Lara Nieberding

The Purple Lara

Posts Tagged ‘networking

“What do you do?”

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 99

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Give It Your Best.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

For some reason when people ask me “What do you do?” I fumble and falter.  It is like a mirror raises between me and the person and I see my insecurities reflected back at me.  It really is an innocent question.  A lot of times people are making small talk or they are genuinely interested in finding out what I am doing.  I know the importance of answering the question appropriately.  It makes or breaks the social interaction.

I have been working on my response to give them my “best.”  This is what I have so far:

“I work with individuals that want information delivered directly to them.”

I was trying to work in the tag line “Delivering Information Directly to  You.”

It is weak in the image it creates.  For example, lots of people get email every day. My service doe not revolve around email.

I am trying this now,

“I work with individuals who want to obtain information quickly and efficiently so they can focus on their priorities.”

Written by The Purple Lara

May 20, 2008 at 9:00 AM

Memorable name…

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 87

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Teach Your Name.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

Recently, I was at a networking event.  There was a unique situation.  There were several of us with a similar root name.  Even though we had name tags on, I wanted to give my new found networking skills a whirl.

The first technique I tried was “Give ’em a double dip.”  When people read my name on a name tag their brain pauses trying to figure out how to pronounce it.  So this time, I said “Lara….Lara Nieberding.”

Now that they are trying to associate the spelling with the sounding, I tried “Separate and Articulate.”  In the example above, I said my first name as it should roll off the tongue, “Lara” then I paused.  I repeated my first name “Law R uh” with articulation and then stated my last name.  I am not branding my name as my business so I made a choice to deemphasize my last name.

Do you watch NBC’s hit show “The Office?”  One of the characters, Phyllis, announced she was getting married.  When people asked her who she was engaged to, she would say “Robert Vance of Vance Refrigeration.”  Every time Robert Vance is mentioned on the show, they always say “Robert Vance of Vance Refrigeration.”  Obviously it worked.  I still remember his name.  (Check out Phyllis and Robert Vance of Vance Refrigeration’s wedding invitation.)

Since my business name is not tied to my name, I chose to emphasize my first name.  I also thought emphasizing my first name is personable and hopefully speaks to building relationships.  Now here is a struggle.  “Make your name memorable.”  At this particular networking event, there were at least three people with the root name “Laura.”  I took to saying “It’s ‘Laura’ with out the ‘U.'”  During the event, as I heard myself saying this, I thought this sounds antisocial.  The room is noisy and busy.  People might interpret what I am saying as “with out you.” NOT the impression I want to be leaving.  I should have had a strategy. I should have really thought this out better.  Well, it is back to the strategy board to try to come up with a better way to make my name memorable.

Written by The Purple Lara

May 19, 2008 at 5:00 PM

Unsolicited Advice…

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 81

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Avoid the Top Twenty Turn-Offs: Don’t give unsolicited advice.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

This piece of advice is tricky. I think there is a lot more judgment call on giving unsolicited advice.  When I hear someone describe a situation, sometimes the person is so focused on the “heat” of what is going on, they might not recognize a solution.  The person might not think to say, “What is your advice?”  Their frame of mind is not there.

I have been in situations where I say, “Would you like to hear what I did when that happened to me?”  Perhaps I am too sensitive, but there is this awkward moment when the conversation stops…the person hesitates and then politely agrees to listen.  It is at that moment that I am not really sure they want to hear what I have to say.  It feels like I am giving unsolicited advice. I leave feeling uncomfortable.

I have also been in situations where I say, “Would you like to hear what I did when that happened to me?”  The person boldly says, “NO!” and charges the conversation along.  At least they indicated they weren’t really looking for social interaction.  I leave feeling disrespected.

When it comes to unsolicited advice, you have to have a keen sense judgment for the situation.  Some instances it may be appropriate, if delivered humbly with the intent to give without expectation and it adds value to the situation.  Some instances require one to recognize the other is just “blowing off steam” and to hold one’s tongue is the better course of action.

Written by The Purple Lara

May 19, 2008 at 9:00 AM

Guilty of Hiding…

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 80

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Avoid the top twenty turn-offs: Don’t Hide. Some people, not wanting to appear self-centered, never tell you anything about themselves.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

Guilty.  Of all the top twenty networking turn-offs, I am most guilty of hiding.  In a one on one conversation, I will share enough information to keep the conversation going.  However, the other person will always have shared more.  If I am in a group conversation, it is possible for people to walk away without having learned anything about me.

I had an interesting experience lately.  I went to dinner with a group of colleagues.  Now, mind you, I have read this book.  I am trying to be very aware of my interactions.  I am doing my best to make networking natural.  I do not want it to look like I am forcing myself to do this.  I want to be comfortable.  Dinner begins and I am listening, asking questions and sharing about me, too.  I am actually having a good time and I feel relaxed.

