Contact High

Contact High

It’s astounding to me how many opportunities we miss to make communication easier. And by communication, in this case, I’m talkin g about applications ranging from simple hi-how-do-you-do interactions to business deals getting done, or NOT getting done as it relates to communication. I’ve found that lots of times, it’s a problem of omissions and assumptions. Here are some situations, a common way people handle them, and then a way or ways to hack them into better interactions.


Situation: Meeting someone for the second time.
Common Interaction: “Hi, how are you doing?” (pause) “Great!”

What’s missing in the above is that by opening your second ever meeting with someone by saying, “Hi, how are you doing,” you’re not giving the other person context, in case they’ve forgotten your name. It assumes a lot. Further, if they HAVE forgotten your name, you’ve put them in a rough position.


Instead, try this: “Hi, Leon. Chris Brogan. It was great meeting you last week at the Network2 party.”

The response has everything. It shows you remember HIS name, tells who you are, and gives Leon context.


Situation: You’re at a conference, and there’s a Q&A.
Common Interaction: “Could you tell me about the RSS capabilities?”


You’ve submitted the basic question and that’s okay. But here are a few things you can do to improve it. Ask the person speaking BY NAME your question. Second, give your name and affiliation (briefly!), and then ask the question. Remember that there are more people in the room than you at a conference. Part of attending conferences is to build your contact list (did you know that?). Make it easier for others, and they’ll make it easier to connect afterwards.

Instead, try this: “Jenny, Chris Brogan from Network2. Can you tell me about the RSS capabilities?”


Situation: Chatter at a party
Common Interaction: “So, what do you do?”


It’s not a horrible question, but it’s also such an easy one to drop into a dead end. Think about your answer. “I run a liquor store.” Or whatever. It requires YOU to come back with a good probing question, like, “Oh, you must see some interesting characters there.” And that has a second chance to be a dead end. Try for something unique, but not TOO far out there.

Instead, try this: “What’s something you hope to do over the next year?”


The goal is simply to build better handles into both sides of all your communication interactions. If you help people communicate with you, they’ll ease the conversation, and the payoff will be better on all fronts.


So, what are some of YOUR conversation and contact tricks?

Chris Brogan is Community Developer at Network2. There’s a party in New York on the 15th if you want to meet him. Just drop him a line: chris at

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative

How to Think Positive Thoughts When Feeling Negative

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.


Learn How to Surround Yourself With Positive People.

2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.


4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.


6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.


8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

More Tips for Staying Positive

Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via

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