if you need or want something from that person in the future and that is not something you can foresee.  

Will they be there for you?

17. Making decisions on what others say you should do

Following the crowd or winning the popular vote may make you a hero in the short term but when the consequences of decisions that are made, motivated by others opinions, inevitably, you could be the one with egg on your face.

You need to ask yourself are you band-aiding a problem with a solution that you didn’t give consensus on?

18. Making yourself a minority in your mind:  Creating the Victims Syndrome

Society likes to create minority groups, even where they weren’t in existence before.

Why then do we move into the shadow and allow ourselves to be a minority?

You need to ask yourself…

Are you a leader with conviction or a leader without a voice?

You need to be prepared to stand up for your team, be responsible and accountable, to gain their respect and the respect of your peers.

19. Looking at the problem, not the solution

This is more common than most of us want to acknowledge.

It feels so normal to complain about the problem, how it is impacting us and if you give your team a chance they will run with this approach every time.

You need to ask yourself if you are determined to draw a line in the sand.

Expect that your team comes to you with a solution for the problem and never comes to you with the problem for you to solve. 

The solution they offer does not have to be the right one, but it will start them thinking the right way. In time, more often than not, they will be on the right track and be thinking more laterally, than literally.

20. Assuming that the problem cannot ever be part of the solution

Believing that the problem is part of the solution almost sounds like a contradiction for most people, and often it is hard to understand and process.

You need to ask yourself how you can illustrate to your team, and peers, that the problem is a symptom.

To determine the solution, the symptom or symptoms of the problem,  if reverse engineered, could provide valuable insights into the solution or solutions.

The ‘problem’ needs to stop being the barrier between you and the ‘solution’.

21. Doing what you think other people think you should do

Guesswork is about as accurate as being blindfolded and asked to perform a task that requires sight to be successful.  It is not going to end well.

You need to ask yourself if you are prepared to risk your reputation by assuming what you think others think you should do, or be bold enough to find out what should be done and show initiative.  

Travelling with the herd may feel safer but when predators move in you are likely to be trapped.

22. Not investing in yourself as a unique value proposition

Do you pay enough attention to yourself?

If you value what you bring to the table you need to invest in yourself to get the best returns.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

You would do that with any depreciating asset, wouldn’t you?

You need to ask yourself what your strategy is for continual improvement to be at the top of your game or your reputation in your chosen field may suffer.

23. Not believing you can because it is easier to give up

We all get tired living in the human rat race, competing to stay on top of the pack, and to remain relevant.

Sometimes it just seems easier to concede, rather than compete.

You need to ask yourself what the impact will be on your reputation if you choose the easy way out each time.  

You might cruise along for awhile but sure enough, you will hit the rocks if you continue without a rudder to guide you in your strategic decision making.

Your business card is your boarding pass but your reputation is your passport.  If you want to reach the right destinations you need to make sure your journey doesn’t hit turbulence.

 

 

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Networking skills: How strong are yours?

Networking is a skill in itself. How strong is your networking skills? Can you improve them to make the most of your network. Collaborate, endorse, partner and refer to nurture and grow your network to your advantage!

Networking to achieve

Your networking checklist

Choose one of the 4 choices for each question:

1/Do you share your contact details using your business card when you meet someone?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

2/ Do you connect using Linkedin or similar business networking social platforms

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

3/ Do you share your contact details by sending your contact via SMS

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

4/ Do you always arrive on time for networking meetings?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

5/ Do you measure the success of the networking meeting based on whether you make a sale or a referral?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

6/ Do you spend time reaching out to your network?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

7/ Do you attend networking events?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

8/ How often do you communicate with your network?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

9/ Do you put time aside to grow your network?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

10/ Do you value add to your network proactively?

very rarely    rarely    sometimes     always

Your answers:

If most of your answers were ‘sometimes’ or ‘always’, you are well on your way to making the most of your network and positioning yourself to grow your network proactively.  If, on the other hand, you chose more ‘rarely’ or ‘very rarely‘ choices you should be able to see where you can improve your networking performance.

