The Kind of People You Want in Your Life

For the most part, the people that you surround yourself with are your choice. A recent Forbes article makes the argument that you should make those choices carefully and include certain types of people. Here’s the list:

  1. The instigator. This is the person you call when you want to get things done because they always say: “Let’s do it.”
  2. The cheerleader. Someone who gets you pumped up and believes in you no matter what, sort of like Donna Reed in It’s a Wonderful Life.
  3. The doubter. You always need someone to challenge you and make sure you’re really giving it your best shot.
  4. The taskmaster. The project manager type you need in your corner to make sure you’re not dropping any balls.
  5. The connector. As we always say at myGreenlight, it helps to have a great relationship with the kind of person who can connect you to the right people to make things happen.
  6. The example. This is usually your mentor, the person who has the experience and knowledge to help you get where you want to go, because they’ve already been there.

Do you agree with this list? What types would you add?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Fixing Your Gmail Autofill So You’re Not Emailing People at Old Addresses

Have you sent an important email to an associate and realized three days or three weeks later that they never got it because it was an ancient address that Gmail decided to autofill in without you noticing? And once you realized it, you picked apart Gmail but couldn’t figure out how to solve the problem?

Help is here: Complete instructions on how to change the auto-complete addresses in Gmail so that you don’t keep emailing a contact at his or her old address!

(It actually took me a good amount of time and help from a coworker to figure this out.)

  1. First you have to click on the Gmail tab under the Google header on the left side of the page and select contacts.
  2. Once you’re in the contacts section, you can search for the contact you wish to edit in the search field.
  3. Once you’re on the contact page, you can make edits.

Viola! These two minutes of work can save you from emailing the wrong address over and over again once and for all. Get to it immediately when you learn a contact has a new address.

Another idea: Next time you update your own email, send these instructions with your announcement to make it easy on your Gmail-using friends.

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

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

A Simple Exercise to Overcome Shyness

If social interactions stress you out, you might be interested in this Psychology Today piece offering some simple exercises to overcome shyness and social anxiety.

The author suggests some group improvisational exercises that are worth checking out. But for those who want something they can do on their own, there’s this one:

“…go to a mall at a busy time of day. Take off your watch. Ask twenty people for the time of day. Use three minutes between requests. You log the results of each encounter. You later look at your findings. Here is what you are likely to find. Most will give you the time of day. Some will walk past you as though you didn’t exist. A few may engage you in a brief and pleasant conversation.”

The idea is to approach enough people that it starts to feel natural.

Anyone else have ideas for “safe” ways to practice interacting with strangers?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Networking Takeaways from “Madmen”

“Madmen” fans: Have you ever found yourself at work asking, “What would Don Draper do?” (Hopefully you’re not asking yourself that when it comes to his personal life…)

My favorite professional takeaway from “Madmen” so far is actually a networking tip you can learn from Don or from Peggy: They both recognized early on that even though they were hyper-talented, they needed relationships to advance their careers, and did a great job developing them.

Don pushed his way into the world of advertising by stalking the well-connected Roger Sterling. This is interesting, since if anything their lasting relationship dynamic is as peers. They each know they bring something important to the table—Don, his talent, and Roger, his upper-crust network. Roger isn’t so much a mentor as a connector, although he does still sometimes school Don on the finer points of business relationship savvy. Continue reading

Joe Navarro: Building Harmony Through Seating Arrangements

As one of the original founding members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, Joe Navarro mastered the ability to read nonverbal body language. When he retired in 2003, he discovered his expertise and skills could be taught, to benefit everyone from professional poker players to executives who wanted an extra edge. Since then, he has authored numerous books, including the classic What Every BODY Is Saying.

When Navarro sat down with Tahl Raz, co-author of Never Eat Alone, he shared some insider observations about where and how to stand to appear less threatening.

Walk up to somebody and stand right in front of them. If we were to put meters on you, we would see that your blood pressure goes up – and yet we know that if you were to stand at an angle to that person, your blood pressure would go down and you’d actually feel better about talking to this person. So, the angle is important to helping someone relax.
Continue reading

Everyone Needs a Coach

The Peter Principle states that we’re all susceptible to the inevitable fate of failing to meet the high expectations of our organizations and those expectations we put on ourselves. As we rise in all areas of our lives, we enter new territory that will require skills and/or experiences we may not possess. As Marshall Goldsmith so eloquently put it, “what got you here, won’t get you there.”

