Purpose, Polish & Productivity in Networking. Those were my key points as I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs last week about being an Intentional Networker(tm), someone who attracts powerful relationships, referrals and results in business. I felt good about keeping my talk to those three key messages. After all, one of my speaking coaches, Jim Comer, insists three points per presentation is all people can really remember.
But amidst that very planned, buttoned up trifecta of P’s I wanted to add in a fourth. One that was more relaxed, and more open: Possibilities.
Ever gone somewhere – a networking event or a conference, a social gathering, or a coffee or lunch date – and you had no firm goals or plan. You had no clear idea why you were attending or what you wanted to accomplish. Yet deep inside you just knew you needed to be there. Something amazing was going to happen. You might learn one tidbit that would solve a nagging problem or give you a fresh insight. You might miraculously run into the very person you most needed to meet. Or you might be presented with an opportunity that you never dreamed would come your way.
What is it about having no firm plan per se, but being mindfully open to possibilities? What makes this so powerful?
I believe there are some major differences between the people who drift aimelessly and those who can remain relaxed, yet still attract, spot and leverage opportunity. Here are a few. To harness the power of possibilities it helps to:
- Take the time to create your vision, intentions and goals. This means writing them down, but not getting too wrapped up in them. Documenting them, but not running around with them pasted on your forehead or written on your hand in Sharpie.
- Turn on and trust your radar. Here you are tuned in, but not tracking. There’s a difference.
- Be prepared. Dress appropriately. Polish your shoes. Freshen your breath. Bring along some business cards or a sample of your product. Just in case.
- Develop and maintain a positive mindset. Smile. Be pleasant and gracious. Think good thoughts.
- Anticipate that something amazing will happen. Have faith. Believe.
There is art and science to this. Just read some of Dianna Amorde’s book Aha! Moments When Intuition and Intellect Collide , or watch Wayne Dyer’s Power of Intention and you’ll see what I mean. Or read the article by Terri Sjodin on elevator speeches on page 25 of the May issue of Speaker magazine. She reminds us: “Don’t scare the bunny.”
The purpose, the polish, and the productivity pieces are still valuable, but try balancing them with the more relaxed, yet surprising power of possibilities.
Have comments or examples of how this works for you? What blend of being focused and open works best for you? I want to hear about it!
Have networking questions or challenges that you’d like to work through? Check out my Intentional Networker Audit & Coaching Services. Fees go up in May so book your by-phone or in-person session now.