Interested to learn more about networking?

How To Connect With Anyone by SoulPancake

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How to Magically Connect with Anyone by Brian Miller

Magicians have mastered the art of understanding different perspectives in order to create illusions and connect with the audience. Brian Miller explains how he used that skill to create magic for a blind man. Then he shares how you can use the same technique to make better, more meaningful connections with people in your life, personally and professionally.

LinkedIn

The LinkedIn app makes it easier to connect to the people and things that matter in your professional world. Use LinkedIn to build and nurture your professional network, stay up to date with the latest business and industry news, and find your next dream job.

Twitter

Find the best of Twitter in an instant with Moments. Follow top stories through immersive pics, clips, and conversations. Get insights and perspectives you won’t find anywhere else.
Twitter is a free app that lets you connect with people, express yourself, and discover more about all the things you love.

Originally posted 2016-01-04 11:25:22.

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Connecting Over Coffee – Networking and Conversion

How often have you met someone at a business event and you end the meeting by both agree that catching up and connecting over a cup of coffee would be the a great idea?

The informal atmosphere that is found in a coffee shop is perfect for conversation and connecting. Networking over a cup of coffee has been around for a long time. The real question is how do you measure the value of the meeting and how do you convert these meetings into sales?

connecting over coffee

5 things you should not do when connecting over coffee

  1. Don’t just give the person you are meeting your business card. A business card alone is disposable and can be discarded or lost easily. Sharing your contact details by mobile will create a permanency in their contact list and they will recognize it is you when you make that follow up call.
  2. Be late. The person you are meeting with has made the time to meet with you and being late suggests that the meeting is not that important to you. Let them know that you have made them your priority and if you are unavoidably detained let them know in advance.
  3. Don’t make the meeting all about you. You are not meeting with this person to make a sale. You are meeting this person to understand how you can provide a solution for them.
  4. Dress inappropriately for the meeting. If you are representing your business you need to dress accordingly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are meeting a friend for a cup of coffee. Your appearance is important and the effort you put in will be recognized.
  5. Be conscious of your body language when you communicate. Ask yourself this question: If you were meeting this person in your office how would you sit, stand and act. The formality of the office does not exist in the coffee shop environment. How you engage should still be as professional and courteous though. A casual approach can be seen as dismissive and they may not see you, as a representative of your business, as a serious or trustworthy opportunity.

5 things you should do when connecting over coffee

  1. Arrive 5 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to start and make sure that the waitress has bought the menu and some water to your table. Be prepared.
  2. Stand up when the person you are meeting arrives, face them, make eye contact and shake their hand firmly. Making that little bit of effort shows them that you feel they are an important person to connect and do business with.
  3. Always start the discussion with….Tell me a little bit about your business and what you do. Everybody loves to talk about themselves and this makes you look receptive and open to learn what they have to offer.
  4. Listen intently and take notes. Be attentive and write down notes either on your tablet or notebook highlighting and underlining important points of discussion. This indicates that you think what they are saying is valuable.
  5. Think on your feet….so to speak. Impress the person you are meeting with by reiterating what you are discussing.  This reaffirms that you are listening and understanding what is being discussed. If possible relate your findings to a solution that your business could deliver. Do not sell the solution.  Align your business to what they do.

5 ways you can convert a coffee connection into a sale

  1. Ask the person you are meeting with to describe what the challenges they face in their business are. You need to understand the problem before you can present a solution.
  2. Determine if the person you are meeting with is cash strapped before proposing a solution. This may pose a barrier to the solution you were going to propose. It may be wiser to offer a free trial with commitment to a contract once you have demonstrated that your solution works for their business.
  3. Ask them how their business is travelling? If you get a negative response and the reasons are not a reflection of the market seize this as an opportunity. Examine how you can create a mind shift by strengthening their belief that if they adopt your solution it will make a real difference to their business. If you get a negative response and the reasons are market indicative then look for practical solutions that will positively impact their business.  These solutions need to be measurable to reassure them that they can monitor progress.
  4. Let them initiate a solution that their business delivers to solve a problem for your business. Once you have done this then reciprocate with a mutual resolution that benefits and grows both businesses. Partnering, even if it is unofficial builds relationships and commitment.
  5. Referrals strengthen sales. You could suggest that you deliver a solution at a discounted price. If their business is happy with the outcome that you have delivered you could suggest that they may offer to be a case study or give your business a testimonial. If you show that you are open to do the same for their business this will create a reciprocal relationship that benefits you both.

