Relationship Roundup

Some of the best practices to amp up your business skills take center stage in this week’s Roundup, including managing the change process and the benefits of hiring adversarial candidates. Plus, a trend too cool not to pass on. Enjoy.

Navigating change – Former guest to the Social Capitalist and Executive Coach Christine Comaford provides a roadmap for managing the change process. Read her Forbes article here: http://onforb.es/TiPbas.

Lessons from the field – The NFL is not only entertaining, it’s a multi-billion dollar enterprise with some valuable management lessons to offer. Read this Wall Street Journal blog about the management secrets of the NFL here: http://on.wsj.com/Q8UDX9.

Benefit from your dislikes – Being truly relationship savvy means mastering the ability to interact and function with challenging colleagues. Read about the benefits of hiring adversarial candidates in this Fast Company article here: http://bit.ly/UseYei.

The customer is king – Implementing the best practices of marketing with your customer relationships can provide the edge you seek in reaching your business goals. Download and listen to this Marketing Professionals podcast from marketing expert Ardath Albee here: http://bit.ly/Tnte8H.

Too cool not to mention – #11 on Trendwatching’s September 2012 release of 12 mini trends is a glimpse into a world where social and reality intersect beyond the handheld mobile device. Read about it here: http://bit.ly/NMIHzO.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Christine Comaford and the Buddhist Principle that Changes Everything

Christine Comaford – author, entrepreneur, coach, and ex-Buddhist monk – has a unique pedigree and an equally unique perspective on leadership. In this excerpt from her Social Capitalist Live Interview, she shares her thoughts on the roles that focus and presence, key Buddhist principles, play.

Christine says:

Focus and presence to me are the foundation of leadership. When you choose to be exactly here, exactly now, there’s a couple of things that happen.

First of all, people feel that you’re aware, they feel that you care. Let’s also think about social media and why it’s so popular. It fulfills this deep need in people to be seen. When you grew up, did you really feel seen and acknowledged as a kid? Probably not. In your daily life, do you feel like people are really deeply, profoundly connecting with you every moment? Probably not, right? The more input we have coming in, the more phones and email, texting and etc., the less present we are. Continue reading

The Secret Formula That Will Score You a Meeting with ANY VIP – from Christine Comaford

During her Social Capitalist Interview, multi-hyphenate Christine Comaford (author, entrepreneur, consultant, coach…) shared the secrets from her blog post titled: “I Stalked Steve Jobs and How to Get a Meeting with Any VIP.”

Christine says:

“It’s not that hard to get a meeting with any VIP. The quick recipe is to ask for five minutes of their time in exchange for you giving five hours to their favorite nonprofit.

So you’ve got to do some homework. When you first connect with them, send a letter. I prefer a letter that’s typed and sent via FedEx. One of my clients, a huge high-level executive at Deloitte just used this approach. He finally got through to someone he’s been trying to reach for three months.

You figure out what it is that you want: I want five minutes of advice from Joe Blow. So then you send a letter, one page or less. Don’t ramble on. Just say, ‘Wow, I really admire the accomplishments that you’ve made, Joe Blow, in your life. I want to do that too. I would love to ask you for five minutes of advice.’ Continue reading

Why Christine Comaford Says You Should Approach Your Next Contact Palm-Up

Christine Comaford is an entrepreneur, author, and consultant. In her Social Capitalist Live Event interview she said that she has been through at least 11 reinventions of herself. Here she shares some of her best advice about building relationships based on generosity.

Christine says:

“The number one thing is networking palm up. What most people do is palm-down networking. “What can I get?” They go to a cocktail party, they’re trying to grab stuff. That’s palm down. Palm-up networking is finding out what somebody needs and helping them get it. You’re going to get yours later, the universe has a perfect accounting system. So if people simply change their networking approach to be palm up, you walk around at a cocktail party, you ask what business they’re in: “Wow, that’s cool, how did you get into that business?” Everybody has a great story as to how they’ve gotten into their business. “Wow, what’s your ideal client?” “Oh, I might know some of those guys. I’ll follow up with you next Tuesday.” Continue reading

Christine Comaford’s Tip for Making Sure Your Message Gets Through

During her dynamic interview as part of our Social Capitalist series, Christine Comaford shared the concept of metaprograms. Created by Rodger Bailey, these are lenses through which people see the world.  Knowing which lens is in use is key to making sure your message is heard and received.

Christine says:

“The first metaprogram is towards or away. Each of these meta-programs is polarized. So if somebody is like, “Yes, I want to launch new initiatives, I want goals, I want forward motion,” that’s a towards person. An away person is all about risk mitigation: “Let’s be cautious, let’s not go crazy and jump in.”

The CEOs, the marketing people, the sales people, are often towards people. The CIOs, maybe, the accounting people, maybe HR, are away. So if you’re trying to get a CFO on board of a certain initiative, you say, “Hey, you know what? Let’s be real cautious, let’s make sure we’ve got all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed.” They’re going to feel a sense of rapport with you. Now you’re not this crazed sales or marketing or other type of towards person who wants to mow them down.

The next one is options or procedures. Options people are like, “Wow, here’s all these possibilities. We could do this and that and that,” and everybody’s all excited. Procedures people, listening to that, are getting freaked out. Procedures people are thinking, “OK, I just need to know step one, step two, step three, because I don’t want to mess it up. Don’t give me all those choices.” Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup, a few ways to challenge yourself to get out of your shell, manage difficult tasks, and put your relationships on the right track. Get growing.

