Keepin' the Faith
If you live in the Chicago area, are in career
transition and are in need of some spiritual support, please consider
yourself invited to Between
Successes Career Ministry, a joint ministry of Gary
United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton. We
meet from 7 to 8:45 p.m. every Monday at Gary UMC, 224 N. Main
Street, Wheaton, IL 60187, in Commons E (come in the west side
entrance). The evening is comprised of introductions, a spiritual
message and some content on the job search followed by small group
discussions. If you're between successes yourself, this faith-based
support group could be a welcome contribution to your campaign. For
more information, contact me at 312-213-1795 or call Angela
Stephenson from First Presbyterian at 630-200-2533.
"Your Golden Rolodex: How to Network for
For most people, the word "networking"
conjures up images of forced conversations, bad cocktail parties,
dreary conventions or cold calls. So they avoid it --to their peril.
Networking is one of the most critical skills in business, and it's
especially important to anyone making a career transition or seeking
to move up in the business world.
Over the years, Vickie Austin has been speaking about "Your
Golden Rolodex: How to Network for Results!" and now she's made
it available to you in this e-book. Begin building your own
"Golden Rolodex" by reading this practical e-book.
You'll learn to:
the value of your existing contacts
in people along the way
a "Golden Rolodex" conversation
doors for future opportunities
Click here to buy
online now for just $29.95.
Sometimes it's the simple things--saying
"please" and "thank you," observing the proper
way to introduce people or remembering a person's name that builds
relationships and ultimately wins us the contract or lands us a
job. Those simple, yet often overlooked, niceties are highlighted
in a wonderful book I just read called Business Class:
Essentials for Success at Work by Jacqueline Whitmore.
a nationally acclaimed expert in business etiquette, provides an
engaging primer for veterans and novices alike in this book that
covers everything from how to engage (or disengage)
from a networking conversation to the right fork to use at a formal
dinner. She offers guidance on small touches that equal big rewards
and the power of a personal thank-you note.
As someone who is committed to refining my listening skills, I was
taken with Ms. Whitmore's simple steps to becoming a better
listener. Attentive listening, she writes, builds trust... and we
all know that people like to do business with people they
trust. Here, with permission from the author, are ten ways to
become a better listener:
pertinent questions. Asking
questions demonstrates a sincere interest in the other person,
and it's the hallmark of a good listener.
empathic listening. Put yourself
in the other person's shoes with the intent of understanding
versus replying (can't you always tell when someone's just
waiting for his/her turn to talk?).
with your entire body. Nod
occasionally, make eye contact and, with permission, take
personal stories. Stories are a
powerful way to break down barriers and build relationships.
a visual picture. This helps
you track with the speaker and remember their story later on.
interrupt. Whether we realize it or not
(and I'm guilty as charged), we interrupt to demonstrate we
before you reply. Don't be
afraid of silence--it's like white space on the page.
distractions. Turn off or away from anything
that distracts you from the speaker, and you'll
earn his/her admiration and respect forever.
with a purpose. We hang onto the words of those
who save their words until they have something to say.
give unsolicited advice. As tempting as
it may be, save your advice (or "coaching") for
those who are asking--or better yet, paying--for it.
From small talk savvy to
techno-etiquette, Ms. Whitmore provides tips that are simple, yet
profound. She also has some insights and resources for those doing
business internationally, something that piqued my interest as a
graduate of Thunderbird School of Global Management. You don't have
to "go global" to be doing business with those from other
cultures, so her guidance on cross-cultural etiquette is something
that could benefit us all. To subscribe to Ms.
Whitmore's e-newsletter, "The Protocol Post," and
to order her book, visit www.etiquetteexpert.com.
Thanks to Those Who Played
Many thanks to
those of you who played "The
Networking Game: Tips & Techniques for Effective
Connections," my first teleseminar held March
Gregory, author of the "How to Prepare for An
Interview" blog (www.howtoprepareforaninterview.org),
interviewed me on this evergreen topic of networking that seems
even more critical today. More than 150 people registered for the
teleseminar, and here are just a few of the reviews:
"I thoroughly enjoyed the teleseminar yesterday
with you and Mark. It was very interesting and you provided some
practical tips... It was also just motivational to listen to what
you had to say. Thank you for the invitation to listen and please
let me know if you hold any sessions in the future." Elizabeth
Vennekens-Kelly, Business English & Cross
Culture Consulting, Germany (www.crossculture-training.be)
"As I sift through the four pages of notes I took
as a participant in 'The Networking Game,' I realize that each
page is full of valuable ideas shared. Overall what I value
most is the emphasis on success coming from personal integrity and
individual accountability. Vickie validates my resistance to the
'kiss-kiss-let's-do-lunch' approach to networking and confirms
a higher-purposed inclination towards the serious cultivation of
simply 'honoring current relationships and building on them.' Her
insights and applications are 'golden' on many levels." Diane Novak,
Ed.D (Monroe, LA)
Based on the response to the teleseminar, we'll
be offering an upcoming Webinar in April to go into more depth
on the topic of networking. "Your
Networking Game Plan" is a two-hour workshop
that will help you develop your own game plan to achieve your
goals by building and maintaining your "Golden
Rolodex." Stay tuned--details to
bard Will Shakespeare said, "All the
world's a stage and all the men and women merely players..."
and who knows that better than the people at The Second City (www.secondcity.com)
in Chicago? The famous incubator for improvisational talent has
launched the careers of such luminaries as Tina Fey, the Belushi
brothers and most of the original cast of Saturday Night
I was lucky to be part of a training offered by Sarah Finch,
producer and director of learning for the Second City
Communications, who spoke to the National Speakers
Association of Illinois (www.nsa-il.org)
at our March meeting. Some key principles I learned from Sarah as
she took us through a few exercises in improvisation:
are no wrong answers! Take risks and see what happens.
go of self-judgment and the judgment of others. (Amen,
to understand, not just to respond. (Hey, isn't that what
Jacqueline Whitmore just said in Business Class?)
your partner, and play to make your partner look good.
and build with "Yes, and..."
versus "Yes, but..."
The difference is amazing.
O'Brien (R), president-elect of NSA-IL, and Sarah Finch (L) of
Second City Communications
Many thanks to the folks at NSA-IL who brought Sarah
to our meeting.
And One More "Thank you..."
I was touched
by the many e-mails I received following my last e-newsletter after
sharing about the loss of my mother. I thank each of you who took
the time to send your condolences both before and after I shared my
news and for those of you who thought of me in spirit.
One of my good friends and colleagues Jeff Rudolph
recently lost his dad. As he told me about his own loss, he quoted
an article in Newsweek
where the author said, "When you lose your parents, you
lose your fan club."
Luckily we are
still around to cheer each other on, so if you need a fan letter or
a shout-out, please let me know. I'm always good for "the