Are you networking? January 20, 2009Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Changing behavior, Networking, Relationship, Self assessments.
Tags: network, network assessment, network techniques, Networking, networking actions, networking assessment, networking strategy, networking tips
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How networked are you? The Big Dogz know that before you can achieve a higher level of networking, you need to know how networked you are right now. Here is a self-assessment to evaluate just how networked you are.
How true is each statement for you? Rate your self on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is almost not true at all and 10 is almost completely true.
I understand specifically what I need to get from my network.
Having defined specific needs for your network will allow you to identify potential networking sources. It will help you decide where to spend your time and energy
I can articulate what value I bring to a networking relationship.
Knowing what you have to offer allows you to be more assertive in developing relations. You can start the exchange of support by offering something of value. Have a consistent “elevator speech” that you can deliver comfortably when you meet someone new.
I have an effective strategy for networking.
The basis of an effective strategy is the identification of your approach to networking. What do you want to achieve? How will you achieve it? Networking without an overall strategy is just not as effective.
I contact the people in my network frequently.
Networking is not just calling people when you need help. Cultivate key relationships using periodic contact such as face-to-face, telephone or even an email.
People in my network contact me frequently.
When people are contacting you, it is a clear indicator that people in your network value your opinion and the relationship they have with you. If you are not getting frequent calls from people in your network, start calling them!
I belong to professional and community organizations.
These types of organizations offer a target rich environment for networking. Usually members of these organizations are movers and shakers in their field or in the community.
I am active in volunteer task forces or committees at work, in professional organizations and in the community.
Volunteering to serve on these committees often allow you to meet other people who are in positions of power or may have something of value to you. It is always an effective action to give back to your profession or community.
I have at least three people in my network with whom I have constant interaction.
Pareto’s Law says that 20% of what we do has 80% of the value to us. The same principle is true of networking. Cultivate a small number of key relationships that are of mutual high value.
I use technology to leverage my network.
There are many websites set up for networking. Make sure you are using one of them. Make frequent updates to your entry. Try to select a networking site that aligns with your networking strategy. If one that supports your strategy does not exist, select the one with the broadest appeal.
I am confident in my ability to network.
Self-confidence is the key to building effective networks. It takes confidence to approach a senior person to create a connection. The most effective way to develop your confidence in networking is to practice your interpersonal skills.
There is no passing score for this assessment. Set your own targets for your scores based on what you believe to be effective. The assessment is a tool for you to determine the strengths and areas of improvement of your networking. Look at the statements you rated yourself low. More focus on these actions can help you build a stronger network. The Big Dogz know that having a strong network is a major contributor to success.
To make sure you get a valid self-assessment, please see my July 30, 2007 entry on calibrating your self-assessment skills.
Free resources!! October 17, 2008Posted by rickbron in Achieving goals, Bronder On People, business strategy, Changing behavior, Coaching, Increasing Your Profitability, Management, Performance issues.
Tags: doing more with less, effective, efficient, productivity
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Thought that might get your attention! The Big Dogz know how to get additional resources for free. They do it by focusing on the resources they already have. Most people in the workplace are doing the best they can. They are giving you their concentration and commitment to producing at a high level. Sometimes it is the work that gets in the way of the work getting done. Here is how to get more for less in your team.
Convene a meeting with your team members and tell them you want them to answer two questions for you.
- What can we do to be more efficient?
- What can we do to be more effective?
Notice that the question is “What can we do..”, not “What can be done…”. This is an important distinction. The Big Dogz know that if you ask the latter, you will get suggestions on what others could do. The focus is on us, and what is in our control.
Let me define efficient and effective. I borrow the distinction from Tom Peters in his book, In Search of Excellence.
Efficient — doing things right
Effective — doing the right things
So you ask your people to focus on those two questions and then you leave the meeting. Tell them you will return in 45 minutes to review their suggestions. I can hear some of you saying, “Yeah, right, they will have nothing to say!’ Well, you are probably right. The first time you ask them to do this activity; they will usually produce nothing. They provided suggestions in the past. And, they have been ignored! It is no wonder that they will be reluctant to give you ideas.
Thank them for their time and concentration. Schedule another meeting within 30 days to address the same two questions. This will get them to thinking you are serious about being more efficient and effective. Keep having the meetings until they actually come up with a suggestion. Now do your secret management stuff and get that thing done! If you don’t, you can save time by not having these meetings once a month!
The people who know how to be more efficient and more effective are the people who do the work. Too often managers come up with brainstorm ideas of their own on how the department can be more efficient or effective. Most of the time these ideas could work. People like to have their own ideas. They are more likely to implement a suggestion they came up with rather than one you came up with.
The Big Dogz know that patience pays off. Keep asking your people how to do more with less and they will respond. If you have five people and they improve productivity by 20%, you have gotten another full person for free!
So, now in the next 30 days, you schedule a productivity improvement meeting with your folks. Send me an email at email@example.com. I want to know how it works for you.
Inaction breeds poor behaviors August 14, 2008Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Changing behavior, Diagnosing performance problems, Effective meetings, Feedback, Getting what you want, Management, Management Principle, Performance issues.
Tags: behavior problems, eliminating poor behavior, inaction, ineffective behavior, managing behavior, poor behavior, reducing poor behavior
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If you allow it, you encourage it!
Here is an example of allowing a behavior, resulting in encouragement. Let’s say you make an announcement that all team members will be in attendance and ready to participate at the scheduled start of team meetings. Rick casually strolls in 3 minutes late. You do not want to appear inflexible, tyrannical or picky, so you let it go. You have just sent the message to all the people who were on time, that it is OK to be late. You can be sure others will be late the next meeting and the degree of lateness will increase.
Overlooking an infraction because it is minor or because you don’t want to ruffle feathers is a sure fire way of seeing that action more frequently. This principle does not require you to make a big deal of the situation or to mete out Draconian punishment. A gentle reminder to the person that the behavior is not appropriate will work. Say something like this, “Rick, please make an effort to be on time to our meetings.” Don’t get into an argument about justification. If need be, have a conversation about his lateness outside the meeting.
If the reminder does not work, then you will need to escalate your actions. Most of time, people do not want to violate your policies. Give them the opportunity to learn! If you do not take action on this policy, people will start to think you are not serious about your other policies. Now, you can get into some serious trouble!
In the One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard talks about “Catching them doing something right.” That concept applies doubly in this situation. First, we want to catch them when an infraction occurs. Bring it to their attention, publicly if appropriate. Encourage them to behave in the way you want. When you see them make an effort to adhere to your policies, take the time to thank them. In the above scenario, I might give Rick a compliment for making the effort to be on time. At the next meeting, he is there, on time and ready to go. I would walk by him and in a low voice say “Thanks for being on time.” Again, no need to make a big deal of it since it may embarrass him.
Whatever actions you allow on your team, the more of those actions you can expect to see. Over the next 30 days, look around at your team and decide what actions you want to reduce or eliminate. Now start holding people accountable in a firm supportive way. The Big Dogz know you will see a significant improvement.
Please let me know how this suggestion has worked for you.