Aiming for the next rung of any ladder in our sights requires considering how we will condition ourselves for that journey. I’ve yet to hear any gold medal athlete brag that they trained themselves. Homage is always paid to the coach who was charged with laying down the work plan that would allow them to increase their skills and acknowledge and work around their weaknesses in order to achieve their best. Getting to gold medal status in our business and personal lives requires similar effort. A guided plan paired with constructive and instructive encouragement from a coach.

According to the International Coach Federation, the worldwide revenue produced by coaching is $1.5 billion (USD) per year and growing. It seems the word is out on the value coaching can bring to our personal and professional lives, so the next question is: How do you select the coach that has the right qualifications to get you from here to there? Here’s the thought process that could get you a win along with some personal insights from my recent selection of the coach pushing me through my wins.

It all boils down to relationships: Rapport is probably the most important factor to effective coaching. Next to the relationship with your significant other and certain family members, this is going to be the most intimate relationship in your life. If you can’t see yourself getting vulnerable with this person, think twice. Do your due diligence and interview more than one person. As you do, pay attention to the following in your initial contact and decision making phase. How are their interpersonal skills upon first contact? What does your gut instinct about this person tell you?  How are their verbal and nonverbal cues matching up? Are they listening to you? Do you feel accepted in their presence? How vulnerable are they with you? Do you have similar value sets?

I didn’t even know I was looking for my coach Doc Barham. We were connected through social arbitrage by a mutual friend who thought we should know each other. After our first interaction, I remember thinking, I like the way he thinks. When he invited me to an initial discovery session a couple of months later, we very easily shared conversation and hit on common values, passion points, and mutual interests. By the end of the hour, I knew without a doubt that this was the guy to guide my journey. Continue reading

7 Ways to Develop Employees into Digital Storytellers to Boost Their Skills AND Your Company’s Resources

Guest post by Halelly Azulay, TalentGrow

Developing motivated, competent employees is critical to the success of every organization. However, most managers today find themselves both time-bound and budget-strapped. You can’t really send employees to training or online classes for every development need. Did you know that organic development opportunities can be found all around your workplace?

One creative and immediately available way to develop your staff outside the training classroom and “outside the box” is to turn them into what I call “Digital Storytellers”: send them on roving reporter missions. Let them digitally capture (by audio or video recording) hot stories from the frontlines, from customers, or from star performers, about difficult challenges they’ve overcome, or about workarounds and new ideas, and share them with the rest of the organization.

Here are a few ideas for content to get you started:

  1. Peer Stories. Peers feature their peers’ stories of success, lessons learned, problems solved, questions and challenges they want input about, gratitude, quandaries, and other “teachable moments.” Continue reading

Heidi Roizen: How Your Daily Walk Can Help Pay it Forward

The majority of our relationship-building activities, even when based on generosity, are driven by a desire to connect up – to meet people who have more influence, more connections, more experience. During the Social Capitalist interview with legendary networker Heidi Roizen, she shared some of the benefits of connecting down and being open to building relationships as a mentor.

Heidi says:

“One of the things I do, and I recommend this to people on the other side of the food chain, people who’ve already built a big network but still want to be open, is to pay it forward. That means that I take an hour walk every day, and I populate that hour with a person. And in my book, they don’t have to have a lot of qualifications to be that person. So a lot of times, if someone approaches me and says, “I’m a student,” or, “I’m starting a company” – and admittedly I particularly focus on young women entrepreneurs – I’ll say to them, “Great, I’m willing to spend an hour with you if you’re willing to come to my house and walk with me and my dog.” Continue reading

Upgrade Your Networking Tools with Tips that Will Make You Stand Out

With social media it can be easy to underestimate the power of actual interaction beyond what can happen in the virtual world. Sometimes we look forward to the easiness of connecting with someone in the comfort of our own home, without investing a lot of time and effort to making it happen.

Relationships, along with most other things, follow the rule: the more you put in, the more you get out. That is why one of the most valuable pieces of advice in this Fame Appeal article is “Get out of the house.” Even if there is a price of admission – getting into an event that will help you make some face-to-face contacts is worth the investment.

The article offers seven unique and easy ways to change your in-real-life networking tactics for the better.

Being prepared is half the battle. A few of these tips offer unique, imaginative, and confident responses to basic get-to-know-you questions, such as where are you from and what do you do?

It’s important to remember that a sense of humor and some “pizzazz” is always a plus. For example, an unexpected and memorable response to the question, “Where are you from?”- would be, Well I live close enough to get here in under 30 minutes!This great answer not only answers the practical question at hand, but also shows that you have a bit of imagination. Continue reading