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8 Time Management Tips For Power Networkers

8 Time Management Tips For Power Networkers

Meeting people and building relationships can be extremely time consuming, especially when you have other responsibilities. Avoid having networking take up too much of your calendar. Below are 8 time management tips to help make you a more effective networker.

1. Prioritize

Identify the channels that provide the most high value contacts for you. Do you get most of your quality contacts from introductions through specific people? Through attending certain events?

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Analyze past successes to determine which people and channels are best for you. If you’re just getting started, do some planning to determine the optimal channels for your industry and focus your efforts there.

2. Be intentional

Identify specific people you want to meet. Not just demographics, roles, or companies, but specific individuals. You can use LinkedIn to see if you have any shared connections and obtain an introduction from within your network, or cold e-mail directly.  If one of your targeted individuals will be speaking at a conference, plan to attend. While there is value in attending random events, parties, and meetings, it can be extremely time consuming. By being intentional, you can reduce wasted time.

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3. Schedule meetings consecutively

If you’re in a relationship-intensive business or role, you will inevitably have a lot of meetings. To make your schedule more conducive to productivity, schedule meetings consecutively. It’s hard to focus and actually get anything substantial done when you only have small blocks of time throughout the day. Having an obligation immediately following a meeting also gives you a reason to prevent the meeting from running too long. Just be sure not to schedule your next meeting too close to something that you may want to run long!

4. Fit meetings into your workflow

Think about the times in your day that you normally take a break or get a coffee. Do you normally get a coffee on the way to work? Or when you get groggy in the afternoon? If you’re going to get a coffee or bite to eat anyways, you might as well schedule it with someone else. Think about times in your regular schedule that you could invite people to join your for such as events or even activities outside of work.

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5. Group meetings together

If there are multiple people that you’re going to be scheduling meetings with around the same time, schedule them all together, at the same time and place. As long as those attending do not have competing interests, most people will appreciate the opportunity for multiple connections. I wouldn’t schedule an important meeting with a group, but for general “catching up” or shorter conversations, a group meeting over drinks or a meal can be extremely friendly and beneficial to all.

6. Do remote meetings when appropriate

Physical presence and contact is invaluable in building rapport. I highly recommend in-person meetings, especially for anything important. However, if feasible, a remote meeting can be a huge timesaver. This type of meeting can often be easier to schedule, as it eliminates travel time and expenses. Phone or video meetings can be effective as a first meeting to get acquainted and to determine if there is common ground to pursue continued discussions. It can also be appropriate if your day or week gets too busy; you can change an in-person meeting to a call without disrupting the other person’s schedule.

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7. Utilize more scalable networking techniques

Having a strong online presence, connecting with connectors, and public speaking engagements can help you reach a wider audience with equal or less time commitment than other methods. Blogging and social media allow you to display your value to readers and help your network get to know you. In-person communication is far more valuable for building relationships, but your online presence can provide a great supplement and allow you to get exposure to people that would otherwise not know about you. Connectors are people who meet a lot of people and do a good job of introducing the people they meet to each other. Connecting with connectors can lead to quality introductions without the time commitment of going to events or other channels. Public speaking allows you to reach an audience of people who have expressed interest in your content. Meeting the same amount of people one-on-one could take days, but by speaking publicly you can engage a large audience all at once.

8. Don’t be afraid to say no or postpone

Do your best to plan ahead so you schedule meetings that you know will fit into your schedule. However, if a conflict does arise, you can postpone a meeting. While doing this can risk future meetings, do your best to be courteous and give the person as much advance notice as possible. Alternatively, request to change a previously scheduled in-person meeting to a remote meeting to eliminate travel time. If someone asks you for a meeting that you don’t feel is necessary, kindly tell them that you’re swamped and that you’ll circle back with them when time permits.

Conclusion

Networking is important, and if you’re in a relationship business or role, you really should be spending a lot of time on it. Don’t try to take too many shortcuts. The above tips can help you manage your networking activities in an efficient and successful manner.

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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Learn how to delegate in my other article:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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