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.
Manage your manager for more effectiveness November 28, 2008Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Getting what you want, Management, Managing up, Relationship, Uncategorized.
Tags: effective management, getting your manager to help, know your manager, manage up, manage yuor manager, your manager is a person
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- What pleases your manager? This is the opposite of above. Being the bearer of good news has its value.
- 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.
- 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, 2008Posted by rickbron in Relationship.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?