your words

The Words to Live Your Life Bystring(30) "The Words to Live Your Life By"

Last month, I was wondering which words best describe the effect of BNI® on businesses. I decided to share a post on my social media pages requesting for you to reply with your words. I was amazed when I received over 200 words as replies to that question. Therefore, I decided to copy down all the words from the comments shared on my social platforms and save them in a file. After sorting the words alphabetically, I was able to see which of the words were the most common in your replies. I was not surprised to see that five of the seven BNI Core Values were represented as half the top ten most popular words.

The most popular word of all the words received was GROWTH. Our members found that joining BNI resulted in LEARNING how to be a better business owner. They grew both personally with a positive ATTITUDE, and professionally from the RECOGNITION they received. As they SUPPORTED the other members, their own business was being held ACCOUNTABLE too and THRIVING. They were INSPIRED as a result of the COLLABORATION with the members in their chapter, even during the pandemic. The core value of GIVERS GAIN® is what our BNI members hold dear and incorporate into the culture of their businesses. These are your words to live by.

What is Your Verb?

Asking my followers what is their “one word” reminded me of my blog, “What is Your Verb?”. This blog was about a 2017 presentation from Alex Mandossian about knowing the one word that describes you best. This one word is not a noun or an adjective. The best words to describe you are verbs. According to Alex, verbs increase persuasion power and move people. The greatest thought leaders in history lived their lives as verbs. What is your verb? My verb is “inspire”.

Change your WORDS, Inspire your WORLD…

I explained in my blog, “Change your WORDS, Inspire your WORLD”, why my verb is “inspire”. I want to inspire people. Furthermore, I want to inspire people who inspire people to help others and become “their better selves”. Inspired people are not only motivating themselves, they are also an inspiration to others to perform at their highest potential.

Inspiration starts with changing your words. There is tremendous power in words, in our speech. We use words every day to communicate, to express our feelings and thoughts, but we often forget how powerful they can be and how important it is to choose them with care. Words are how we communicate and it is through our communication that we motivate others. Throughout human history, great leaders have used the inspirational power of words. What are the words that inspire you? These are the words to live by.

The Power of Words

Never underestimate the power of your words, both positive and negative. Your words can unintentionally hurt someone when expressed in a negative tone. However, when you use positive words, you inspire others to change. Your positive words can create a culture of caring. The words we use will provide insight and understanding that will create positive change.

In this video, a blind man sits by a busy city street hoping for some spare change.  Beside him is a sign, I’m Blind. Please Help.  People pass him by without notice until a girl stops and re-words his sign, It’s a Beautiful Day and I Can’t See It.  Immediately, passersby respond to the man because of the power of words.

Hope is More Powerful than Fear

In my blog, “Hope is More Powerful than Fear”, I explained that we must be careful about the actual words we use. We can foster hope in others by using words of encouragement that create the actions to inspire others. We can choose to have hope, make the most of it, and come out better and stronger. Otherwise, we can choose to be overcome by our fear and feelings of isolation. However, we know that in our times of distress, hearing words of encouragement from others can remove our fear and foster feeling stronger.  I choose to be better and stronger. These are the words to live by.

Use positive words of encouragement to change people’s lives for the good. The real power of our words is the result of these words on others.  We can change people’s lives for the good with just a few encouraging words of hope. You can change our world and make our world a better place simply with the power of your words.

Co-create a book with us

Co-create a book with usstring(24) "Co-create a book with us"

In today’s modern business world, people are working together to crowdsource products, services, or ideas in a team or in an organization creating something together through a joint effort. Therefore, I am asking you to co-create a book with us.

Please watch the video below then take the survey. In addition, feel free to share the survey on your social media pages with as many people as you would like.

