Building reciprocal relationships can be very rewarding and valuable for you in growing your career and expanding your perspectives, as you may recall from our previous edition.
Then, why is it so difficult? If there was a step-by-step net-weaving formula for you to follow, it should be easy, right?
Well, this is where the art of net-weaving comes into play. Its an inside-out job, and you need to connect from your passion, your unique genius, and how you stand out from other leaders with a distinctive personal brand that fits YOU!
- How often do you introduce yourself, and the conversation ends or the other person says, thats nice or some other non-descript statement and youre both awkwardly standing there trying to think of the next conversation item?
By following the 5 Steps to Master the Art of Net-Weaving, you will have others saying, Wow! when you introduce yourself. Their next question from a state of curiosity will be, How do you do that? You will differentiate yourself in the first 15 seconds, and leave the other person thinking, Would I love to have him/her on my team.
- What most often stands in the way of someone stating clearly, concisely and with enthusiasm what they do and how they uniquely contribute to an organizations success?
There are a few common patterns: people minimize their contributions; arent articulate about describing their accomplishments at their highest level of performance; and often think of themselves as their job title rather than their unique contribution.
Here are a few contrasting responses to the question, What do you do?
- Job Centered: I am a sales professional in the manufacturing industry.
- Unique Contribution: I work with struggling mid-sized manufacturing companies to generate a more consistent cash flow by creating a predictable and consistent product demand.
- Job Centered: I am a real estate professional, working for x realty company.
- Unique Contribution: I help first time home buyers experience a clean transaction with all the details complete for closing so they enjoy purchasing the home of their dreams.
Which approach piqued your curiosity? When you are so close to what you do, one of the most difficult steps is to reframe what you do and identify your unique contribution statement.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the differences, lets explore the 5 easy steps.
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE & YOUR INTENTION
Building relationships should be as simple as showing up, meeting / greeting people, and making great connections that are lasting, right?! It would seem so, but each event or business activity attracts a certain type of person, and its important to do your homework on yourself and about the people whom you want to meet.
- Ask yourself, What is my intention or purpose for attending this event?
- Research the group and identify a few key people who pique your curiosity. Create a few questions that will open up the conversation that are about the other person.
- What one break-through in your business would dramatically improve your bottom line?
- What is your highest priority this year?
- What would that mean to you?
- What makes it of such high value for you?
STEP 2: PREPARE A CONCISE, ENTHUSIASTIC, AND COMPELLING RESPONSE TO THE QUESTION, WHAT DO YOU DO?
This is the inner work that helps you to take control of the initial conversation and propel each acquaintance into lasting, reciprocal relationships. When you are prepared, opportunities to make the right connections start to show up.
When youre prepared, you easily focus on the other person to learn more about them which is the essence of the art of net-weaving.
Here are a few tips to build your unique contribution statement:
- Talk results, not products or process.
- Keep it short and repeatable 1 to 2 sentences is best.
- Be enthusiastic and conversational.
- Reflect your authentic and genuine style.
STEP 3: ENTHUSIASTICALLY SHARE YOUR COMPELLING RESPONSE!
If you are passionate about what you do and have strong conviction about the contribution that you make to companies, your enthusiasm and authenticity will naturally shine through.
However, if you present your job centered response, your energy is often received as flat and non-engaged. The result? The conversation lands flat, as well.
The key is to master step #2; step #3 will flow naturally.
STEP 4: ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE IN CONVERSATION TO LEARN ABOUT THEM
the natural curiosity that we discussed in Septembers Success Matters. www.successassociates.biz
The actors who are at the top of the six degrees of separation list are strategic connectors and display qualities that are available to everyone authentic curiosity about other people, self-confidence and sociability, and positive energy.
When you ask open-ended questions in the flow of a conversation to identify how you can be of service to the other person, it automatically opens up conversation
and most people are surprised when your are interested in how you can be of service to them!
A few examples that are great conversation openers include:
- Thats interesting. How do you do that?
- I was recently talking with a colleague, and I think she would be very interested in what you do. Would you explain further so that I am clear when I talk with her?
- What do you most enjoy about what you do?
STEP 5: ESTABLISH A KEEP IN TOUCH PROCESS
Do you know how many contacts it takes to build a trusting relationship and have someone know you and what you do, well enough to want to do business with you? Six, yes 6!
Your contact can be as simple as sending them an e-mail within 48 hours of meeting them, and sharing an article or quote that relates to your conversation.
If its someone with whom you want to continue building a relationship, an invitation for coffee or lunch is often welcome.
I know, this is the real challenge! You have so much work to do that you cant ever seem to get enough time to break free from your job and build a successful career!
Let me ask you, Where do others get the time to build relationships or social capital that provides new ideas and insights for their current job, motivation to take new risks, and broader perspective about the industry?
Often, they are more energized, focused, and productive so they actually GAIN TIME rather than LOSE TIME!
In order to extend yourself this holiday season, Ive outlined a few items for your Field Work:
- Take TIME to send holiday greeting cards to people that youve met this past year add to your community.
- Invite one (just 1) NEW person for coffee or lunch and move through the anxiety about not getting your job tasks completed! Lets be more specific someone who is a stretch for you to contact, not a colleague whose office is just down the hall!
Our next edition of Success Matters will focus on Step #2 of the five steps, and will include formulas to create your unique contribution that is compelling and propels conversations forward!
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