Networking Groups – What Should You Expect?

Networking groups are a great way to get yourself “out there” but what should you expect?

Networking Groups

networkNetworking groups are like minded people getting together to share ideas, learn and expand their circle of influence. They can take the form of:

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Themed Meet Up Groups
  • Groups based on faith
  • School groups

and the list can go on. You can find a group for almost anything you can think of where you can be involved and make new friends. The thing to remember is it’s a two way street. Don’t get involved expecting to get something if you aren’t willing to give something.

What Can You Expect

  • Education
  • New ideas
  • Friendships
  • Connections

collaboration imageYou get the idea. When we join a group of any kind, we are expecting something from it. I find groups where I meet like minded people who are willing to share ideas and a place where I will learn something new every day. In many cases, we are risking exposing our feelings to others, especially if we want them to be honest with us and we are honest with ourselves. This can lead to making new connections that lead to lifelong friendships.

We have to remember that we don’t always get what we expect and may have to consider changing groups until we find the best fit. Sometimes, we join a group and, over time, it becomes stale or no longer meets our needs. In some cases, we may need more than one group to fulfill our needs. Try new groups when you get the opportunity and find the ones that work for you. Note, I indicated ones, not one! The other thing to consider is whether the group is getting what it needs from you! Always show up with your best you.

What May Be Expected From You

  • Referrals
  • Honesty
  • Financial contributions
  • Teaching

junkBe honest and be willing to give referrals. Don’t give them just because you are expected to, make sure the people you refer deserve it. Just as you need to make sure you deserve referals.

Remember that networking costs money and be prepared to give your financial support when needed. For example, there could be a membership fee to help support things like printing costs or you may be asked to contribute regularly to help cover the cost of a room. I’m not saying to bankrupt yourself trying to be part of a group but don’t expect someone else to carry you.

Although you may be new to a field of expertise, there is probably something you can teach others. Think about other areas of your life and transferable skills. Or, there may be an opportunity to share something not related at all, but the group shares an interest. Be giving and not always taking.

Now, get out there and make some friends!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for networking opportunities, chances to learn and chances to teach. What are you thankful for today?

Are you listening? Really?!

Some people are more natural “listeners” but listening is a learned skill. Learn empathic listening and you will find yourself more likely to be heard.

Empathic Listening

Empathic listening is with the intent to understand. Most of us listen with the intent to respond

Intent to Understand

Listen without judging.I was listening to a Stephen Covey presentation through his Insights program made available at a great price through one of our business partners. One of the series is on communication and he was bang on when discussing the importance of how we listen.

By listening with the intent to understand, we learn more about our prospect and how we can help them. I love how he used communicating with teenagers about school as an example.

When practicing listening to understand, the person talking is likely to feel safer and compelled to be more honest. It’s important to practice reflective listening during this process. Restate what they said occasionally to let them know you are really listening and trying to understand.

Ask probing questions to go deeper. Probing is different than challenging or grilling. When you probe, it should be obvious that you care about how they feel and are seeking a deeper understanding rather than trying to pull information to use for a challenge to their thoughts and ideas.

Practice safe listening!

One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say.

Intent to Respond

Most of us have a bad habit of listening to respond. Have you ever caught yourself waiting for an opening to interject? That means your focus was on your own thoughts and I have to wonder if you were really listening. I’m very guilty of this and have to work to focus on the other person and their needs. I try to look for opportunities to help and that means if I’m talking more than I’m listening, I’m not likely helping much.

Sometimes the best way to help someone is to just listen so that they can sort their thoughts.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that everyone you talk to is a prospect. Approach the relationship potential as just that, a potential relationship.

Remember that if you are a leader in your industry, people are watching. What you do is what they may duplicate. So yes, what you say or don’t say matters.

Are you listening? Really?

 

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that most MLM or Network Marketing groups spend a lot of time and effort on personal development. I’m thankful for people who keep an open mind. I’m thankful we are naturally inclined to help others.

What are you thankful for today?

Kids are listening! Be careful how you are heard!

Kids are listening to every word you say, even when you think they’re not.  By the way, my kids are all in their 20’s and living away from home.  They’re still listening.

Kids are listening!

 

 

Why Kids Are Listening

There are a couple of reasons I can think of.  First and foremost, they are measuring your credibility.  What you are discussing within their earshot may well be none of their business.  HOW you are discussing anything certainly is.  We aren’t born with a built in ability to argue or fight.  Those are learned habits.  Where do you think we learn those skills?  The first couple of years of our lives, there are typically only a couple of influences.  I wonder who that is?

As they grow older, the kids are listening to how you treat each other.  This is because they hold you up on a pedastal and they will model themselves after you.  If they hear you criticizing, that is how they believe they should behave and will replicate your behaviour.  For example, you put the kids to bed and get into an argument with your spouse.  You don’t think the kids are listening but I would suggest that we are all sensitive to environmental changes when we are asleep and will usually wake up, even if just to be sure you are safe.  Now, the kids are listening and learning.  Yes, you are teaching them what is ok and what isn’t.  We all lead by example, whether positive or negative.

With your adult children, they are judging.  How you treat your spouse or estranged spouse, will determine their opinion of you.  If you don’t care, that’s fine.   I wonder though if you should?!

What You Say Is Not Necessarily What Is Heard!

The kids are listening but what are they actually hearing?  Have you ever played telephone tag?  It’s an exercise where one person passes a message to the next, and so on, and so on, until the message has passed to a number of people.  At the end of the chain, the message is often  very different than the original or intended message.  The kids are listening but what are they hearing?

You are the example.

Remember. you are the example.  The kids are always listening.  Even when they are 50 years old!  Yes, you always need to be careful what you say.  The kids are listening, be careful how you are heard!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for my parents, a great example.  I’m thankful for the people who will be honest and speak up when I’m off side.  I’m thankful for the love of God.

What are you thankful for today?