 
I am working on a new book with Frank De Raffele and Dawa Phillips called The Third Paradigm.  We are so very close to reaching our goal of 4,000 survey responses and would love to have you as part of the book. All ages welcome. Click on this link to take the 4-minute survey and be part of the book:
 
 

As an added bonus, here is the draft opening to the book:

Chapter One: The Three Paradigms

We live in an age of sweeping skepticism.  Conflict is pervasive.  Balanced discourse is a thing of the past and pundits tell us what’s wrong with society.  People complain like it’s an Olympic event, and the marketplace obsesses over the massive problems in the world.  Negativity seems to be the norm.
 
We, however, believe there is hope.  There is an answer and it does not rest with the problems.  It rests with a focus on solutions.  When people focus on problems – they become world-class experts on “the problem.”  When they focus on solutions, they become world-class experts on “the solution.”  We believe the “solution” lies within The Third Paradigm.
 
As a reference point, a paradigm is a philosophical framework or discipline within which theories and laws are formulated.  We believe we are entering the era of the Third Paradigm.  Let us take you on a short journey through the three paradigms before we talk more about the solution.
 
Third Paradigm

The Third Paradigm Surveystring(25) "The Third Paradigm Survey"

What happens after competition and after collaboration, that’s the third paradigm.

Please participate in this survey about co-creation. I need your help.

Thank you to everyone who participated in a previous survey. I need your feedback again.

I am working on a new book about people working together to crowdsource products, services, or ideas in a team or in an organization. Furthermore, it is about creating something together through a joint effort.

There are only 10 questions and it will only take a few minutes to complete. Therefore, I’d really appreciate if you’d participate. I will need about 4000 total responses. In addition, Feel free to share the survey on your social media pages with as many people as you would like. All ages welcome. However, we particularly need responses from people under 30. Plus, please email this video link too.

We are using the results from the survey to help talk about the third paradigm in the new book.

Here is the link to the survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CrowdsourceCollaborate

Top Characteristics

The Top Characteristics of a Great Networker (pt 2)string(51) "The Top Characteristics of a Great Networker (pt 2)"

Recently, I took the opportunity to gather almost 3,400 survey responses from business people around the world.   I gave them a list of almost 20 different characteristics on networking and I asked them to pick the top behaviors they’d like to see.  From those responses, I have identified the top characteristics of what people believe makes a great networker and have listed them here. Each one of the characteristics below ties into the notion of “farming” not “hunting.”  It’s about building mutually beneficial business relationships. Only then will you succeed in creating a powerful, personal network.

  1. Sincere/Authentic. You can offer the help, the thanks, the listening ear, but if you are not sincerely interested in the other person, they will know it!  Those who have developed successful networking skills convey their sincerity at every turn.  One respondent stated that “it’s all about the authenticity” that someone shows you.  We have all seen people who are seemingly good at networking but lack sincerity.  Faking it isn’t sustainable.
  1. Follows Up. If you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral, to someone who consistently fails to follow up, you’ll soon stop wasting your time with this person.  One respondent said that when it comes to networking, “the fortune lies in the follow up” and many people just “don’t follow up anymore.”
  1. Trustworthy. One respondent said best when she said: “it doesn’t matter how successful the person is, if I don’t trust them, I don’t work with them. When you refer someone you are putting your reputation on the line. You have to be able to trust your referral partner and be trusted in return. Neither you nor anyone else will refer a contact to someone who can’t be trusted to handle it well.
  1. Approachable. One respondent said that people “will forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”. Effective networking starts with approachability – everything else listed above follows from this.

As a young man, I studied under Warren Bennis, who was at the time, the world’s leading expert on leadership.  He taught me that understanding the “characteristics” of a great leader is important.  However, what is even more important, is understanding how to apply those characteristics.  He told me; “know what you are good at and work to enhance those skills.  Know what you’re not good at and surround yourself with people who can help you improve those skills”. 

As with leadership, I believe that networking skills are very important.  What’s even more important, however, is working to improve them and learning how to use them effectively.  That’s what really counts.

What are the Top Three Characteristics?

Check out my blog from January for the top three characteristics of what people believe makes a great networker.

