Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

4 golden rules of networking


4 golden rules of networking 

There are still some sales folks around who will explosion vomit their solutions all over their potential customers followed immediately by asking for more business. Wow. Good luck with that approach. Relationships are earned – there are not owed to you.

Patience, value creating, and competency are needed in copious amounts in order for you to be offered an open ear. Only then can any solid relationship happen. Just slipping your business card quickly into people’s hands during your first encounter – especially C level folks – is usually a waste of time. Networking events are for providing value and for connecting people of value to others. Here are four things to consider when networking:

  • Be prepared to add value to your new contact. This is by far the most important point in any networking activity. If you have nothing to add to any new relationship then don’t wonder why your circle of relationships does not increase. Remember that it is not important whom you know, it is more important who knows and remembers you.
  • Willingness to give before asking for anything. Honestly, do you really think that asking for favors the first time you meet someone will get you anywhere? You may luck out guilt tripping someone into giving you something, but is that sustainable in the long run? Approaching anyone with an open heart, soul, and your intellect / mind and making sure that you are willing to give your talents away helping someone else is the best way to start your networking process.
  • Invest your time smartly – but please make sure that you do spend time with your newfound friend. Only when you get to spend some significant quality time together will you really get to appreciate new folks and old alike. When people see and get to experience first-hand that you are the real deal you make a deeper connection that is trust based. That is the essence of relationship building.
  • Make sure you are genuine and sincere. Be genuinely compassionate with everybody. Compassion means that you are suffering with someone else. That is what it is all about. When you care enough to stop noticing what the real issue is that someone has, only then will you be able creating a much more genuine relationship. Listening and truly understanding where someone is coming from is essential for applying the correct technology / method to solving issues.

Networking is easy and effective if you are willing to give first. There is only one thing that you can ask. Ask for whom may be able to help you, or ask for another connection this person could possibly offer to you. Your new contacts owe you nothing, certainly not respect or their time. Earn their attention by working hard connecting them with new people, ideas, concepts, products, and services. Only then will you become a master at networking and your income potential rises with it.

Ralf

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#Enough


I am deeply impacted by the latest school shooting last week in Parkland FL. At the same time I feel hopeful that perhaps finally we can start to have a meaningful dialogue about how we will address this complex issue. I do not believe in “either, or” solutions – we need a “yes, and” approach. It was not one single issue that got us here, but a whole laundry list of things that keep going wrong.

What gives me hope are the school students that have been very vocal in their protests. I am proud of them asking us adults – who should know better – some very tough and justified questions. We have to start getting away from our keyboards and meet in person with our public leaders to get away from the toxic political polarization. Enough is enough.

Ralf

12 ways of how to avoid death by meeting


12 ways of how to avoid death by meeting 

Meetings. Sometimes I think I the conference room is my office. How often do you feel that way, or have you been in more meetings than the workweek has hours?

Seriously, many meetings just keep on running on and on with little to nothing show for at the end of it in terms of getting tangible results. When folks get an even fuzzier picture at the end of the meeting than what they went in with, you will have some very unhappy campers to deal with sooner or later.

It does not need to be this way. Preparation is the key word in making a difference. Have you ever painted anything like a room or piece of furniture? If so, you may appreciate when I say that +75% of the total work going into this is the prep work leading up to it. The actual painting job takes a fraction of time. This is no different with meeting prep work. Properly executed this can save you many a nerves and of course time, money and frustration. Please also see the meeting planner free for you to use in the download area.

  1. Sit on a mental rock and ponder why you need to have a meeting in the first place. If you can avoid it, do not have it. Have personal conversations instead and make good use of your capability walking the four corners of your business.
  2. Clarify what kind of a communication you want to have. Is it a communication for interpretation? Communication for clarity? Communication for action? Communication for exploration?
  3. Identify the goal of the meeting. What is the desired outcome?
  4. Define location, attendees, time scheduled to start and stop. Make sure to book your rooms well in advance and all the props that you need.
  5. Who should attend? Err on the minimalistic side. More than five people at a time make for really slow meetings. Pay attention who of your people are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Make sure everyone is being considered.
  6. When you start the meeting make sure to start on time and end on time. Neat trick starting on time is to make the last person to arrive at the meeting the scribe. You will have some hilarious antics going on when you do this, but it has proven extremely effective.
  7. Define the roles of facilitator, scribe, and time keeper. Time keeper, no time to tread lightly on this; make certain that the time limits are kept.
  8. Plan out the topics that will be discussed. Upon starting the meetings give every team member a chance adding topics, or of course eliminating any.
  9. Sometimes it may be necessary having side bar meetings leading up the meeting that you are planning. When the topic is too vague, scope creep set in, or there are too many people in the main meeting, prevent major headaches this way.
  10. Scribe: Keep copious notes. For the technical savvy folks amongst you, use a version of the Meeting Planner on the Download page in your MS One Note folder and share it with the team members.
  11. At the end of the meeting go over the captured action items. Make absolutely, positively certain to doing this. Identify the responsible person to deliver results and by when.
  12. End on time. If you have a pattern of going over all the time, have a few meetings standing up. Trust me it helps keeping a fast pace and not to start rambling through the meeting agenda. If you must go over one hour time then plan on a 90 max meeting time before walking around, and get a bit of fresh air.

Nothing is worse than having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. If need be, speak with you supervisor and take a break at no more than 90 minutes max meeting time.

Ralf

Discover 1 way of looking at fighting with cancer


Discover 1 way of looking at fighting with cancer 

Yet another good friend of mine is fighting with a serious form of cancer. A co-worker’s mom lost her battle a few weeks ago. Why would you go on living? Life can be such a lemon. I am sure that any of you have similar issues to deal with. The outlook is outright bleak in terms of the odds getting cancer throughout your lifetime. What do you do when fate is handing you such a big lemon?

The question of quality of life will come up eventually. Friends and family will think about it. Whoever is affected by this terrible disease will think about it. Some might even openly discuss it. Why would you go on suffering? When is enough, enough? When will hope finally let you down?

Yes, there is a lot of suffering, but there is an awful lot of living too. It may be the blessing of the long good-bye, and then again you may end up getting cured. Let hope go last. In the meantime there are an awful lot of people who depend on you, they suffer and laugh with you, and they will look up to you.

Then consider all the things that are truly important to you. How much of the must-do list are checked off? How about that wedding or the grand child you wanted to greet upon arrival? Is that not worth living and suffering for?

The initial chaos of any bad diagnosis will soon give way to new routines and your new “normalcy”. That will also include humor and laughter.

Pick up a bag of sugar and start making lemonade of the lemons life puts in your way. You can only make a difference when you are here with us. That is the legacy that you can leave behind, which will be eternal. Here is to making it through another day.

Ralf

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