Identify and Uplevel Your Social Identity

This week’s Social Capitalist Tip is from Master Certified Coach Leah Grant, who serves as a myGreenlight coach.

Social Identity is how well you are known and how you are seen by others. Social identity is important because it is about who you are with people.

When being considered for promotions and projects technical excellence is only one piece of what’s being considered — the other component is your social identity.

After working with hundreds of professionals in the myGreenlight program, I have recognized three main types of social identity:

  1. The Recluse — This person keeps their head down, is technically skilled and does great work. They only reach out to those people they must have contact with to complete a project. When they communicate they stay away from all personal subjects. The Recluse may get put on teams for their abilities, but they are often passed up for promotions and really great projects because no one knows who they are and they haven’t taken the time to get to know anyone else. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Ad Sales Executive Puts Never Eat Alone/myGreenlight Tactics in Action

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions, a marketing services agency bringing national brands to local markets. Mediaspace maximizes advertising budgets, increases ROI, and reduces operational drag through expert talent, incredible service and proven buying strategies. Our ‘What’s on Tap’ blog is updated twice a week and we’re regularly tweeting business to business marketing and advertising news.

In his best selling book Never Eat Alone Keith Ferrazzi sums up the argument for developing greater relationships when he says, “Life is less a quest than a quilt. We find meaning, love, and prosperity through the process of stitching together our bold attempts to help others find their own way in their lives. The relationships we weave become an exquisite and endless pattern,” (Never Eat Alone, 2005, p. 297, emphasis added).

Recently the Mediaspace Solutions business development group went through Ferrazzi’s book as a group in an effort to put what we learned into practice. Below are a few examples of both what’s been done and the sometimes immediate results we have experienced:

  • Small Gestures Big Impact – While on a recent trip to NYC, I decided to build a relationship with two CEO’s of major ad agencies. As part of the due diligence up front, I found out their favorite kind of wine by talking to their assistants. I purchased wine as gifts but bought Starbucks gift cards for their assistants. Both assistants were blown away by the gesture. “We never get any gifts” one said. I had two sincere conversations with two smart women and I now have regular communications with both of them. The key was being genuine and generous with no expectations in return. They are now on my “ping list” for regular communications. Keith’s teachings work. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup, employee social media training, the strength in a soft approach, silent interview killers, celebrities’ social mastery, and a pulse check on how in touch you are with your co-workers realities.

Social media training – Corporations are discovering they have a new communication crisis arising from employees’ unfettered use of social media. The Gap’s new social media policy could provide some best practices and a guide for organizations facing similar challenges. Read more here http://bit.ly/zr15cB.

Being soft doesn’t mean you’re a softy – CEO’s adept at utilizing their empathy skills in addition to their technical skills have an advantage in motivating employees to reach the company’s goals. Read CEO of Korn/Ferry International Gary Burnison’s Fast Company blog post here http://bit.ly/wU966x.

Silent but deadly body language – Our body language speaks volumes that we may not be consciously aware of. In this CBS Moneywatch article, five body language gestures that can make or break an interview. Read the article here http://bit.ly/yYA4N6.

Learn from the masters of intimacyAd Age Digital makes a good point when they pose the question “What can big brands learn about social media from Chris Brown?” The fallen/risen megastars’ Twitter following overshadows the combined following of several large corporate brands. Read http://bit.ly/yxIZQv.

Being truly in touch – The key to advancing relationships is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. In the workplace that translates to understanding the reality of your co-workers daily experience. Seems most who answered this Smart Brief poll consider themselves really good at that. Where do you rank? Review the poll here http://bit.ly/yjkwY0.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

You’re in Permanent Beta, So Let Your Network Help

In a recent NPR interview with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman about his new book, The Start-Up of You, he makes this great point about personal branding:

We are in a “permanent beta…you’re always investing in yourself. You’re always adapting. You’re not a finished product.”

He also suggests that your network plays a vital role in helping you keep current. He advises, “go out to lunch with different folks, go out to lunch with people from other departments, from other companies, and explicitly address questions like: How do you see the industry changing? What do you think is happening? How do you do your job effectively? Is there anything I should learn from that in terms of how do I do my job effectively? That’s how you adapt to the future, and you stay current.” (We recommend a similar approach in all three myGreenlight courses, but especially Course III: The Learning Action Plan.)

Throughout the article, Hoffman talks about the impact that the people that he worked with years ago (he calls them “the PayPal crew”) have had on each other’s careers. He even goes on to state that he believes that his network is part of the reason for his success.