Then just before dessert, the conversation is flying… the wine has been flowing for my colleagues, the laughs are loud and the rhetoric is quick. “I am a Gemini” says one colleague and another jumps in “OH! me too!” responds another…the whole table is giggling and swapping humorous anecdotes. Then, the person across from me says, “Lara, what is your sign?”  “I am a Capricorn.”  “I KNEW IT!” Yells the person across from me.  The whole table erupts in boisterous chatter.  They described how I was just sitting back, taking it all in, watching everyone.

Uh…so much for new networking skills.

Written by The Purple Lara

May 18, 2008 at 8:48 AM

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 72

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Jot reminders on the backs of cards you collect, so that you can follow up and follow through.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

Now, how simple is that?  It never occurred to me to write on the back of a business card the context for receiving the card.

I have a business card  holder where I keep cards I have received.  Every once and a while I will look through them.  It is a neat trip down memory lane.  Imagine if I had handwritten notes on them?

How do you store the business cards you collect?  Do you write notes on the cards?  What is the date of your oldest business card in your collection?

Written by The Purple Lara

April 11, 2008 at 8:44 PM

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 66

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Brighten up body language.  Engage your partner.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

In social situations, I wonder if I am making eye contact?  Am I smiling?  Do I look approachable? Receptive?  When I read the advice, the defensive side of me says  “Yeah, yeah , yeah. I get it. I can do that.”  If I let my defenses down, I have to ask myself, how comfortable am I really?

Tina Su of Think Simple Now blog writes in her post 8 Keys To Instant Charisma about how to mirror the person you are speaking with.  Tina explains:

“Mirroring happens naturally in social interactions, but when you are conscious of it and are aware of its affects, it can be used as a tool in effective communication for generating rapport.”

Tina gives you a detailed description just like Lynne. At the end of Tina’s post,  I had to chuckle.  She says “Just be yourself.”  What if “being myself” isn’t working?  LOL Ok. Back to “Make Your Contacts Count.”

My idea of networking: observe

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 50

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Whatever the size of your networking effort, you’ll come to many ChoicePoints along the way. These are opportunities to make strategic decisions about what you will say or do.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

Before reading this book, I never had a strategic plan. I did not know I had networking tools. The only preparation was done in the travel time to the networking event. While at the event, I spent a lot of time observing. Other networkers lead the way of discussion and the offering of information.

In this chapter, I look forward to developing my strategic plan.

Written by The Purple Lara

April 7, 2008 at 10:13 PM

Underestimating the Power of Networking

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Who recommended: Lynne Waymon

What I am reading: Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Where in the book: page 50

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

Which quote: “Never underestimate the power of networking to enhance your life, both professionally and personally.”

How this quote adjusted my thinking:

I think this is where I have faltered. I honestly thought networking was a one shot deal. I thought it was an activity I signed up for. Attend the activity, smile, state your name, exchange business cards and call it a day. In that perspective, networking is quite the chore.

My perspective of networking is changing. I like the idea of networking being ongoing. I am learning a new vocabulary. I am getting a new framework for my behavior. I feel more professional. I feel more confident.

Written by The Purple Lara

April 4, 2008 at 7:47 PM

Defining Networking Allies

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Who recommended:  Lynne Waymon

 

What I am reading:  Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

make-your-contacts-cound-book-cover.jpg

 

Where in the book: page 42

 

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

 

Which quote: “Develop  Your Relationships-Six Stages- Allies= People who are experts on you, your business, your career, your needs, your aspirations and your vision.”

 

How this quote adjusted my thinking:      

Now I know I am too early in my business to have established these relationships.  While examining the relationships I do have established, I realize I am not an ally for anyone-yet. Having this book guide me gives me the road map I need to keep my networking as well as my business on track.

 

In these times it is so overwhelming to sift through all the business advice and opportunities.  It is so easy to get side tracked and derailed from your business objectives or even your personal objectives.  I like how this book gives me the vocabulary and a framework to keep focused.

Written by The Purple Lara

April 3, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Nurturing Advocates…

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Who recommended:  Lynne Waymon

 

What I am reading:  Make Your Contacts Count (Networking Know-How For Business and Career Success) by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

make-your-contacts-cound-book-cover.jpg

 

Where in the book: page 41

 

Why I am reading: Learning how to network. Cause believe me, I have no CLUE!

 

Which quote: “Develop Your Relationships-Six Stages-Advocate= People who believe in each other’s character and competence.”

 

How this quote adjusted my thinking:     

I definitely lack in “advocate” relationships.  I am going to pay close attention to the advice on how to move relationships into this circle.  I am hoping that my lack of “advocates” is because my business is so new.  I have not been networking long enough to develop this level of relationship.  It will happen. I I want to monitor my networking skills to make sure I am nurturing “advocates.”

Written by The Purple Lara

April 2, 2008 at 7:49 PM