Restart The World Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
elephant

How to Network with the Elephant in the Room

Experienced networkers understand that networking is not always a perfect 100% satisfaction guaranteed activity. A member can sometimes have a problem with another person in their networking group. However, instead of talking with this person to resolve the problem, the member avoids this person due to their personal discomfort, and the unresolved problem can grow into a larger situation. Now, the situation has created “the elephant in the room”, which could cause drama within the networking group.

Drama can occur in any group where wide varieties of people and personalities interact. This is also true in business networking groups that meet weekly for in-person or online meetings. If the physical avoidance between these two members is obvious to others at the networking meeting, the negativity from the situation could be felt by others in the group as “the elephant in the room”, potentially causing drama within the group.

What is “the elephant in the room”?

The elephant in the roomis defined as “a metaphorical idiom for an enormous topic or controversial issue that is obvious or that everyone knows about but no one mentions or wants to discuss because it makes at least some of them uncomfortable”. The member, due to discomfort, ignored the initial problem with the other person and avoided them during the group meetings. Therefore, the unresolved problem grew into a larger situation that became very obvious to the other members of the networking group. The initial problem between these two members evolved into “the elephant in the room” for the entire networking group. So, how do you tame and remove the elephant? Here are three of the most common situations why a networking group might have “the elephant in the room” and my suggestions for gracefully taming each of them:

Elephant #1: Poor Referrals

The reason for joining a networking group is to build strong relationships with the members to refer business to one another. Normally, this is a win-win for the member receiving the referral because their business grows with a new client, as well as a win for the member who gave the referral because of Givers Gain®. However, a small percentage of referrals may be poor referrals. They take up time but do not result in closed business. When something goes wrong and a member receives a poor referral, this can create the first elephant.

People who are experiencing a problem with a fellow member tend to talk about the problem to other members instead of talking directly with the fellow member that they are experiencing the problem with. This can actually make the problem worse.

Talk with the member giving you poor referrals.

In most of these situations, nothing was wrong with the actual referral. Usually, the problem was simply caused by miscommunication. Do not perpetuate problems by avoiding open, honest communication with others. Take the time to talk about it in a non-confrontational way. Talking right away will avoid making these awkward situations even worse.

Elephant #2: Personal Disagreements

Networking would be so much easier if people were not involved. Although networking is all about building relationships with people, personal disagreements are inevitable and problems occur. Avoiding each other due to discomfort and not talking with each other to resolve the disagreement creates the second elephant.

Focus on the solution rather than on the problem.

If you only focus on the problem, you become an expert on the problem. All too often, when facing a problem, the first thing we tend to do is focus on the negative situation. This tends to move us further from finding a way to fix it and that does not help the problem.

You must begin to start focusing on ways to resolve the situation by focusing on solutions. Rather than react, take the time to fully analyze the problem then make a list of possible solutions. When we think of ways to overcome our problems, we are prepared for the next problem down the road. Often, all that is needed is honest and direct communication between the two members to solve the disagreement.

Elephant #3: Breakups Between Members

Networking groups tend to attract like-minded people. Sometimes they bring two of their members together for more than just business. Over the years, I have known many couples that dated, fell in love, got married, and started a family together all because they first met at their networking group. On the other hand, this can quickly create the third elephant if the relationship ends badly and the two members remain in the same group after the messy breakup.

Take the higher ground and continue to network.

Given the value of your network, it is worth working through those feelings if you find yourself in a breakup with another member of your networking group. Do not lose your network of valuable referral sources you have built. The more professional you remain following the breakup, the higher your regard will be by your group. Therefore, remember not to talk badly about the other person or discuss the breakup situation with other members of the group.

Whatever the reason, many people involved in business networking may one day face a situation with “the elephant in the room”. Remember not to focus on growing the problem but on growing your business. Do not burn bridges with people in your group by avoiding them or the uncomfortable situation. Instead, talk to them about your concerns. You never know what the future will bring. You might end up being friends and valued referral partners with the former elephant.