The key takeaway is follow-up.

A coffee meeting is only successful if it leads to a productive outcome. This may mean another scheduled meeting with an agenda, an introduction to meet a decision maker in their business, a referral to another business or a direct sale or partnership.

Plan your takeaway as the coffee meeting unfolds and deliver it with confidence.

….and remember to always offer to pay for the coffee when the meeting ends.

Want to learn more about networking and connecting?

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Networking basics are important for any entrepreneur to know. If you’ve ever felt like networking is boring and dull, you’ll love this video because you’ll learn some simple strategies for making authentic connections outside of boring hotel conference rooms.

Rather than thinking of networking as an “event”, consider it an ongoing, lifelong process of building new relationships with people you actually like and want to be connected to.

 

Originally posted 2015-06-14 11:01:13.

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‘Opt In’ To Give Back: A Network Experiment

Is it just me or do you find it amazing that we often only hear about the good in people when bad things happen through our network and on the news?

People rally and do the most selfless acts when they are confronted with what they don’t understand, what they feel is unjust, or when they feel moved by an event or action.

network

Back to our everyday lives, we revert, more often than not, to ‘survival mode’ to keep our heads above the rest of the crowd and push on.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule and we revere these people and give them accolades when, and often only when, what they do is brought to our attention.

Sadly, often the great things they do largely goes unnoticed.

Where are we going wrong?

  • We assume we have to have robust and extensive networks to be successful or be seen as being successful.
  • We self-promote to be seen as influential or as a thought leader to be recognized by our peers as important and worthy of their time and attention.
  • We join groups to align ourselves with like-minded people to gain credibility and trust.

What if we tipped this upside down?

Might I be so brave as to suggest that we try an experiment and start an ‘optin‘ to give back network experiment?

‘Opt-in‘ in this context stands for ‘optimising in network’.

Consider if you could optimise your network to give back to your connections.

How would that make you feel?

How would this work?

  • Each week you decide which one of your connections that you can help by giving back to them.  This might be some of your time, experience, resource or another tangible ‘give back’ initiative.  It does not have to be much, but must be something that is seen as having value for the recipient.
  • You contact the connection you have chosen to reach out to and ‘give back’ with no expectation of anything in return.
  • You cannot post that you have ‘given back’ or promote it in any way, shape or form.
  • The recipient of your ‘give back’, however,  must post to thank you for the ‘give back’.  They must describe the value of the ‘give back’ to them or their business, tag the connection who gave back to them and include the hashtag #optin to promote and expedite the experiment across their network.
  • The recipient must also within a week of receiving a ‘give back’ be responsible for doing the same for one of their connections.  The expectation is not to ‘give back’ to the person who connected with you to ‘give back’ as this only limits the opportunity of the network experiment.

Why should we give it a try?

The pace of our lives is only getting more intense and competition is only becoming more fierce.  If we don’t stop and recognize the real value of ‘giving back’ to others and see them as real people that have something to offer, we will become increasingly detached.

Patterns of self-promotion, niche networks within networks, inappropriate behaviour and non-constructive commentaries on posts are becoming the norm, rather than the exception on social networks.

This is counter-productive to the enormous opportunity that social networks offer.

‘Opt-in‘ to give back is an opportunity to correct this dysfunction and make real connections that will become so much more than numbers.

You have to ask yourself how much richer your life and the lives of others could be if you took the time to opt-in to give back.

Let the experiment begin! 

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