Archive for February, 2009

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Recession-Proof Relationships

February 10, 2009

Credit Crunch.  Bankruptcies.  Layoffs.  Bailouts.   CNN constantly feeds a daily dose of  negative economic news.  With a volatile stock market still down 40% and interest rates at all time lows; seemingly there is no safe harbor for financial assets.  Job losses surge everyday and even the employed live in fear of tomorrow. What a lovely picture.

In such challenging times there is no more valuable asset than your relationships.  These connections can serve as beacons of light among the darkness and gloom.  Each relationship can open a new path to that next job, that new solution, that new idea or that new positive perspective.  Your relationships and how you elect to leverage them, differentiate you from anyone else.

Relationships are priceless resources.  They are FREE, only requiring an investment of your time and energy.  They are UNPREDICTABLE, as you never know where one new connection will lead.   Most importantly, they must be NURTURED to be effective.

3 Quick Recommendations:

Strengthen Weak Ties – Allocate time in your schedule to reach out to those whom you have lost touch and re-kindle past relationships.  Typically these people travel in much different circles, know different people and have a unique set of contacts.  Ideal when searching for a new path and reaching beyond your traditional network core. Utilize online tools such as Reunion.com, Facebook, Classmates.com or College Alumni networking groups.

PING – Every day call three people whom you have not spoken with in at least 6 months.  Simply to say hello and initiate a dialogue.  Use standard down times, drive time traffic, waiting on an appointment, lunch break.  The results will astound at how fast you can re-connect and strengthen a relationship.

Beyond the Comfort Zone – Do something new and different.  Get outside your comfort zone.  Try online networking.  Attend an event you have never been to previously.  Get involved with a new group.  Venture outside your typical geographic area and interact with people in a new part of town.  Volunteer your time for a new initiative.  Push until you feel some butterflies.  Reach out and connect to new people in a new environment.

Commit yourself to these 3 efforts for the month of February and you will be amazed at the results.  You want things to happen, then make them happen.  Shake your networking up a bit and create positive momentum for yourself.  Do more, connect in new ways and listen less to CNN.

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Everyone’s A Decision Maker

February 6, 2009

If  I had a dollar for every time a professional mentioned to me that they were only interested in talking to and meeting with decision makers, I would be a wealthy man.  In fact, there should be a mandatory fine each time someone makes such a comment.

EVERYONE is a decision maker.  I will type it again slowly, EVERYONE is a Decision Maker!  Each of us makes decisions every day regarding our lives, the services/goods we purchase, the company we work for and how we do or don’t play nice with others.   Every secretary, sales rep, department manager, analyst, customer service agent, doctor, lawyer, flight attendant, housewife,  and waitress is a decision maker.  I will bet dollars to doughnuts, that each person knows at least one other person you should know.   One of the most important decisions we all make as decision makers is whether to help YOU.

Value the person, not the title.  Start treating everyone like a decision maker, because they are one.   Value your time with them, show them the respect they deserve and appreciate the interaction.   Don’t you want the same?  Others to value your time and treat you as though you are important and a decision maker?  Soooo, stop trying to figure out how to always get past, around, through or over everyone you come into contact with who don’t have stimulating titles like CEO, President, Owner as you search for this elusive holy grail of a decision maker.

Ask for help and assistance in getting in front of certain people. Doors will start to open up and decisions made.