Have you ever had someone get right up in your face when they are talking to you? So close in fact that a letter “S’ results in an unwanted shower? Often when we are out networking, we find ourselves in a loud environment as people try to talk louder to be heard over people trying to talk louder to be heard. This results in a roar that makes regular conversation difficult.
The temptation in this atmosphere is to get very close to another person so they can hear you and you them. This can result in being too close to another person sometimes making them very uncomfortable. This discomfort is heightened when we have been consuming alcohol and the person we are talking to has not.
Each of us has our own comfort zone boundary. This is a space around us that when another person enters we begin to feel uncomfortable. A good way to relate to this is to remember if you have ever had an argument where someone got right up in your face and possibly even pointed their finger very near to it. Remember how that made you feel? In most cases it makes a person feel more angry.
In a networking environment it is important to maintain a distance from a person that you are talking to. This distance should be almost an arm’s length. Most people’s comfort boundary is about the length of their arm. If you find yourself getting very close to someone in conversation, imagine if you raised your arm and that is the distance that you should be from the other person. If they move closer to you in the course of conversation, it is acceptable to them to be closer. If it is acceptable to you then continue with the conversation at that distance.
You can sometimes tell if you are standing too close to someone if they seem to be moving back while you are talking to them. If they appear to be getting further away from you, do not move to be closer to them. They will stop when they reach the distance that they are comfortable with. If they turn and walk away of course it is time to find someone else to talk to.
To be most effective in your attempts to build relationships with others, it is most important to keep these things in mind. Remember that it makes no difference what you say to a person if they are not engaged in the conversation. Good observance of boundaries can give you the edge you need to make networking work.
– Building Your Success Team
Think about anyone you know who is incredibly successful. Do these people do everything themselves? Think of J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books. She writes the books, but does she do all the legal work, all the marketing, distribution, printing, advertising and public relations? No of course she does not. She has a “success team” around her.
These are people who are experts in their chosen fields. They are probably amongst the best in the world. They are people she trusts implicitly to do the job, with her best interests at heart. Whilst she may trust these people, she doesn’t just leave them running her empire. She checks in on them, works with them, and keeps an eye on their running of her business.
Any successful person you can think of will have a success team around them. You too need to form your own success team in whatever venture you choose. Whether it is lawyers, accountants, advisors, mentors or experts, it is vital that you have this team around you.
Quite simply, you can’t do everything yourself. There is no way you can have the level of expertise you need to succeed in all the areas you need. J.K. Rowling spends her time focusing on what makes her money and what she loves, writing. She leaves all the accountancy, legalities, advertising and everything else to her team of advisors. This leaves her time to do what she is best at, i.e. writing books. How long would it take her to become an expert accountant and to keep up with the tax laws? How long would it take her to become an expert lawyer and keep up with the changes in legislation? By picking a team of advisors to help you and guide you, you give yourself the time to focus on your area of speciality.
So what should you look for in your success team? Someone who:
– You feel a connection to and comfortable with
– Is dedicated to keeping up to date with their professional education
– Has an excellent track record in their field
– Has excellent references that you can check up
– Integrates well with the rest of your success team
Where would you find your success team?
The best way is to find them from personal recommendation. Look at other successful people in your field and who is advising them.
Create a job listing online and hold interviews. That’s right, you interview them to see if they are good enough to work with you and of the right stuff. Before you see them, create a list of questions you want to ask them. See how you get on with them and check up on the references they give you.
A success team isn’t just lawyers and accountants, it could also be your “cheerleading” squad. This is friends, family and colleagues who support you and believe in what you are doing. It’s much better to have them around you than naysayers who will drag you down and try to stop you succeeding. Discard them and get your own set of cheerleaders.
Surrounding yourself with a success team will give you the opportunity to focus on what you do best for yourself and your business. Your success team can focus on what they do best, freeing up your time and efforts to become even more successful.