Rough relationships – Part of gaining greater relationships is learning to constructively resolve conflict. In this CBS MoneyWatch article, Robert Pagliarini outlines six steps to resolve conflict. Read them here: http://cbsn.ws/JtzB1q.

1-2-3-4 goal! – We all like shortcuts. Learn four quick steps to hurdle the goals in your life here: http://cbsn.ws/JNfL7i.

Are you eating alone? – Your computer is not the lunch date we had in mind when we said “never eat alone.” Shared meal times are great for information sharing and possibly meeting new people in the office. As the author of 168 Hours shares in this article, splitting lunch time between efficiency and socializing provides the right balance for a healthy work life. Read more here: http://cbsn.ws/KmWu7t.

Learn to network better than Bill Clinton – Former guest to myGreenlight’s Social Capitalist series, author and executive coach Christine Comaford, shares her secrets on generous networking and the palm up theory. Read her Forbes blog here: http://onforb.es/JrXdZX.

Embarrassment as accountability – While this method is certainly unorthodox, I can’t help but be curious about its ability to motivate. A new leisure site Aherk aims to motivate the completion of tasks by blackmailing users with a Facebook post of an embarrassing photo if they miss the mark. Read more here: http://bit.ly/Jd92V9.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Christine Comaford Explains How What You Wear Can be an Act of Generosity

Christine Comaford is the author of Rules for Renegades, which might make you think that her advice would center around self-expression and breaking the rules. While breaking the rules is certainly one of her favorite themes, during her Social Capitalist Interview she shared some interesting perspective on why being a chameleon and adapting to what others want to see can be an act of generosity and service.

Christine says:

“It’s service-oriented. It really is. So just like in rapport, we step out of ourself then we say, ‘What does that person need to see?’ So Monday for instance, I’ll be in New York City. I’ll be in a room of 40 CEOs of mid-market companies. Forget me, OK? I’m not relevant. What’s relevant is what can come through me. What do those guys need to see? What they need to see, based on talking to the folks who are sponsoring the event and just listening, is someone who’s conservative, someone’s who’s got some really good answers to what is happening in the world right now and how they should manage change. Someone who’s going to help them walk away with like five tips so they can manage the radical amount of change in their organization today. So yes, I don’t like wearing conservative suits, but I will wear one. That will make them feel safe. Rapport tools help us step out of ourselves. Continue reading

Christine Comaford’s Mindset Adjustment to Instantly Relate as an Equal to Anyone

Christine Comaford has one of the most fascinating bios you will ever see. She is a five-time CEO, venture capitalist, Buddhist monk, and best-selling author, just to name a few of her accomplishments. Christine joined Tahl Raz, co-author of Never Eat Alone, in a fascinating Social Capitalist Interview where she shared this simple shift in mindset that will make you feel more equal with even the most powerful potential contact.

Christine says:

We tend to put people above us, and that’s just not true, you know? So we can equalize our self with others, for starters, which is a core tenet of Buddhism. We’re all the same. We all have one unit of self worth. No one’s better than anybody else. So as we equalize, then we can exchange.

And when we exchange ourself with others, and I do this all the time in business, we have a new tool. If someone is mean or challenging, it’s just because they’re in pain. And so you think, “OK, when have I been in pain before.” OK yes, I’ve been in devastating pain before. That’s possibly what they’re going through. And when we can exchange our pain for their pain, we can then talk to them far more effectively.

For many more insights and actionable tips, make sure to read the full transcript of Christine’s Social Capitalist Interview here.

Create Your Own Steve-Jobsian Reality Distortion Field

She has been a monk. She’s been a five-time CEO and venture capitalist, scoring Google as one of her investments. She wrote a well-received book, Rules for Renegades, and made it to the White House as an advisor in both the Clinton and Bush administrations.  And she did it all as a high school dropout.

Today, Christine Comaford is a highly sought-after executive coach and her remarkable life made for a remarkable Social Capitalist interview.

Comaford’s ideas are a refreshing integration of her days studying spiritual esoterica as a monk and her later investigations into neuroscience and behavior change, but always oriented by the guiding bottom line dictates of the business world.

Take, for example, her contention that presence – being able to “be here, now” – is the foundation of leadership. At first glance, touchy-feely. But think about leaders you may have encountered or read about. Think about people like Bill Clinton or Steve Jobs, each of whom were attributed with the ability to create a “reality distortion field,” a term coined by one of the early Apple software engineers to describe Jobs’ mix of charisma, charm, bravado, and persuasion, all employed to convince his employees that the impossible was possible. Continue reading

What Do You Want to Achieve in 2012?

Does the idea of setting goals instantly paralyze you? Have you found goal-setting to be an ineffective way to create real change in your life?

On a recent Social Capitalist call, the author, CEO, venture capitalist, and coach Christine Comaford gave myGreenlighters the following mission to improve their 2012 planning:

Identify needle movers, rather than goals, for 2012.

Needle movers are things that will move the needle forward in your business or personal life – essentially goals that change your life fundamentally. While a goal is binary and can leave you feeling great or defeated, a needle mover ends with you either reaching your target (what you want), the minimum (what you are willing to accept), or a mind blowing result (beyond your wildest dreams!). You won’t always get the exact result you want but you will have moved the needle forward. Continue reading