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Dealing with Two Faces June 28, 2013

Posted by David Dirks in Changing behavior, Handling hot buttons, Relationship.
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David Dirks

David Dirks

The oldest challenge in business is dealing with people who have two faces.  You know what I mean.  They show you one face but really have another completely different face they don’t want to show you.  Saying one thing but really meaning another.  Doing one thing but really undermining you behind the scenes.  It’s just one of those things in life that irritate and often can be a drain on time and resources.

Here are my thoughts on this age-old issue:

  • No, you are not paranoid.  Given enough time, people who are two-faced will show themselves to be who they are.  It’s almost impossible for them not to.  You’ll eventually be able to verify for yourself that they wear two-faces.
  • Being two-faced is natural for humans.  People are people and there will always be some who just can’t help themselves – it’s in their behavioral “genes”.
  • You will not cure them.  It’s life and so we move on.
  • No, I will not have a beer with them.  When I find them out, I’ll work with them of course in the spirit of professionalism but we’re not going to be buddy-buddy and have a beer after hours or anytime in between.  It’s bad enough I have to deal with them knowing they are so phony.
  • Never let them know.  The worst thing you can do is to try to expose them (“You’re so two-faced”) – not productive or helpful.  It’s enough that you know what you know.

As irritating as they are to me, two-faced people are a fact of life and we must deal with them the best we can.  In the long run, I think it’s always better to know who they are and keep them at a respectable distance without offending them.  They can’t help themselves.

Using LinkedIn for Business June 21, 2009

Posted by David Dirks in Networking, Relationship.
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David DirksI’ll tell you flat out: I love Linkedin as a business networking tool.  Each week I devote some time to reviewing what some of my network contacts are doing and look to add additional contacts to my base.  In a few short months I’ve been able to add several hundred contacts to my LinkedIn network…and these are people that I know already.

I also see a number of people I know, people who have established businesses, using LinkedIn as well.  A few seem active and engaged with LinkedIn.  Many others seem to start and then stop.  They lose faith in the art and science of networking.  They might gather a few names but they don’t seem to be adding any contacts.  Is it because they just ran out of contacts and stopped at let say , 20?  Not likely.

It’s more likely that they just don’t invest the time that it takes to grow and engage a group of contacts.  It is often difficult to see any results as you are building your network.  Some people will stay stalled because they cannot see the value of online social media platforms like LinkedIn.  What’s the point?  How will it help them grow their business?  Will it make them money?

High performing Big Dogz, both individuals and businesses, understand the value and power of social networking sites like LinkedIn.  They get the point.  They seem to understand better than most that business networking is an investment of time that will pay off if you do it effectively.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn are another way to communicate and engage many different layers of business contacts.  Look at it this way: LinkedIn is a very efficient and effective tool for acquiring and managing business contacts on a far wider and deeper basis.

I’ve been working with LinkedIn for a few years now and I keep learning more everyday.  Here are a few things I’ve learned so far that might make your experience more fruitful:

  • Invest a consistent amount of time each week to working your LinkedIn account.  I’ve learned that investing my time in smaller doses on a consistent basis is all I need to keep my network growing and maintaining it.
  • Engage your network.  With LinkedIn, you can poll your network on any question you want.  What better way to get a read a critical issue facing your  business or industry than to ask your trusted group of network contacts?  That’s just one example of engaging your network.  Another is just updating them on a regular basis on issues or business events, ideas or needs.  Use the “What are you working on now?” section on your home page to alert/inform or ask your network for some help.
  • Keep adding new contacts each week.  One of the best ways to do that is to look at one of your contacts and see if you know anyone that’s not already in your network.  Invariably, I’ll find a few people each week and send an invitation to them.  Almost all accept and my network grows.
  • Both quality and size of network count.  LinkedIn is built on the concept of only including people you know and trust into you network.  It’s what makes LinkedIn more discerning as a social network platform than others.  But as your network grows, both the quality and size of your network give you an advantage.  It’s simple math.  Having 200 trusted and known contacts gives you greater reach and depth than having just 20.

If you are engaging your network both in giving and receiving information, ideas, etc., you’ll find over time that your network will become a contributor to your business.  You just have to stay with it and have a little faith.

Are you networking? January 20, 2009

Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Changing behavior, Networking, Relationship, Self assessments.
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p5130012.jpg 

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.

  

https://growingmybusiness.wordpress.com/2007/07/

 

Manage your manager for more effectiveness November 28, 2008

Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Getting what you want, Management, Managing up, Relationship, Uncategorized.
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p5130012.jpg After you, the most important person to your success is your manager. The Big Dogz know that having a good relationship with your manager is a key to harmonious, stress free and highly productive days. Let’s look at one of the elements essential to your relationship with your manager.