36 years

36 Years of Growth, Passion, Inspiration, and Changing Lives

BNI is approaching 36 years of consecutive growth since it launched in 1985. I do not know of any other organization in the world that can point to that. In those 36 years, there have been many disruptions including recessions, wars, and major weather events (such as earthquakes, wildfires, and tsunamis). Nevertheless, BNI has continuously grown for 36 years.

2020 has been full of many of these disruptions in addition to a global pandemic, which led to people spending most of the year in “the great pause”. However, I believe we can actually help even more people this year recover and grow, too. Today, BNI has the most comprehensive set of collateral material, educational content, and technology available to help support and change the lives of business owners worldwide. Therefore, our local BNI members have every resource needed to help support and change the lives of their local business community.

Watch this video to learn about the special tool I used in 1985 to open 20 BNI chapters in that first year. The theme for this advice will help anybody in any business.

36 Years of Passion and Inspiration

Over the years, I was passionate about spreading the word and helping more and more people succeed in their business. Nothing great in life has ever been done without a little bit of passion. Although I love the technology, processes, and systems we have today, the one thing we need for chapters to grow is passion. What first made you passionate about BNI? Think about this and share your “MY BNI” story with other business owners. Share your passion with them and help inspire them to change their lives. I want you to inspire people. I want you to inspire people to inspire other people. Take away all the stuff and you can still inspire others to grow. Trust me, I had nothing but one sheet of paper and a ton of passion for what BNI could do for others. I was passionate about helping people with their circumstances to change their lives, and we grew and accomplished great things together.

 36 Years of Changing Lives

Today, people need BNI, communities need BNI, and countries need BNI. More than they did almost 36 years ago. I believe that together we can again make a difference in more people’s lives. Let’s make 2020 BNI’s 36th year of consecutive growth. Help me in spreading our “Givers Gain” philosophy and BNI’s mission around the world. Together, we can help other business people to get through these challenging times. Let’s celebrate 36 years of changing lives with BNI.

Passion: It’s the one thing no one can give you. With passion, you can make a difference. More importantly, you can change lives. Focus on your passion and focus on inspiring more people in your community to change their lives. They need you. Now, more than ever, they need BNI.

"Restart the World"

Now is the time to “Restart the World”

Business people have survived the most challenging economic time since the Great Depression. Over the years, I have seen BNI members come together and support other entrepreneurs after hurricanes, tsunamis, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters. I am incredibly proud that BNI members helped one another when the unexpected business disruption or personal life issue occurred.  They are the embodiment of our “Givers Gain®” philosophy.  I know, with the help of their fellow business professionals, we can “Restart the World” together.

Please watch this video as I share an incredible story of hope I witnessed from the days after the 1994 Northridge California Earthquake.

“Restart the World”

The past eight months have been the most challenging economic time since the Great Depression. On September 15th BNI declared that we are taking a leadership role in restarting the world from the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a global movement to help businesses, big and small, restart and grow together. We have already received many amazing stories of how our BNI members have survived and thrived during “the great pause”. Presently, our BNI members have already helped their fellow BNI members generate over $10,000,000,000 (over ten billion US dollars) worth of business in the midst of these challenging times from referrals generated from online networking. BNI wants to build a strong future for the others businesses worldwide during this difficult time with your help.

Help us to “Restart the World” in your local area.

  • Reach out to other local entrepreneurs and business professionals
  • Invite them to visit your online BNI chapter meeting
  • Show them how your BNI chapter can support them at your meetings
  • Educate them on ways to grow their business with networking to help them as they help others
  • Share your BNI story and testimonials from referrals you have given and received
  • Invite them to join your BNI chapter and be part of our successful restart in their area
  • Show them that BNI is about helping and supporting one another in good times and in bad

Become a beacon of hope in a sea of fear. Let us change our circumstances and “Restart the World” together. Your local BNI community can give you, and the people that you know, the support you need to thrive. Today, more than ever, you need your network. Today, more than ever, you need BNI.

Restart the World

Restart the World – world tour

It was very exciting to present the BNI “Restart the World” world tour over the past three days. Furthermore, this second live global event was even better than our first, Growing Forward Together. We streamed live in over 70 countries on YouTube this week. Finally, thank you to all of the BNI members, directors, and visitors who joined us at this historic event.

