Congruent in Words and Actions

I recently saw someone’s Twitter update telling me all about how his vitamin line will not only make me skinny and healthy, but will also make me wealthy. While there is nothing objectionable about any of these outcomes, the jarring reality is that the man promoting this wonderful opportunity is neither skinny, nor healthy, and he had just been posting updates about how he was desperately trying to dig himself out of debt!

Do you see the disconnect here? I’m sure you have seen people at networking meetings and events who will stand, introduce themselves, and deliver a promise-filled monologue about how their product or service will bring you all kinds of things which they themselves obviously do not have the benefit of enjoying.

What’s missing is congruency. When your professional message is not congruent with your personal situation, your networking efforts will not be effective. If you are promoting yourself as a wellness coach, and yet you are often sick and carrying 20 extra pounds, there is a jarring incongruence for which it will be hard for you to compensate. When I want to refer my colleagues to a wellness coach, I will refer one who is healthy, fit and obviously achieving the results she promises I will receive from participating in her program.

This may seem logical, but I often see people all over the world with incongruent messages. Ask yourself how congruent your message is.  If you’re a professional organizer, is your briefcase a disaster? If you’re a car detailer, how does your own vehicle look? If you have never done so, take stock today of your message. Evaluate what you’re saying the benefits of your products or services are compared to what you are showing people they are.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you do thunders above your head so loudly, I cannot hear the words you speak.” In his book Inside the Magic Kingdom, Tom Connellan calls this “walking the talk.” How are you doing when it comes to walking the talk in your business? It will have a definite effect on the success of your networking efforts.

Share a story with me about someone (don’t name names!) whose message was not congruent with their actions.  I’d love to hear other stories.


6 thoughts on “Congruent in Words and Actions

  1. In my neyworking travels, I’ve met many people Ivan describes. I once met an artchitect who, when I asked for his business card, handed me a piece of paper from a small pad which had his contact info stamped (crooked) on it! Very scary!

  2. I have seen this situation with a person calling themself a Business Coach, they professed to be able to coach people in their business, but their own was in disaray and could not pay their accounts. Another refused to participate in a networking group activity to build the membership, bit like do what I say not as I do. A great way throw your credibility out the window!

  3. We see this all the time particularly with “social media marketing companies”. With Social Media being all the buzz these days its very similar to how you mention the health coach in your post. As an Internet Marketing Agency we see this all the time and it’s amazing how un-social some of these companies are. Conveying an image either in a networking event or in social networking has the same effect these days. It’s time for people to “Walk the walk and talk the talk. Those people are easy to spot, they’re usually the successful ones!!

  4. This strikes right at the heart for me. Very convicting. As a BNI director it is easier for me to tell others how to network effectively, than to actually take out my networking scorecard and begin measuring my own progress!
    Timely reminder Dr Misner. Much appreciated.

  5. This reminds me of three or four web site designers I’ve known with websites that don’t exactly wow the viewer and the SEO they promise doesn’t seem to work well for their own websites.

  6. Great Article. I keep meeting such people very regularly. Using this article as part of my education slot tomorrow for my BNI Mumbai Alpha Meeting.

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