Success Matters Edition #8 11/30/2007

Success Matters - "5 Steps to Master the Art of Net-Weaving"- #8 November 2007

Success Matters
Success Associates

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Success Associates provides proven success strategies to help you get unstuck in career bottlenecks, navigate the political landscape to achieve your goals, and discover your unique genius and brand your career to know what you stand for and engage in more meaningful work.

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'Tis The Season To Be Jolly

How do you approach the holiday season?

  • Do you feel excitement about the increased social activities and the opportunity to meet new and interesting people? Or …
  • Do you dread the required social events and having to make small talk with your business associates?

Many people are very comfortable in the work setting when the primary conversation is around work related projects and issues. However, the less structured social setting presents added stress when the conversation goes beyond work topics.

The holiday season can also be a time of increased stress with year end business goals that need to be achieved, in addition to the increased personal and professional social activities. When you’re stressed, it can feel overwhelming to ‘be jolly’ and exude ‘holiday cheer’.

Let’s look at the holiday season with a different lens.

  • Isn’t it also a perfect opportunity to reconnect with business acquaintances, build new reciprocal relationships that could lead to business in 2008 or perk up your spirits?

If you’ve been contemplating exploring new opportunities, here’s a fact for you:

  • More job offers are negotiated and deals closed in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day than at any other time of the year!

It must be the holiday spirit of generosity and sharing that’s in play!

Spread some holiday joy, yourself!

  • Share your unique gifts and connect with others in a more reciprocal way.
  • Discover creative ways to be of service to others whether you share a casual conversation with them in the shopping line or engage in an in-depth business dialogue.

I’ve outlined a few easy steps below for you to master the art of net-weaving and build your social capital, especially during this holiday season.

I've added two new sections to Success Matters – a link to the different sections for your easy access; and a new section, Net-Weaving Connections – read about a way to make connections at the premier year-round, indoor golf entertainment club in Malvern.

Enjoy your holiday!

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“Everything you say or do either adds or subtracts from your personal brand . . . personal branding is all about reserving a space in the minds and hearts of others.”
Motivational quote by Timothy P. O’Brien, Esq.

A Holiday Cheer Idea

When you make out your holiday cards this year, include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington , D.C. 20307-5001

Please pass this idea along to your network / email list.

Features:

 

5 Easy Steps to Master the Art of Net-Weaving :
Create Powerful First Impressions & Long-Lasting Relationships

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. It’s 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, “that’s nice” or some other non-descript statement and you’re 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 organization’s success?

There are a few common patterns: people minimize their contributions; aren’t 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, let’s 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 it’s 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 you’re 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:

  1. Talk results, not products or process.
  2. Keep it short and repeatable – 1 to 2 sentences is best.
  3. Be enthusiastic and conversational.
  4. 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 September’s 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:

  1. That’s interesting. How do you do that?
  2. 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?
  3. 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 it’s 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 can’t 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, I’ve outlined a few items for your Field Work:

  • Take TIME to send holiday greeting cards to people that you’ve 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! Let’s 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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Coaching Questions
  • What are three problems or challenges that you have solved for a department, company or client in the past year?
  • What are the specific outcomes or results from your contribution?
  • How did the department head, company manager or client FEEL about the outcome?

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Book References

Stop Whining, Start Winning: 8 Surefire Ways for Women To Thrive in Business’ by Molly D. Shepard with Jane K. Stimmler. Penguin Group, 2005

The Power of Personal Branding: Creating Celebrity Status with Your Target Audience’ by Tim O’Brien, Esq. Mendham Publishing, July 2007

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Speaking News / Special Events

Speaking Event, December 5, 2007: “Inside-Out Approach to Professional Speaking”

Siemens Toastmaster’s, Siemens Medical Solutions, 51 Valley Stream Parkway, Malvern, PA. Hosted by Janet Muscavage, President; Marie Lynch, VP Education
www.siemenstoastmasters.com

Speaking Event, February, 2008: “Build Your Personal Brand . . . Authentically Reflect Your “Unique Genius” and STAND OUT in ANY CROWD!

Healthcare Business Women’s Association of Greater Philadelphia, PA.
Hosted by Program Director, Sheree Butterfield of Break-through Consulting.
Watch for specific date and location in next edition or click on website link:
http://www.hbanet.org/group.aspx?arctype=c&arcid=1011

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Net-Weaving Connections - NEW!

Play-A-Round Golf! Learn. Practice. Play. Year-Round.

One of my former colleagues from Siemens Medical Solutions, Steve Graves, opened a year round, indoor, golf club as his next career after departing a successful 30 year career at Siemens.

Steve gave me a full tour of his facility a few weeks ago, and I was very impressed with the comprehensive services and state of the art technology that he built into the golf club.

In addition to the benefits listed below, there are simulated golf courses from over 30 well-known courses and practice ranges in their 10 3-D golf simulators and an executive meeting set-up for small or large groups!

Play-a-Round provides its busy customers year-round opportunities to exercise, compete, and network at the same time – a wise use of your time.

  • Regular workouts on 1 of 3 practice golf ranges improve your swing and muscle tone. If you could benefit from instruction, classes are taught by PGA or LPGA-certified golf pros.
  • Leagues provide regular opportunities to compete as well as try adjustments to your swing.
  • Lunchtime Specials at SandWedge Café are a great way to develop relationships with customers, employees, and family members.

They are known as ‘the premier destination for convenient, affordable, and inclusive year-round, indoor golf entertainment in the Philadelphia area.’

Location:
Play-a-Round Golf America, Inc.
Lincoln Court Center
225 Lancaster Avenue
Malvern, PA 19355
610-725-9155 – Ask for Steve!
www.playaroundgolf.net
(Just off of Rt. 30/Lancaster Ave. next to the Drivers License Center)

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Professional Coaching

Coaching is a confidential partnership between you, the Client, and your Coach to help you achieve your next level of success faster and with greater focus and clarity.

If you want to discover your ‘unique genius’’, define what you stand for, and embrace more meaning and fulfillment in your work, contact Gerrie for your exploratory consultation at gerrie@successassociates.biz

Gerrie Dresser is an ICF credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and practical, innovative career strategist.

For more information about Gerrie, click on http://www.successassociates.biz/about
Learn about client successes, click on http://www.successassociates.biz/ravereviews 

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copyright 2005 - 2007 Success Associates, Gerrie Dresser. All Rights Reserved.

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