Sometimes it’s hard to think of a good reason to reach out and ping someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Luckily, a) you don’t really need a reason at all and b) with a tiny bit of research, you can easily find one, anyway.
Log into your LinkedIn account (if you don’t have one – your mission is to make one) and look at the “Updates” section. Scroll through the list and you are likely to find that someone has a new position, has received a promotion, or is working on an exciting new project.
Send congratulations to people with changes to report. Take advantage of the chance to rekindle a relationship. Ask questions to encourage follow-up. Showing you are interested and aware of happenings in the lives of your connections gets you back on their radar.
What kind of change is on your mind today? It might be simple, like trying to get yourself to visit the gym daily. It might complex, like deciding how quickly to expand your business. Either way, we all know, change ain’t easy.
Accountability helps. Experience it yourself by trying a mission from one of the myGreenlight Relationship Bootcamp lessons: Powerful Accountability through a Bite-Sized Behavioral Change. This mission starts to build a practice of tapping your network for accountability – why go it alone when others can help?
Find an Accountability Buddy
Your Mission: By building accountability around a small behavior change, you will taste the transformative power of having a committed network that won’t let you fail.
Make a commitment around a behavioral change that you know will improve your work: e.g., getting into the office 15 minutes earlier, exercising in the morning, or spending the first 15 minutes of every workday pinging prospects or circles of influence. Then email a target contact whom you think would enjoy the mission him- or herself. Ask him to be your partner in accountability by setting a meeting one week out to check in on your follow through — or you can even check in with each other daily. If you want to take it a step further, make this a regular weekly check-in during which you share a success, a challenge, and a commitment for the week going forward.
What’s your bite-sized change?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Plato
Your success will eventually require you to deal with someone difficult, or to stay calm in a situation where someone else is creating tension.
When that time comes, the quote above is a powerful touchstone for finding a way to approach the challenge with generosity. Because no matter how caustic the personality, it is unlikely that the problem person wants to make your life harder. They are busy dealing with their own issues, and quite honestly, perhaps you are also working their last nerve.
If you experience a tense moment today – take a breath and accept that the other party is most likely experiencing a challenge somewhere in their life. Find a way to reach through the tension and offer some kindness. Practice this regularly with strangers, and maybe it will eventually be key in managing an important business relationship.
How many times each day do you click over to Google or Bing to answer a question or research a challenge?
What if every one of those clicks was an opportunity to give generously to someone in your network?
Your Mission: Every time you search for a piece of information today, think of 2 people in your network who could benefit from what you uncover. Send them a quick email letting them know that you found something you think they would find valuable and include a link. Instant generous ping.
How does uncertainty make you feel? Nervous, stressed, scared? These reactions are common, but they can hold you back. Uncertainty can bring new and unexpected opportunities, creativity, curiosity, and excitement into your goals. Embracing uncertainty and letting go of a strict plan allows you take the blinders off to recognize new opportunities and create innovative solutions.
The author, speaker, and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields is the author of a book on that exact topic, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance, and recently was a guest at a Social Capitalist Event.
During the interview, he introduced listeners to the concept of certainty anchors. Jonathan studied highly creative, high-performance individuals and found that they shared a certain practice. They needed to feel free, not structure-bound in their working lives, and so they had created certainty anchors, or regular, repeated rituals, in their personal lives. These rituals made sitting with and exploring professional uncertainty possible, day after day, while keeping their overall anxiety-levels low. Continue reading
Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends.The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances. – Jay Leno
Here’s a question for you.
When was the last time you gave someone new the chance to move up the ranks to become a true friend? There are no documented promotion criteria to move up the friendship ladder. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and give someone the chance to step up for you.
Your Mission: Look through your to-do list or calendar for an activity/event where you need back-up from a friend. A ride. A recommendation. A wingman for an event. Think beyond your go-to friends and give someone new a chance to be there for you. It might feel like a stretch, but chances are good that he/she will want to help, and just making the gesture to ask can move a relationship to the next level.
Let us know what you asked and how it went.
As they say, “time flies when you are having fun.” They should probably also say, “accomplishments rack up faster than you can update your profiles.” Although that doesn’t sound nearly as poetic.
Go to LinkedIn and update your profile with your latest accomplishments. Make sure it represents you in the best, most current light. Consider keywords and what you want your personal brand to stand for.
Authors John Hagel and John Seely Brown, who recently sat down to record a Social Capitalist Masterclass with Tahl Raz, provide this month’s Master’s Mission, designed to help you diversify your network to expose you to the broadest range of ideas and opportunities. These simple tips will strengthen your safety net – try it!
It is no surprise that we instinctively seek out those who share our interests. This is especially true in times of increasing pressure and uncertainty. We have an understandable tendency in such times to seek out the familiar and comfortable as a buffer against the unforeseen changes around us. In so doing we can inadvertently put ourselves in a cage of similarity that narrows our peripheral vision of the world and our options. The result? We may be even more vulnerable to being blindsided by events and trends coming at us from new and unusual directions.
The Internet compounds this narrowing by invisibly removing subjects and people from our online searches and even our casual exploration of websites, explains Eli Pariser in his new book, The Filter Bubble. Worse yet, we tend to become more extreme and entrenched in our beliefs when we become involved in a tight-knit group that shares them.
The bottom line: the choices we make and the technology we use can progressively narrow the range of experiences we have. To counteract the potential stultifying effects of the filter bubble we will have to overcome our natural instinct to seek out the comfort of those who are most like us. Here are some suggestions: Continue reading
First things first. Happy 2012!
In honor of the introduction of our 3rd Core Course – The Learning Action Plan – today’s mission is all about planning your personal development for this year.
Identify one thing you want to learn this year. It might already be a resolution, or just a thought in the back of your mind. Write it down and spend 30 minutes researching ways to move the needle on that learning objective.
- Identify an on-line course
- Sign up for a live course – continuing education, a seminar, a workshop
- Find a book – buy it or go get it at the library
- Ask around in your network for ideas
- Find a mentor/accountability buddy to keep you moving
In honor of the recent creation of myGreenlight’s Course III, we’re releasing an article from it. Create clarity around your dream career by creating five simple, yet meaningful, lists. Click here to get the article and start on your 2012 goals!