To get the rewards and recognition that you deserve, it’s not enough to do good work: people have to think that you do good work.
Their perception is their reality.
But how much of your work do people actually see? Unless they have been looking over your shoulder for the last six months, how can they know about your creativity and perseverance in overcoming challenges. They won’t appreciate the tactful way you dealt with difficult customers or suppliers because they weren’t there.
But that will not hold them back from judging and evaluating you. They will take what they do see, however superficial, and connect the dots to create an image, a version or representation of you, in their mind. Connecting the dots happens at an unconscious level and is driven by an array of beliefs, emotions and cognitive biases. People will infer meaning about things they don’t know from things they do know. They will leap to conclusions about your efficiency based on how tidy your desk is. How you dress indicates your leadership potential and your motivation level is defined by how much you speak during meetings.
To reiterate, doing a good job is not enough – it is only one factor in determining how people evaluate you – and how they evaluate you affects your business. It affects:
- whether you actually win contracts
- how much freedom you are given to do things your own way
- the credibility of your ideas
- how your presentations are received
- what kind of work you are offered
It affects everything.
On The Edge Program, we will go beyond 'Personal Brand' and will provide practical guidance on:
- creating emotional connections – because emotional triggers play an important role in how they connect the dots relating to you
- using physical signals – posture, dress, facial expressions
- how to convey efficiency, expertise, empathy and leadership
- building habits so that image management becomes automatic and effortless
This is the first video in the personal brand part of the program.
“The richest people in the world build networks; everyone else is trained to look for work.”
How do you feel about networking? If you’re like most people, it is not something that you approach with enthusiasm. Many people see networking as being an unnecessary distraction from doing important work, with connotations of somehow being false, of having ulterior motives, of using people. There is a fear that relationships will be tainted and one will be viewed as being shallow. And then there is the challenge of having to speak to people you don’t like or with whom you have little in common.
These attitudes, and I confess I thought like this at one time, are based on a misconception of networking. Even for the greatest introvert, networking can be fun if you follow the principles and apply the techniques that I will share with you. Networking will become effortless and painless, simply an extension of what you do each day.
And, let’s not forget, there are many advantages to having a strong network. Your contacts can, amongst other things:
- be a source of opportunities – projects, jobs, business ideas, referrals – why expend effort looking for these things when they can come to you?
- influence people on your behalf, raise your profile and recommend you – when you sing your own praises, you risk coming across as an arrogant narcissist; when someone else extols your virtues there is greater credibility
- provide feedback, encouragement and advice – we all need an alternative perspective from time to time and who better to give it than someone with a concerned but objective viewpoint
- keep you informed of what is happening – information is power and in this rapidly changing world you need to keep abreast of events
- enable you to get the best deals – from ‘mates’ rates’ to customised services or first options on scarce resources
- be a source of friendship – one of my fundamental principles is: don’t include people in your network whose company you don’t enjoy. If networking is a chore, you won’t do it and there are plenty of decent people to connect with.
In the program you will learn how to identify, approach and nurture network connections. I will share with you systems and habits that put your networking on autopilot. We will tackle challenges such as starting conversations with strangers, moving beyond social chit-chat to more meaningful, interesting topics and leveraging social networks.
In this video from the program, we consider how to build connections with people – quickly. You will see one of our networking tools – the network map – where we keep notes on our contacts – a technique used by a former US president!