Remote Employees Are More Engaged? Really?

Employees who work remotely are actually more engaged with their teams than their “in-office” counterparts, according to a recent Harvard Business Review study. Surprised?

Our own Keith Ferrazzi has published advice on how dispersed teams can be more productive than co-located teams in Harvard Business Review, and yet my initial reaction was disbelief. How can individuals be more engaged with people they never see than with people down the hall? But author Scott Edinger proposes several possible reasons:

  1. Proximity breeds complacency.  Even co-located teams communicate primarily through email. It’s so easy to walk 100 feet to communicate personally that people take it for granted.
  2. Absence makes people try harder to connect. People make more of an effort to connect when they you don’t ordinarily interact with people.
  3. Leaders of virtual teams make better use of tools. When your primary form of connecting with people is virtual, you master many different modes of communication.
  4. Leaders of far-flung teams maximize the time their teams spend together. When remote people do finally get face-time with people they don’t see often, leaders do everything to maximize the precious time spent together.

Do you agree with Edinger’s suppositions? Have you noticed more engagement with remote teammates?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Are You a Self-Directed Learner?

If so, we want to talk to you!

We’re looking for professionals in sales, marketing, executive management and entry level positions that have crafted their own career or promotional path by identifying supplemental online education and individuals within their network to teach and mentor them towards specific career goals and/or promotion aspirations.

If you have bootstrapped your education to attain or improve a professional role by….

  • Creating your own online e-learning curriculum through blogs, association content, webinars, e-training and other online outlets in your industry.
  • Recruiting one or more individuals in your industry to mentor you through the steps to attain a position or career transition.
  • Creating a social media group through Facebook or LinkedIn to aggregate professional knowledge.
  • Giving back to your industry with valuable knowledge in the form of a seminar, webinar or white paper.

We’d like to share your story. Contact us by 11/16/11 to be considered.  Comment below if you are interested!

Is There Value to “‘No Boys Allowed” Networking?

We have all heard the phrase “old boys’ network” and many of us have seen it in action. While the workforce has changed much over the past decades, this preconceived networking bias still impacts many professional women.

The good news is, woman have found workarounds via more structured networking opportunities than beer pong in the sports bar around the corner. (I don’t know about where you live, but you see a lot of that in New York…)

According to an LA Times article from earlier this year,  “Female business owners — who sometimes have to work around entrenched, old-boy networks in order to expand their businesses — have found networking events to be particularly valuable.” Carmen Rad, the president of her digital printing company says, “There is a tremendous advantage to joining, and you can’t just join one. You need to join more than one because each organization will have a different added value.”

Recently, women-only networking has re-surged, particularly in tech fields, in an effort to compensate for the potential gender setback. But not everyone sees this as a positive trend. Continue reading

5 Ways to Connect with Other myGreenlight Members Before the End of the Year

  Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager.

It’s the fourth quarter countdown. That time of year when most of us are starting to reel in our relaxed summer agendas and get back to the business of progressing our goals. Nothing distinguishes the myGreenlight community more than their generosity towards helping others progress their goals. Your greatest help, best referral and next client could be one myGreenlight member away from reality. If you’re not part of the myGreenlight community, consider what avenues you’ll take to connect with your network in the coming quarter.

As you reestablish your routines for reaching out in your network, add one or more of these five myGreenlight resources to your activity list.

  1. Chat it up! — Hit the Forums to contribute a new conversation or to a fellow member’s conversation.
  2. Network Thoughtfully – myGreenlights’ monthly Social Capitalist call and blogs provides common ground for like minds.
  3. Peer Power – the My Community link puts members in touch with peers from their organization, making collaboration on internal ideas easy to achieve.
  4. Lifeline Groups/Directory – If you’re a Relationship Bootcamp Graduate, you have access to the full myGreenlight Directory. If you haven’t taken the step to form a Lifeline Group, developing a network to support your goals will accelerate your progress.
  5. Be vocal! – Leave something thoughtful for the community to think about and always feel free to reach out and tell me what you’d like from your myGreenlight experience.

Self-Service Professional Coaching Launches at the New MyGreenlight

Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager.

Hello myGreenlight community,

I’m Kibibi Springs the newest community member to the myGreenlight staff and your Community Manager. I look forward to us getting to know each other. Welcome also to those of you who aren’t GL members (yet!) but who are coming here because you’re constantly looking to improve your professional relationships and build social capital.

Since this is my first post, I thought I’d share what’s prominent on my business goal list. Lately, I’ve been receiving generous energy from my network in the form of professional coaching.  It’s very humbling when someone wants to invest the best of their knowledge set in your professional development and it’s a fascinating journey that everyone should experience.

During the rebrand, we thought about how to give all of the myGreenlight Community the advantage of our coaches’ wisdom. The result, is the new Coaching Q & A center in the Tools and Resources area. It’s a self-service coaching archive with an on-demand multimedia library of past coaching.  Access to coaching on myGreenlight just got easier and customizable to your individual needs. Now you can take your relationship mastery progress into your own hands.

Whether your challenge is related to developing better relationships with coworkers; managing confusing agendas when meeting with business partners of the opposite sex; or finding the best ways to approach potential contacts using social media; the Coaching Q&A center has a suggested solution for you. You also have the choice to submit a question of your own and one of our coaches will reply with an answer and add it to the center for others to take advantage of in the future.

MyGreenlight members, check out the Coaching feature soon! Everyone else: Have you ever sought out the help of a professional coach – and did it help you move forward? Tell us about it.

Are Your Friends Making You Fat?

Ritu Walia is the Member Coordinator at myGreenlight.

A professor at the University of Indiana recently published what the New York Times called a “scathing review” of the social contagion theory, which is most famous for its warning that having overweight friends can make you fat.

The social contagion theory was widely publicized, even gracing the front page of several national newspapers. The book that developed the theory, Connected, was recommended by the New York Times, Financial Times, and even Oprah – and is frequently cited by all of us at myGreenlight.

According to the authors of Connected, Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a social scientist at Harvard, and James Fowler, a social scientist at the University of California, San Diego, the people we know can have an extraordinary influence on us. They named the phenomenon “social contagion” and claimed it extended beyond obesity, to the spread of smoking and drinking habits, and even the proliferation of happiness. We really could spread our habits to people just by being friends with them, or even by being friends with their friends. Or as my mom likes to say, “birds of a feather flock together.”

But according to Gina Kolada’s Times piece, the Indiana professor and other statisticians are now claiming that “the studies’ methodology was flawed and the original data completely inadequate to estimate the role that contagion might play in the spread of these behaviors.”
Christakis and Fowler stand behind their research, and unfortunately, like most people reading this, I’m not a scientist and I can’t pretend that I understand the statistics behind the study.

But at the same time, at an intuitive level, it seems pretty obvious that the people we surround ourselves with strongly influence our habits, our lifestyle, and the grand scheme of our lives.

Have you ever found yourself the “victim” or beneficiary of social contagion? What are your thoughts and personal experiences? Please share!

Your Best Customers are the Customers You Have Right Now

Cold calling is one of the biggest sales hurdles.  Moving forward with accounts you already know or building new business through warm introductions are generally more fruitful.

If you think beyond sales, growing your network follows the same rules.  Expand relationships that already exist.  Ask for introductions from people you know.

To learn more about this great sales tip, check out this link to Keith’s blog.