Power Networking Articles

Power Networking Articles

Once upon a time Rae was quite uncomforable with business networking sessions, so he did extensive research on the subject and wrote an e-book (available for immediate download) Power Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!.

This section features sage advice on power networking and are included in his e-book. 

Enjoy the articles and feel free to comment. Keep the discussion going!

Name Dropping for Fun & Profit: Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Photo Credit:Jodi WomackviaphotopinccDoes this sound familiar? You are at a business networking session and you are captivated by a speaker who wants to regale you with a litany of important people that they have supposedly recently spent time with. “Oh, the other day I had coffee with the Mayor …” “I was just saying the very same thing to my good friend XXX, you know that he owns half the town.” “Yeah, my best friend is the Crown Attorney and she was telling me …”

To coin a phrase … “blah, blah, blah, yaddey, yaddey, yaddey!”

Close Encounters of the Networking Kind: Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Have you ever wondered how close to stand to another person when conversing in a 1 to 1 at a business networking session? Okay, maybe I do have too much spare time as they say but I am sure that this is a question that many people have asked.

While I don’t have a definitive answer, I do have some thoughts on the matter. Many factors including gender, culture, trust, past experiences and self-confidence come into play.

Looking at it from a self-defence, self-preservation perspective, it is helpful to think of each of us having an invisible circle or a safety zone around us. As a preservation measure we tend to keep strangers outside of our safety zone and only let people we trust or are comfortable with into our comfort zone.

Follow-up is Everything! Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Follow-up is Everything! Power Networking Tips & Techniques Follow-up is Everything! Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. It can be a great feeling when coming home from a networking event and looking at the stack of business cards you have collected. You even spoke at length to many of the card-donators. Some, it can be a little difficult to recall who they actually were. “Now was he the tall fellow with the bad hair piece …. or was he…?” You’ve probably experienced that scenario more than once. And you know what … perhaps some of the business people that you gave your precious business card to have been thinking something similar. Hopefully not about your bad hair though.

For a Good Time Call ... : Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Photo credit courtesy of judy and ed   Flickr Creative Commons. I am sure that most of us have heard of the practice of reading a message scrawled on a public restroom wall of “For a good time call …” There is a usually a phone number accompanying the message. In all likelihood the individual mentioned is not aware of the advertising being done on their behalf nor would they likely agree with it. More than likely it was scrawled by an adolescent male, driven by testosterone and thinking it was pretty funny. Having not spent any time in the women’s restroom I can only assume that this practice only happens in the men’s.

If the individual named actually wrote the message in question well I guess it could be attributed to some savvy targeted marketing.

  

Serendipidty GraphicI’ve often heard it said in reference to “self-help” books … “If you get only one gem or a useful tip from a book it makes all of your reading time worthwhile.” While that may be true, it can have you spending a lot of time with your nose in a book.

The same principal can be applied … inefficiently … to your networking activities … “One contact can make a world of difference in your business …” In essence you are leaving your success to serendipity.

Serendipity, or leaving everything to chance, while awe-inspiring when it works, is not something that you can control or count on.

So What's Your Story? Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Photo credit: JodiWomack via photopincc“Nice day eh?”

“To bad about the Canucks!”

“Isn’t this weather something?”

We have heard them all before … meaningless comments that are more likely to end a conversation than to advance it.

For the many people that we encounter during our daily travels perhaps this is all that is needed. If we had long drawn out conversations with everyone, we likely wouldn’t accomplish everything that we need to in a day.

Johnny Appleseed Knew What He Was Doing: Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire.  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.Legend has it that Johnny Appleseed traveled the American countryside spreading apple seeds randomly, everywhere he went.

In fact, according to Wikipedia, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery.

Many people’s business networking activities can be a lot like randomly spreading those apple seeds. Some might grow but most likely left to their own, they will fail to develop and eventually die off.

Relationships need to benurtured. Often the wordcultivatedis used to describe what needs to take place for a relationship to grow. Both words are really describing an active interest, desire and taking action oriented steps to develop a relationship with another individual.

So how does onecultivatea relationship? I have some cynical colleagues who would say that would treat them the same way as you would cultivate mushrooms. You keep them in the dark and feed them BS [male cow manure.] I would suspect that they have few quality connections. I certainly wouldn’t want to be connected to them with that attitude.

Too Shy to Network? Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Photo credit: Executives International via photopin ccSound familiar?

“Do your hands start sweating and your legs shake with the thought of having to not only attend a business networking session but actually talk to people?”

“Do you feel paralyzed by the fear of rejection when you are at a business networking event?

“Would you rather have a root canal than attend a business networking event?

“Would you rather send an e-mail to a business lead than meet them in person?”

Well if any of these apply … you may be shy!

You Get Back What You Give: Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. I recently noticed the often used saying “You Get Back What You Give” written in large letters on a roadside display board at a local church. Perhaps they are stating the obvious but then one’s base personality of being an optimist or a pessimist might come into play. Do you see the world as one of opportunity or as one of danger and threats?

If you are a believer in the law of attraction you have likely also heard the sayings “you reap what you sew” or “what you think about comes about.” Dr. Ivan Meisner, Founder of BNI describes this as the “Givers Gain” principal. The law of reciprocity says that if you provide a service or favour for another they will likely feel obligated to return the favour. I have read somewhere that it creates a tension in the individual who has received a favour to the extent that they feel a discomfort until they have returned the favour and evened the score. This may be at a subconscious level and they wouldn’t even be aware of why they are doing it.

 

Become a Thought Leader: Power Networking Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire. Photo credit courtesy of CeCe Canton via Flickr Creative Commons.Wikipedia defines a thought leader as being an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.

Would being recognized as a leader in your field or in your business make a difference to your bottom line? Is it possible for mere mortals, average people like you and I to become thought leaders?

I believe that it is not only possible to become a leader in your specific field but that it is in the reach of most of us to do so. With my keen interest in developing my business networking skills I am working towards becoming one of those thought leaders. I write about practical networking skills development for shy people as well as those that have some networking skills and want to improve their success rate.

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