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Are you networking? January 20, 2009

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




Calibrating your self assessment July 30, 2007

Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Self assessments.

p5130012.jpg Self improvement begins with self assessment. Most people are not very effective at self assessment. They do not perceive themselves like others perceive them. We tend to overestimate our skill or to underrate ourselves. The Big Dogz know how to calibrate their self assessment. Over time, the Big Dogz are very accurate with their self assessments. Here’s how to develop outstanding self assessment skills.

  1. Make a copy of the self assessment before you begin.
  2. Take the self assessment
  3. Select three people using this criteria:
    1. They are in the same environment as you. If you want to know how you are at work, then select three people from work. If you want to know how you are outside of work, then select three people from that environment. Having someone from your social club provide an assessment is not useful for how you are at work.
    2. These are people you can trust to give you an honest assessment.
    3. Do not pick people who will flatter you — your mom is not on the list!
    4. Do not pick people who will belittle you — your mom is not on the list!
  4. Give the assessment to these three people and ask them to assess you.
  5. When they return the assessment, you say two words, “Thank You.” Do not tell them they are wrong or don’t understand you.
  6. Compare the assessment of the three people to your assessment:
    1. If all three agree with you, you are an effective self assessor.
    2. If one of them disagrees with you, this is called an opinion and is nothing to be seriously concerned about. Your assessment skills are generally effective. Of course if the difference is a large one, you may want to examine your actions with this person.
    3. If two of them disagree with you, this is called a trend and is something to be seriously concerned about. Your self assessment skills are lacking and you need to take the self assessment again with a more open mind about yourself.
    4. If all three of them disagree with you, this is called a fact! You have been kidding yourself and have placed a major roadblock in front of your self improvement effort.

Repeat this process for all self assessment you do. You will find that your skills as a self assessor will be quite good. You will become accurate in determining how you come across to others. Being able to do an accurate self assessment can help you resolve those pesky “personality conflicts” you may be having. You may think you are an effective communicator while everyone around you thinks you are the worst communicator. I have attached a quick communications skills self assessment. Use the self assessment calibration process above to see how close you are.