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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 December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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