Every morning as I sip my first cup of coffee, I get caught up on my favorite blogs. Nothing spectacular about that, really, except that today I noticed something different: a connecting theme in every blog I read. Ever notice how that happens? Maybe it’s something all three bloggers heard or saw on the news that prompted them to write about similar topics. Or maybe this time it was just me who saw the similarities. I was open to seeing them. Ever notice how that happens? The messages I received were as follows:
Details matter. Taking small steps over time can be very effective and powerful. Take things day by day. One step at a time. You can build something up or you can tear something down, little by little, with (or without) knowing it. It’s the little things that matter. Pay attention to them.
Simple, powerful, timeless messages.
I worked with a coaching client recently who told me he was totally overwhelmed by every aspect of networking. Yet, he not only wanted to do it better, he knew he had to do it better for his business to grow. The logical next step was for us to map out a series of small, easy steps and tweaks he could take. Enough to make progress, but not so much that he felt paralyzed with anxiety about how to get it all done. Significant change would happen over time, but he didn’t have to feel freaked out about it. “Little by little” was the theme. Funny how I needed to hear this message myself today.
What about you? What tiny, incremental steps might you take, whether in your networking, business relationships, reputation management, or even in improving customer service? Or in any other aspect of your life or business?
Here are a few ideas for your networking efforts:
- Vow to always have your business cards with you. Always. No matter what.
- Set intentions before every networking event. Clarify what you want, who you want to meet, what you want to learn, and even how you want to feel. If you don’t know these things, how can you be open to them? And how can others support you? Adopting this practice will change your networking forever!
- Start saying “hello” instead of “hi” or “hey.” Some disagree, but I believe this greeting shows more warmth and polish.
- Reach out to one person per day. Beyond your necessary interactions. Whether it’s a long lost connection or one you want to build and grow. It can be an email, a social media message or (dare I say it?) a phone call.
- Express gratitude to someone each day. Surely there are things you appreciate about other people, even if it’s the job they do, a kindness they showed you, how they conduct themselves, or their ongoing presence in your life.
- Vow to listen more than you speak. People really love to be heard.
- When feeling overwhelmed, step back and create some small, manageable steps.
- Read something enlightening or uplifting every day. Blogs. Books. Articles. You choose. Doing so will educate you, improve your outlook, and give you something to share with others. This in turn will make other educated and enlightened people more drawn to you. And you never know when you will see patterns and messages that will serve as powerful reminders.
Speaking of reading, here are the three blogs I mentioned. Maybe they will resonate with you as they did with me. Let me know if you see the theme — or if was just me…
Big news! My book, The Intentional Networker, has been selected as a Finalist for ForeWord Book Reviews Book of the Year. The winners will be announced in June at the American Library Association’s conference in Anaheim, California in June. Wish me luck!