No. 128 – How Do You Improve Self-Confidence?

Posted on April 26th, 2017 by in Professional Growth
So how do you become more confident? Get a head start by telling yourself that you’re gaining more confidence now. It helps!
Various experts add: being in good health, regularly exercising and taking care of your body, frequently participating in activities that are fun and not just working all the time, having some close confident friends that you can trust, and being happy in your single or married status.
Frankly, money gives you confidence too, from the sense of security it provides. Still, I know plenty of wealthy people who run scared.
The National Association of Realtors will tell you that owning a home increases self-confidence. (Oh, and alcohol gives a form of it too, as noted and celebrated in many country western songs.)
Having fulfilling and enjoyable work is a confidence builder. But it’s important that your attitude toward yourself not be tied strictly to your job position and title because if you lose the job, you’ll likely lose your self-confidence. One CEO told me about being on top of the world on Monday, getting fired on Tuesday, and by Wednesday feeling like a failure.
But back to the self-talk: the simplest, most honest, strongest mental verbiage that you can give yourself is to expect and assume acceptance of who and what you are. Oust your harmful internal critic. You are not below or above anyone’s station. Between the Creator and the Constitution, you are equal to anyone. What you do with yourself with those facts is up to you.

No. 127 – Use These 7 Steps to Network Effectively

Posted on April 20th, 2017 by in Effective Communication
The following post is actually several years old. I wrote it with Barry Lenson when we were asked to contribute to the then prospering Trump University newsletter. BUT upon retrieving it from my archives (well, because Trump is in the news nowadays) I was struck how it’s even more relevant today to replace the crutch of “connecting” through social media alone.
When it comes to big pictures, networking is the way you link your vision for your business and career to those of the rest of the world. If you are on track in your business and professional life, you network every day, forging and enhancing connections that will reap future rewards.
Networking is a numbers game. Just as you don’t get an airline upgrade without the mileage, you don’t have a network to call on unless you put in the time to develop it. You have to do your time in the air before you make it to first class. You have to invest time and energy making connections in order to build a first-class network.
As any executive coach will tell you, once you’ve reached the required level of technical expertise in your field, career advancement depends on the relationships you establish. Make sure you’re doing this important work well by networking effectively. Here’s how:
1. Networking is about contact. It’s eye contact, face-to-face contact, phone contact, e-mail contact. It’s contact with people you can help and who can help you. Make these contacts with grace: have good posture, relax, and smile. (Yes, even when you’re on the phone or at the computer.)
2. Be the one to initiate. Keep your eyes and ears open to prospects. Learn to recognize a potential business friend. That person may be at a professional seminar, at a community event, in the airplane seat next to you, at the health club, a friend of a friend, a friend of a vendor, even someone you read about in newspapers or magazines. Be human and humorous in your contact.
3. Be bold. Put your fears aside or at least get them out of the way, and approach the scariest person first. The rest will be a lot easier.
4. Anticipate discomfort. What is new is frequently uncomfortable. Trust me, though, eventually, you will be more at ease, especially when it starts paying off. Ease the pain by keeping the contact simple and specific.
5. Expect acceptance. Believe that you are adequate in this potential relationship. If you don’t receive acceptance, don’t feel rejected. Remember that the person you’re approaching probably also has a list of prospective business friends he or she hopes to develop. You may not be on that list at this time. Be patient. Things change for everyone.
6. Pass it on. When you seek opportunities to help someone else by referring them, you become known as a center of influence. People will come to you.
7. Always respond. Answer every telephone call, e-mail message, and letter. They might be someone’s attempt at networking with you and you never know where it might lead.
How do you know when your networking is working? Things happen. People invite you into business meetings or conversations when they don’t have to. They seek you out because they’ve heard of you and your capabilities. Your name gets passed upwards and outwards. You receive calls from people you’ve never heard of inside and outside the company.
Networking may not seem all that important in the crush of the daily to-do list, until you need a network to call on. Then, it may well be too late. The day-to-day work of networking is a solid way to stay connected with your big picture plans even as you take smaller steps toward realizing them. A network of contacts helps you extend and grow your business and career and allows you to help others in the same endeavor. A solid network also provides a hedge against the future. In times of challenge, these are the people you’ll call.
A network is a safety net. Work to keep yours tight and strong by tending to it every day.

No. 126 – You Can Mentor Millennials With This Wonderful Gift

Posted on April 12th, 2017 by in Best Leadership Practices
Mentor Millennials with the Gift of… Connections
Recently I was quoted in a Forbes article on “the best presents for the millennials in your life.”  My suggestion was an introduction/meeting/connection with someone who could be important to the young person’s career.   It received a lot of positive reaction — especially among ambitious millennials eager to make their mark.
It reminded me of the people who’ve done that for me. People who made introductions to others who turned into lifelong mentors and friends. I would be so much less personally and professionally if they weren’t in my life.
So your networking efforts this week, month, or year could be reversed: Instead of just seeking out people that you can meet; seek out people that you can introduce to someone else.

No. 125 – Did You Know Someone Wants Your Job Now?

Posted on April 5th, 2017 by in Career Management Tips & Techniques

You have to continue to differentiate yourself at each stage in your career. Regardless of your age, at every point in your life, there is a younger person eager to step into your job. If you are 30 years old, there is an impatient 20-something coming up on you; at 40 there is that pesky 30-year-old. One 60-year-old CEO told me about a 44-year-old knocking on his door to take over the company—his own son!

When you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. Whatever your age, job situation, work history, or family way, turn up the juice going forward. Do it now, do it for your team, your company, and yourself—that is, unless you are ready to give up. But if you are like me, you aren’t about to give up. You must realize that personal reinvention never ends whether you have a little gray hair or no hair.

No. 124 – How Do You Stand Out to Get Ahead?

Posted on March 29th, 2017 by in Professional Growth

Though most people like to believe they are singular, unique, and one-of-a-kind in their assignments, few are. Across the world, we are more similar than dissimilar. Yet, as fate would have it, your boss is looking for someone singular, who outshines the rest.

You see, right now, private conversations are taking place in secret sessions. Behind closed doors with shades drawn, management muckity-mucks sitting in high-back leather chairs are thinking hard about you and a smattering of your competitors. One person is enthusiastically singled out with the confirmatory statement, “He’s different.” Someone asks, “What do you mean?” and the muckity-muck answers, “He fits in, but he stands out from the rest too. He does more, gets more out of others, knows more, cares more, and is more.”

Those few words carry significant ramifications in your work life, usurping the university you attended, companies you’ve worked for, titles you’ve held, and any other personal or professional pedigree attached to you. So that’s why you work on establishing your personal brand of confidence, competence, cool, calm, collected, memorable, and impressive.

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