Category Archives: Relationships

Top 10 Traits of a Master Business Networkers

By | Business Strategy, Relationships | No Comments

Like any proactive business-minded person, I devote a considerable portion of my time toward the cultivation and nurturing of strategic business networks. To share some insights into art of Business networking, I’ve come across a video by Ivan Misner who heads up one of the world’s largest networking organisations, BNI (Business Networkers International), who describes the top 10 characteristics possessed by successful networkers, which I thought I’d share with you:

Some of the key points he raises are that business networking is more about farming, rather than hunting. The objective being to cultivate relationships with other business professionals as opposed to simply sourcing and consuming.

Top 10 Traits of a Master Networker

10. They Actively Work their Network

  • Manage contacts with contact management software – use online software such as SalesForce.com to manage your database of contacts
  • Organise emails – take a structured approach to storing client correspondence
  • Carry referral partners business cards – never miss an opportunity to pass a referral, because by thinking of your referrals they’ll want to refer to you in exchange
  • Make Appointments to get better acquainted – within the BNI circles these are called Dance cards, where you make an hour a week to meet up with one of your contacts to learn more about their business, so you know what their best referrals are

9. Sincerity

  • Convey sincerity – be genuine in your interactions.
  • Offer undivided attention – aside from just being courteous, you’ll learn more if you pay attention!

8. Enjoys Helping Others

  • Keep eyes and ears open to advance other people’s interests – on a more selfish note too, by having a large network of people you can refer to makes you look VERY well connected in the business social circles.

7. Gratitude

  • Thank people for the help they’ve given – this tells your referrers that you recognize and acknowledge the work they’ve done to help grow your business
  • Builds to cultivation of relationships – through appreciation of other people’s work you develop closer relationships

6. Network ALWAYS.

  • Never off-duty. Everything is an opportunity to network – be interested in other people’s business and lives, as you never know when the next big opportunity is hiding!

5. Good Listening Skills

  • How well we can listen and learn – of particularly interest are any comments made which present gaps or dissatisfactions in people’s lives, as these often present golden opportunities to pass referrals
  • The better a listener you are, then faster you can build a valuable relationships

4. Be Trustworthy

  • Must be able to trust your referral partner – the ultimate objective in cultivating professional networks is the development of trust. Trust in both your products and services, but also more importantly trust in you as an individual.
  • You’ll never be referred if you can’t be trusted to handle that referral well. People’s referral of you is an extension of their trust with the referee, so ALWAYS remember to follow up promptly on any referrals and ensure you uphold that trust with both your referral and referrer.

3. Enthusiasm / Motivation

  • Need to sell yourself with enthusiasm – more than just being a “motivated seller”, your overall personality and how you carry yourself is a very influential factor when others decide whether they want to do business with you (or refer to you)
  • Passionate in your area – know your products and services and be a enthusiastic ambassador in their promotion

2. Having a positive attitude

  • Makes people want to associate and cooperate with you – nobody likes or wants to be around a sad sack.
  • Others will want to be around them, and send people to them – if people got a good vibe from being around you, then they’ll be more confident that others will as well. Therefore their referral of you will in turn reflect well on them for having referred you.

1. Follow up on Referrals.

  • #1 trait of successful networkers, so let’s just re-emphasize this again; FOLLOW UP ON YOUR REFERRALS!!!
  • If you refer to someone who doesn’t follow up, this reflects poorly on both the referrer and referee – fail to do this repeatedly and you’ll stop receiving referrals at all.

In summary, it takes time and effort to build up your “social capital”. More than simply churning and burning leads as they come in, properly nurtured business relationships can develop into a continual source of new business if handled properly. The above 10 characteristics merely describe the traits of master business networkers who are successful at this – the hard part is taking on these traits yourself and making sure you follow through on these.

Top Causes of Workplace Stress

By | Business Strategy, Lifestyle Design, Personal Development, Relationships | No Comments

There is considerable academic research supporting the connection between high levels of stress and cardiovascular disease (generally also coupled with other poor lifestyle choices such as not exercising enough and over-indulging in sugary and fatty foods – but that aside for the moment)… so when we consider how much of a our life is spent on the job, it’s worthwhile reviewing what some of the more common work-related stresses are, how to tell whether we’re being impacted by these (as often the symptom may not necessarily be a clear indication as to the cause), and most importantly what is the best approach toward handling these.

For the more emotionally intelligent / self-aware of us (the rest of you, please try to tune into the feedback you’re more than likely receiving from your peers) the most common signs that you’re experiencing stress will include:

  • Un-explainable fatigue or feelings of being run down
  • Increased irritability (or rather, lower than usual tolerance for other people)
  • A heightened emotional state of tension or feelings of being strung out
  • Difficulties sleeping at night (not sure if your coworkers will know about this one)
  • Problems maintaining your focus at work leading to a drop in day-to-day productivity
  • Increased susceptibility to illness (whether psychosomatic or genuine – due to a weakened immune system)
  • Difficulty in making decisions

… so if any of this sounds familiar, then the below info graphic is for you!

How to tell if Someone is Lying [InfoGraphic]

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I’ve always been fascinated with sociology and the study of human body language, so when I came across this fantastic infographic by forensicpsychology.net on how to tell if somebody is lying, I had to post this up on my blog.

This guide takes you through the verbal queues, the body language give-aways, the emotional gestures and contradictions, general interactions / reactions, eye movements – even down to the subtle “micro-expressions” that you can learn to look for in order to find out if someone is telling you porky pies!

How to Win Friends and Influence People

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This is Dale Carnegie’s summary of his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, from 1936;


Table of Contents

  1. Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  2. Six Ways to Make People Like You
  3. How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  4. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

Part One

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Part Two

Six ways to make people like you

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Part Three

Win people to your way of thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.

Part Four

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

A leader’s job often includes changing your people’s attitudes and behavior. Some suggestions to accomplish this:

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.
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