The Top Characteristics of a Great Networker (pt 1)

I Want to Know What You Think Makes a Great Networker? ( Survey )string(66) "I Want to Know What You Think Makes a Great Networker? ( Survey )"

I’ve been writing about networking for more than 30 years! After all these years, I still find that there are many misnomers about what business networking should, or shouldn’t be about. Many people think that business networking is basically about direct selling. Others think that is about relationship building. What do you think makes a great networker?

Read More

Networking: Men, Women, and Diversitystring(37) "Networking: Men, Women, and Diversity"

Charlie&Ivan-MvWIN

 

In this video (click on the graphic above to access the video), I speak with Charlie Lawson, networking expert and National Director of BNI® UK & Ireland, to unfold the differences between men and women in networking.  While men tend to be more transactional in the way they network, women are more relational and understanding these differences can really be an advantage when it comes to achieving success from your networking efforts.

During a survey of 12,000 people, it was found that those who are more relational gain more business and are overall more proficient networkers.  However, just because women are more likely to generate new business through referrals, this doesn’t mean that only they should have a place in networking groups.  In order to have the most successful networking group possible, there needs to be a great amount of diversity.  It’s ideal to have a blend of different people because that diversity is an important aspect of successful networking.

The more diverse a group is, the more connected it becomes.  When networking groups become more connected, deeper relationships are formed, ultimately leading to more referrals and greater success.

Do you or your networking group have any good tactics for seeking out a diverse array of professionals with whom to network?   If so, please share them in the comment forum below.  If not, make it your goal this week to come up with some ways to do so–you have nothing to lose and a whole lot of untapped potential for new referrals to gain! 

‘Why People Resist Networking’ Series: Part III–Impatience Resulting in Early Failurestring(103) "‘Why People Resist Networking’ Series: Part III–Impatience Resulting in Early Failure"


In this third installment of the “Why People Resist Networking” Video Series, I discuss another popular theme surrounding why people tend to resist networking – impatience.  If new networkers don’t see immediate payoff from their efforts, they become impatient, inevitably resulting in failure early on in the networking process.

Quite often, people simply don’t understand the value of taking time to build fruitful relationships and, like it or not, fruitful relationships are the cornerstone of effective networking.

In this short video, I show a Power Point slide which offers eye-opening proof of the payoff that comes from being patient and consistently putting in the necessary time each week to diligently and strategically build networking relationships. 

I highly encourage you to watch the video to find out why you owe it to yourself (not to mention the business you’ve put so much hard work into) to adopt a systematic and patient approach to networking.  Remember, when you approach networking like a long distance marathon runner, you will reap sweet rewards; if you approach it like a sprinter, simply trying to reach the end as quickly as possible, chances are you’ll end up breaking your ankle (so to speak) and you will have failed before you ever have a chance to even reach the finish line–needless to say, there’s no prize in that.

After watching the video, I’d love for you to leave your feedback, thoughts, and/or comments in the comment forum below. I would particularly like to hear your networking success stories (e.g., connections you never thought you’d be able to make yet achieved through your diligent networking efforts, business growth statistics attesting to the positive impact your networking efforts have made on your business, etc.). Thanks!

How Much do You Trust Advertising?string(34) "How Much do You Trust Advertising?"

Nielsen recently did a survey regarding people’s “trust” in various forms of advertising (see the graph below).

Remarkably, the two top categories of trust involved word of mouth!  All other forms of advertising were substantially lower than the top two (word-of-mouth approaches).  Furthermore, 82% of all forms of advertising (other than word of mouth) showed that more than half of all people didn’t trust that form of advertising much at all!

The media often asks me why networking is so important.  I think the graph below clearly demonstrates why networking is so important for business growth and success.  It’s important to note that I believe in advertising; I also believe that referrals and networking are a form of advertising and I’ve been saying for many years that business networking (i.e., referral marketing) is the most cost effective form of advertising.

This independent study clearly confirms the power of word-of-mouth advertising.  Weigh in here – what are your thoughts on the matter?