 

Know them as a person.

  1. What are their professional goals? Your manager is managing other managers or people. What are they doing? How can you help? Be on the lookout for opportunities that can help your manager in areas other than your assigned responsibilities.
  2. What are your manager’s strengths and areas for improvement? Give your manager an opportunity to help you by utilizing a strength they have. Look for opportunities to provide services in areas where your manager needs improvement. A personal example of this was my own weakness in doing budgets. I really appreciated when one of my direct reports would volunteer to do this odious task for me.
  3. How does your manager like to communicate? Are they a visual person, do they like lists, charts, graphs or text? Are they email oriented or do they appreciate face-to-face interactions? Do they like lots of detail or prefer summary information? Find out how they like to communicate, and then communicate that way. Just being aware of your manager’s communication will make your relationship stronger.
  4. What questions does your manager ask? We have discussed the customized “need to know” profile for your people. This concept also applies to your manager. Whenever your manager asks you a question, write it down. When you do this over a short period of time, you will see a pattern with the topic your manager is interested in. now use that topic as the lead in to your communication with your manager.
  5. When does your manager perform most effectively? Some people are morning people; others are afternoon or evening people. Watch your manager for signs that give away when they are most effective. Optimize your engagements around these times. It is an excellent time to ask for coaching — they will be at peak performance. This knowledge also lets you avoid times when your manager is not as receptive.
  6. What irritates your manager? We all give off signals when we are irritated. Observe your managers reactions when you or others deliver news. When you have news that may irritate your manager, frame it around some particular goal they may have. Wait until they are at peak performance to deliver the news. Be on the look out for ways to circumvent these types of events.
  7. What pleases your manager? This is the opposite of above. Being the bearer of good news has its value.
  8. What kind of solutions do they like? Whenever you need to approach your manager with a problem, always provide a suggested solution. I always tried to come up with three possible alternatives and a recommendation. Coming to your manager with no solutions is worse than coming with wrong solutions. Your manager may prefer solving problems with money, or people, or reduction in scope or whatever. Pay attention to the solutions your manager proposes or accepts. Recommend these types of solutions to problems.
  9. What are your manager’s personal interests? People like to talk about what interests them. Your manager is no exception. Find out in daily conversations what their hobbies are, what sports teams they like, what shows they watch on TV, and any other personal information you can. The best way to get this kind of information about people is to tell them something about yourself first, and they will generally tell you something about themselves.

 

The Big Dogz know that paying attention to your manager as a person yields high dividends. Make a plan on how you will get to know more about your manager, and how you will use that information to be more effective.

Relationship building March 29, 2008

Posted by rickbron in Relationship.
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p5130012.jpg Would you prefer to buy from someone you like? Most people would answer yes to this question. The Big Dogz understand this principle and apply it to all their dealings with people. The result is higher effectiveness with less effort. The principle is called Relationship Selling. Business relationships can be viewed as a continuum of possibilities from adversarial through partnership.  Let’s take a look at the five key components of a business relationship and how we can tell if we have a partnership relationship. 

  1. Interpersonal

This is how we interact with each other. In a partnership, we are informal; we joke around and call each other by our first names. We inquire about personal situations like family and hobbies. We are polite with each other and remember special events like birthdays and anniversaries. 

  1. Trust

Trust is our willingness to take a risk. In a partnership relationship, the trust is very high. We have experience with each other that has resulted in our needs being met. There is mutual trust and respect. Most deals are made on a handshake or a verbal commitment. 

  1. Goals

Goals are what we want to get accomplished. In our relationship they are shared and aligned. I may have other goals in my business or life that are not connected with you. I frequently share those with you and you share yours with me. Both of us look for opportunities to help each other accomplish our non-mutual goals. 

  1. Conflict

Conflict is a difference of opinion. In general conflict is avoided in most relationships. In our partnership relationship, conflict is encouraged and respected. It is how we grow. Instead of using conflict as a wedge between us, we use it to create innovation and make both our businesses stronger. We use structured problem solving processes to get the creative solutions. 

  1. Decisions

Decisions are choices that we make. In our relationship, choices are made that optimize the benefits for both of us. There are clear areas where one of us makes the decision because we are the best qualified to make the decision. There is no second guessing. When it is clear that neither one of us if more qualified to make the decision, we use consensus or compromise to get to a decision that benefits both of us. We don’t keep score on decisions. The Big Dogz are constantly evaluating their business relationships and are striving to have each of these components at the partner level.  In the next thirty days take a look at one of your key business relationships. What are the levels for each of these five components? What are your actions to make this relationship a partnership?