212) The Reconnection Call

If you’re like most, your life is littered with relationships with whom you’ve lost touch. No one is to blame. These things happen. For whatever reason, their life and yours have taken different paths.

And while, you may no longer be on the same life path, there is still tremendous value in these contacts. So, you should make an opportunity from time to time to simply reconnect. But how?

Donna Fisher, in her book People Power, has some straightforward advice: Simply call. Labeling this a “Reconnection Call”, Fisher indicates that it is made for the purpose of “re-establishing a relationship.”

Once we have the person on the line, simply acknowledge that it has been a long time, and then express an interest in catching up. Although it may feel awkward at first, remember your old friend is being reconnected too. So, your call will be a welcome benefit to him or her as well.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


211) Shut Up And Listen

Award winning business coach, motivational speaker and author of A Life Best Lived: A Story of Life, Death and Second Chances, Danny Creed has some sage advice for achieving your goals and dreams: Simply serve others around you. Your family. Your friends. Your clients. Your colleagues. Your vendors.

This then begs the question, “How do I best serve others?” He has great advice for that too. It’s simply this: SHUT UP AND LISTEN.

When you do that, you can help others be successful by understanding their own definition of success. To effectively listen, you need to completely focus your attention on the person and be genuinely interested, with an intent to actually learn.

Moreover, don’t interrupt. Don’t argue. Stay off e-mail, text and social media. And, by all mean, lean into the conversation with your body and eye contact.

Coach Creed is right. Success starts by serving others. And serving others starts by shutting up and listening.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Networking Rx: Michael Rogers, Author, Speaker, Consultant (EPS 125)

Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, talks with Michael Rogers, author of You Are The Team. Together they talk about how serving others is the first and best step towards building a great team, whether it’s a formal or informal one.

http://networkingrx.libsyn.com/michael-roger-builder-of-teams-eps-125

For more information on AmSpirit Business Connections and its franchise opportunity program, contact Frank Agin at frankagin@amspirit.com or visit http://www.amspirit.com/franchise.php.

Tips For Making Small Talk

Tips For Making Small Talk

Here is an important thing to understand: “Small talk” is not about filling idle time with interesting things to say. Rather, “small talk” is about getting the OTHER person to fill idle time with things to say and you genuinely finding interest in it.

The key to success in “small talk” is having a simple, reliable game plan. Try this one:

Step One: Ask A Question … Now remember, the key is to get them talking, so you need to be ready with questions that are open-ended. “Isn’t this weather crazy?” will not cut it. “How does this crazy weather affect you?” just might.

Step Two: Listen … Really Listen … Take an interest in what they have to say, even if the subject is not particularly interesting to you. Why? First, you just might learn something, something that could help you or something that you can use to help them (which ultimately helps you).

Second (and this is counter-intuitive) if you take an interest in them and whatever they have to say, they will find you to be a very interesting person (and they will not know why). It is just human nature. People tend to like people who show a genuine interest in them.

Step Three: Summarize & Share … As a follow-up (to show you are really listening), summarize what you have heard (or at least do the best you can) and then share a little about the subject as it relates to you. “So, as an avid water skier all this hot weather is great but I find that it kills my golf game.”

Finally, just like the instruction on the shampoo bottle – lather, rinse, repeat – ask another question. Perhaps one that’s related to the first question or maybe some other tangent you would like to explore based on what they said in their answer. For example, “So, if hot weather is good, how do you occupy yourself when it is too cold to take to the lake?” Whatever, the case, keep them talking.

210) The Second Arrow

A Buddhist monk once shared with his students, “If a person is struck by an arrow, it is painful. But it is the second arrow that is even more painful.”

He went on to explain that the first arrow represents all the the bad things that might happen to you in life.

The second arrow, however, represents all your negative reactions to the first. For example, if you needlessly blame others for the first arrow or become overly critical of yourself, in a sense you inflict yourself with added pain. And this added pain is generally is much more hurtful than that from the first arrow.

In life, bad things are going to happen. Some are your fault, and some are not. Blaming others won’t take away the sting of the setback. So why do it? And beating yourself up over it takes energy away from moving forward.

So, endure life’s first arrows, but avoid the second ones at all cost.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


209) Was That Networking Event Worthwhile?

Here are questions you likely ponder after most any networking event are: Was it worth the trip? What it worth the time spent mingling? Are the contacts I made worth anything? Was that event worthwhile?

Know this: In reality, the answers to these questions are always a resounding “Absolutely!”

Think about it: Every event offers value. Yes, some events offer more value than others. They all have value, however.

And, yes, the value from some events is more immediate, while the true value of others takes time to develop and fully present itself.

So, certainly assess the value of events as best you can. And certainly, track your results however you deem appropriate.

But before you completely pass judgment on an event, remember this: The benefits of any networking activity may not present themselves for weeks, months, or even years. So be patient. Keep attending those events.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


208) Crucial Conversations

No matter who you are or what you do, you can’t avoid an occasional interaction that you sense will be, well, tense, contentious or generally uncomfortable. In these moments, your gut gives you two options: prepare for battle or run and hide.

However, according to authors of the book Crucial Conversations there is a third option. When communication is headed towards conflict, these authors encourage you to ask yourself three questions:

  • One, what do you want for this person?
  • Two, what do you want for yourself?
  • And, three, what do you want for the relationship?

The benefit of reflecting on these questions is that this line of thinking pulls your brain out of the primitive “fight or flight” mindset and engages a higher order of consideration. That alone will soften tensions and get you in the right frame of mind to empower a more productive result.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


207) The Fifth Habit

In Stephen Covey’s renowned book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he advocates that for us to have the best possible relationships, we need to start by employing empathetic listening skills. That is, we should be listening with the intent to understand as opposed to listening with the intent to reply.

Through listening to understand, we place ourselves in someone else’s shoes. We see the world through their eyes. And, as best we can, we understand their way of thinking. In essence, through the level of listening that Covey promotes we achieve the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing.

Certainly, with this level of understanding, we better position ourselves to serve them, which is important. But an added benefit is that by engaging in this empathetic listening we increase the likelihood that people will listen to us with the intent to understand.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


206) Stand Tall

It’s a long-standing Olympic tradition that during opening ceremonies each participating country selects a representative from its delegate of athletes to carry the nation’s flag.

Each representative then carries its country’s flag high and proud as they process around the venue. However, when they pass in front of the host nation’s lead dignitary, they dip their flag in deference to that official and the host country.

Every country does this. Everyone … except the United States.

You see, at the 1908 London Olympics, the United States flag bearer Ralph Rose refused to dip the American flag for King Edward VII. When questioned about it Rose proclaimed, “The American flag bows before no earthly king.”

No doubt, you’re great in your own right. Stand tall with pride. And like the American flag, don’t bow before anyone on this earth.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Networking Rx: Avoiding Referral Pitfalls (EPS 124)

Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, reviews five things that trip people up in trying to get referrals from their network.

http://networkingrx.libsyn.com/avoiding-referral-pitfalls-eps-xxx

For more information on AmSpirit Business Connections and its franchise opportunity program, contact Frank Agin at frankagin@amspirit.com or visit http://www.amspirit.com/franchise.php.