Networking ROIstring(14) "Networking ROI"

I recently co-authored an article about the return on investment (ROI) of membership in BNI (the organization I founded back in 1985).  My readers here may find some of the results interesting:

The average amount of business gained from referrals in the last 12 months was $37,055.  When asked about further orders they had received as the multiplier effect of participation, members were able to think of, on average, an additional $17,668 per year of membership.

Combining closed business in the last 12 months with the average value of 2nd and 3rd generation referrals in a year showed the true value of a seat as $54,720 per year.  On average, members who were involved in the group for 7 years generated $383,038 since they joined, thereby underpinning the lifetime value of participation.

An associate of mine is conducting an independent study regarding ROI for any networking organization.   He will share some of the results with me and I will publish them here on my blog.  Please take a few moments to take the short survey (it will only take 3 or 4 minutes).

*** Take the SURVEY HERE ***

After you take the survey, post a message here with any questions that YOU would like to see in a future survey that I’m doing or recommending (like this one).

Want to Achieve Networking Success with the Opposite Sex?–Advice for Women & Menstring(91) "Want to Achieve Networking Success with the Opposite Sex?–Advice for Women & Men"

Last week I posted a summary of the conclusions my Business Networking and Sex co-authors and I came to after surveying over 12,000 people and conducting months of research.  I promised that this week I would post advice for both women and men in achieving networking success with the opposite sex so below I’ve outlined some key tips Frank De Raffele, Hazel Walker, and I put together.

We Say . . .

We’re all trying to get to the same place.  It will be much more profitable for all of us if we can help each other along the way.  Here are a few things to guide your success in networking with the complementary gender:

For the Ladies

  • Don’t get stuck in the credibility phase of the VCP Process®.  Ask for what you want.
  • When asking for help, communicate clearly exactly what it is that you want.
  • Make time for networking.
  • When speaking to men, try to impress them and share your accomplishments.
  • When spoken to inappropriately, speak up about it immediately.
  • Dress for business at business events.
  • Put systems in place to track your business.
  • Stay in contact with and follow up on leads, referrals, and acquaintances made.
  • Diversify your networks.
  • Remember that networking is ultimately about getting business, so ask for both business and referrals.
  • Convey an image to others that you are a serious businessperson, in all that you do.
  • Get educated about referral systems.
  • Don’t lump all men into the same group.

For the Guys

  • Slow down and build the relationship.
  • Work through the VCP Process® in the proper order of its phases.  Don’t race through the credibility phase.
  • Make and maintain eye contact.
  • Listen and ask relational questions.
  • Don’t assume that women don’t take their business seriously.
  • Don’t hit on women at networking events.
  • Edit what you are about to say, using filters to sift out what is not business appropriate.
  • Stay in contact with and follow up on leads, referrals, and acquaintances made.
  • Stay informed about the best, most current, and cutting-edge networking practices.
  • Develop and use systems for your networking activities.
  • Make time for networking.
  • Speak to relate, not just to impress.
  • Remember that women are at networking events for business gain, just as you are.

The difference between the genders when it comes to networking is a great advantage, not a disadvantage.  By following the tips we have outlined above, you should be able to develop more productive relationships with members of both sexes.  Also, be sure to visit www.BusinessNetworkingAndSex.com if you would like to follow the latest developments on the subject of business networking and the genders.

Does Business Networking Have a Place in Formal Education?string(58) "Does Business Networking Have a Place in Formal Education?"

In this short video, presented by Applied Transformation, Inc., Roger Green asks me about my view on the idea that high cost education doesn’t necessarily prepare students for the real world.

In answering him, I talk about my feelings on where business networking fits into the world of formal education and I share some statistics about the true effectiveness of networking which, to me, are mind boggling; I also tell a personal story about having lunch with the Dean of Business at a prominent university and how his words to me speak volumes about the current position business networking holds in the world of higher learning.

What are your personal feelings on where business networking currently fits into, or currently should fit into, the world of formal education?  Did you study business at the university level?  If so, what was your experience?–Did you receive any education about networking while you were working on your degree(s)?  Please share your thoughts/experiences in the comments section.

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