While Ivan Misner is on vacation this week, we are honored to have a guest blog post by Dame Doria (DC) Cordova, Owner & CEO, Excellerated Business Schools® & Money & You® about networking conversation and intention.
Have you ever been to a networking event and had that “awkward” feeling as you begin talking with someone? If you’re like most people the answer is “yes, absolutely.” In that moment, people often fall back to the classic, almost automatic opener: “so [insert name], what do you do?”
At our live entrepreneurial events, like our 3.5 day Money & You® Program or the flagship, annual 8-day live-in immersion program – the Global Excellerated Business School for Entrepreneurs – we teach a different model, one that brings a truly different quality of conversation and connection with just three easy questions.
These three questions have been tested and tried by tens of thousands of our graduates – all leaders and entrepreneurs like you, some of them now household names like Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Robert & Kim Kiyosaki and tens of thousands more from some 85 countries – to put it simply, it works wonders.
After all, networking is nothing if there isn’t some kind of genuine conversation and connection made between you and the people you are networking with, right?
In fact, this works because the very intention behind the three questions is based on a powerful and fundamental premise of success, one of many we cover in detail at our invitation only and annual Global Excellerated Business School for Entrepreneurs which is attended by committed leaders and entrepreneurs from all over the world to dramatically “excellerate” the success of their projects and enterprises.
It’s also a premise that has, I believe, been a key part of why BNI and my good friend, Dr. Ivan Misner are so successful and world-leading in his efforts.
R. Buckminster Fuller, a genius thinker of the 20th century and one of the masters our teachings are based on, taught us about “Generalized Principles”. To define this further, if a premise is specifically a “Generalized Principle” then there are no exceptions, the principle is
true in ALL cases, ALL the time. Gravity, for example, is a Generalized Principle – that is, it doesn’t matter who we are, where we’re from, our backgrounds, our preferences, our stories – gravity is affecting us all equally and in all cases at all times.
What we have learned over these many years, is that whether you are an employee or entrepreneur, there are Generalized Principles that are as powerful as gravity that apply to business, wealth and in fact, life.
One of the Generalized Principles “Bucky” (as he is affectionately known) taught us, is that the true purpose of any endeavor, career, or for example, any business is NOT – as so many assume – to make money – even millions or multi-millions – rather the purpose MUST be and is only to add value to the community you serve. And by adding value, the rewards including the money, the connections, the relationships… follow. By the way, notice how BNI. and Dr Misner have absolutely proven that – add value and they will come.
The question then is: how do we truly add value in a networking conversation?
In my experience, at networking events people are so often focused on what they can get – “whom can I meet?” – “where is my new business coming from?” – “who is my target?” –NOT what they can give. The answer is easy.
Shift your intention.
Make your mind up that you are going to be there – at that event – for others, not for your own interests.
Practice that by taking on and asking each person you meet, these three questions:
- What business are you in?
- What support do you need?
- What can I do for you?
These three questions open up genuine conversations AND significantly differentiate you in the process. While everyone else is asking “so [insert name], what do you do?”, you’re exploring who this person is, what they need and how you can assist. In other words, you are ADDING VALUE even in a two-minute conversation with a stranger.
Think about it this way… How different would your experience at a networking event be, if someone took the time to ask you these three questions in this way? Indeed, they would be finding out more about you, putting you at ease, supporting you, forwarding your intentions, goals and plans. And, how would you feel about that person? Probably quite different than anyone who asked you the standard “so [insert name], what do you do?”
Dame Doria (DC) Cordova
For the last 40 years, Dame Doria (DC) Cordova’s life purpose has been to uplift humanity’s consciousness through social enterprise. She continues to be truly successful in that endeavor globally. Her work reaches from the USA/North America to China and through the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, New Zealand, Europe and beyond. My work and our organizations, such as BNI and Excellerated are critically aligned in our ongoing commitment to make a difference to those we serve. Her network of 118,000+ global leaders and entrepreneurs is unparalleled and her program the Global Excellerated Business School for Entrepreneurs is a unique experience my readers are personally invited and frankly, encouraged to explore in-depth. Please visit: www.globalexcelleratedbusinessschool.com