During our 3-day event powered by BNI®, we shared ideas that businesses, entrepreneurs, and business executives can embrace to effectively restart and ramp up their businesses. I want to thank the CEO of BNI, Graham Weihmiller, for his inspirational vision for the future and much more. Furthermore, I also want to personally thank the three panelists for participating in the panel discussion each day and for providing your insight. Therefore a big thank you to: Mac Srinivasan, BNI Global Markets President; Lorena Medina, BNI National Director México; and Bijay Shah, BNI National Director United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Qatar, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Restart the World

Our global movement, “Restart the World”united business leaders worldwide this week to help and support other local, national, and global business leaders to quickly get back on the path to growth. We hope that the tools and tips that you learned from us will help your business navigate these challenging times. Ultimately, we will build strong relationships with each other that will lead us all to strengthened and empowered networks. By establishing the right mindset right now, we can restart, reopen, reboot, and re-launch local businesses worldwide, powered by BNI.

 Rewatch the Video

Different people, different places, different countries, different faces, different cultures; we all speak the language of referrals, as we restart the world.

The presentations were watched so far this week by over 23,300 viewers worldwide. In case you missed the LIVE event, would like to view it again, or want to share it with others, here are the recorded presentations in 9 different languages:

Chinese Version     Japanese Version  Korean Version    Thai Version     Vietnamese Version 

Portuguese (Brazil) Version    Spanish (Argentina) Version    Spanish (Mexico) Version        Spanish (Guatemala) Version   

Italian Version        Portuguese (Portugal) Version    Spanish (Spain) Version 

Watch the English version below

Entrepreneurs had three struggles this year. First, COVID-19, then, “The Great Pause”, and now, a recession. We now can focus together to refuse to participate in the recession and get through these struggles together. By focusing on establishing the right mindset right now, we can take the steps to reopen local businesses and restart the world, powered by BNI.  

Restart the World

Join Us To Restart the World

Business leaders from around the globe will collectively restart the world this September. During this 3-day event powered by BNI®, we will be sharing ideas that entrepreneurs can embrace to effectively restart and ramp up their businesses.

Restart the World

I will be kicking off a global movement, Restart the World” LIVE on September 15th. BNI will unite organizations and business leaders worldwide to help our local, national, and global businesses big and small get back on the path to growth. During each of the three one-hour events, Graham Weihmiller (BNI Chairman and CEO) and I will announce BNI’s plans to help restart the world.

I will be hosting an engaging panel discussion with select business leaders from across the globe about their key insights for growth. Plus, we will be sharing tips on establishing the right mindset right now to restart, reopen, reboot, and re-launch local businesses worldwide, powered by BNI.  

Scheduled to appear on the panel are Mac Srinivasan (BNI Global Markets President), Lorena Medina (Director Nacional de BNI en México), and Bijay Shah (BNI National Director: United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Qatar, Tanzania, and Uganda). Additional panelists may be announced at a later time.

We are expecting tens of thousands of BNI Members, alumni, collaborators, and colleagues to attend these sessions. Furthermore, “Restart the World” is a global initiative that will continue well past this event. We hope that the tools and tips that you learn from us will help your business navigate these challenging times. Ultimately, we can build our relationships together that will lead us all to strengthened and empowered networks.

Reshare the Video

You can help promote our event by sharing this video on your social media pages. https://youtu.be/XtQ4zwAZsoQ

Review the Schedule

Following the success of BNI’s Growing Forward Together World Tour last month, this one-hour event will again be live-streamed over three days in multiple regions worldwide. The chart below lists the scheduled broadcast time for your country so that you can join us LIVE.

Global Broadcast Time Schedule

Remember the Registration

Registration is now open. Join us as we continue to Restart the World with this global initiative. Visit restarttheworld.live to register or click below.

Entrepreneurs have two problems this year. First, COVID-19, and now, a recession. What I know to be true is that if you focus on the problems, you will become an expert on the problems. However, when you focus on the steps to restart the world, you can get through both struggles.

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