Get Better At Connecting with Others: Conversations Without A Net

Without A NetHave you ever had one of those momentary flash backs you just know dates you? I mean, really dates you? Recently, I did. It was in response to reading some networking advice that brought to mind a classic 90s song. You know, “things that make you go hmmmm….”

Included with standard advice, like exchange business cards and dress for success, was this gem: Memorize your elevator speech. Not only that, but the writer provided a recipe for what should be included; specifically, your name, web address, who you help, and what results you produce for your clients. Oh! And one more thing. The writer noted that you should deliver your (memorized) elevator pitch as naturally as possible.

Not only did it this “make me go hmmm,” but it seemed to suggest why people may resist meeting new people at events. Let’s face it. It is just too hard to be natural when you have to deliver a speech – even a short one! [Tweet This] So, if you’re not feeling you can do this, it can kind of discourage you from going, and from enjoying yourself if you do.

So, this got me thinking about some of the reading I’ve been doing on the craft of acting – particularly, improv. In his informative Acting for a Living, Roy McCrerey makes the point that it’s actors with improvisational training who are best suited to win work where roles call for people who come across as more real. Ironic, I know. Yet, the skills of improv can actually better prepare us for natural interactions than memorizing a pitch.  [Tweet This]

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Could It Be Time For You To Get Real About Your Career?

girl with two faces“Oh, come on, get real!” Chances are good that you’ve heard this from friends more than once in your life. Me too. In fact, you’ve probably offered up this gentle guidance yourself. I know I have. Actually, I’m about to do it again…

Like a lot of people, you’re no doubt aware of lots of realities about the world of work. You know the results your company expects of you, you know you need to be prepared for your annual performance appraisal, …and you know making your boss look good is usually good for your career. You also know you need to give office gossip at least some credence, you know you have to watch your back, and you know you’re expected to do ever more with even less.

And most importantly, you know how to fit in. After all, it’s something you’ve been doing most of your career.

Actually, like many people, you may have gotten so caught up in your career adventure that, even now, you may be as eager to fit in to your profession, industry, and organization, as you were on day one. Over time, this desire has been reinforced by seeing that if you perform well, and have a little luck, your career advances. You also get to keep your job, and you become even better at doing what’s expected.

Sure, it can be difficult at times. Generally, however, you’ve progressed in your career by being astute enough to figure out what others want from you – and agile enough to provide it. Yet, I think this kind of success holds a danger, and it’s this: You form a picture of yourself that meets work specs, even if it’s several beats short of who you truly are. [Tweet This]

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