“I think the really key thing is to realize that relationships are like alliances,” Hoffman says.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Do you make a conscious effort to cultivate new learning from your peers? If not, how do you stay ahead of the curve?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Who’s the Boss?

The importance of having a good relationship with your boss cannot be over-estimated. That’s why the more you understand about their likes, dislikes, and what they’re like as people, the more successful you can be.

A recent article in Forbes details some of the best questions you can ask to get to know your boss better. For the complete list of questions, check out the article, but here are a few of my favorites:

1. “What did your boss do before she was your boss? What was her previous position?”

Finding out where your boss is in their career helps you understand more about them. You can figure out where they are on their career trajectory, where they came from, and where they want to go. Understanding that makes it easier to “suss out how capable she is of handling all the responsibilities on his or her plate.”

2. “What does your boss value in the job?”

Understanding what aspects of the job are most important to your boss can help you understand the mentality with which they approach their work. Some follow-up questions would be “Is he/she intellectually stimulated by the work? Does he/she care more about internal politics or external exposure?”

3. “What does your boss value most in the people who report to her? Face time? Creativity? Or does she care more about autonomy, expediency, or attention to detail?”

This can help you understand what is expected of you – so you can focus on the areas critical to making your boss happy.

What tips do you use to make your relationship with your boss better? Do you have any tips to share?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

The Secret to Making Even One Small Change

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?

Enter-Prize 2.0

How much easier would it be if you had free-flowing information within your company?

In this article Andrew McAfee, principle researcher at MIT’s Center for Digital Business, sheds some light on the way business is evolving around us every day and tries to answer this question. In order to take advantage of the easy accessibility of knowledge, years ago he started investigating the ways in which to make businesses have a free flow of information and communication. “I wanted to think about what these tools and the communities and processes and philosophies that came along with these tools meant for good old-fashioned companies trying to get their widgets out the door every day. So I used the phrase “Enterprise 2.0″ as the shorthand for what the Web 2.0 tools and that world meant for enterprises.”

When asked about his elevator pitch, McAfee uses this impactful quote: “So I’ve had to come up with a different way to get at this knowledge challenge in the company. One useful trigger is to use a quote that I first heard a while back that is attributed to Lew Platt, who was the old CEO of Hewlett-Packard. He looked around his organization, which is a big, very well-run, hugely respected company in America for decades. This is not a poorly run company. He looked around Hewlett-Packard and said, ‘If only HP knew what HP knows, we’d be three times more productive.’ Whenever I say that to a room full of executives, you can see the heads nod.”

Although Enterprise 2.0 can be accurately described as social, McAfee avoids it. The reason he cites is “because it has primarily negative connotations, especially for a really hard-headed, pragmatic manager in a business, decision-maker in a business, who just wants to get more stuff done. When that person hears ‘social,’ he thinks of happy hours after work and the corporate softball league. I thought the word ‘social’ would be not just neutral, but actually a bad way to do that.”

Being able to find a way to communicate information that the individuals know to better serve and unify the company can be highly effective and have long term impact.

How do you circulate knowledge in your company? Are you using Yammer, Chatter, or some other Enterprise 2.0 tool?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

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

International Networking Week

It’s International Networking Week! This BNI initiative “is to celebrate the key role that networking plays in the development and success of businesses across the world.”

What better time to start (or continue) networking than now?

To help you get started, I’ve compiled some of Keith’s best blogs on the topic:

  1. Get started by understanding what networking really is. Keith explains it in this video!
  2. “How do I sustain a connection past the initial interaction?” Watch the answer here!
  3. Do you need to diversify your network? Read five tips to do just that.
  4. Lastly, learn how to balance networking and your business for lasting efficiency.

If you’re doing it right, every week is International Networking Week. But this is a great week to get started, so go ahead!

What do you think about INW- what networking tips work for you?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Your Next Resource: Get and Give Outstanding LinkedIn Recs

I am on my way to give a keynote at LinkedIn today, so I thought it was a good moment to pass on some LinkedIn-oriented material as your next preview of the exclusive resources in the myGreenlight library.

“How to Give and Get Outstanding LinkedIn Recommendations “ will help you build relationships and enhance your professional credibility.

Download it here.

And while we’re on the topic, did you catch the terrific article in Fortune magazine about LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s forthcoming book, The Start-Up of You? In it, he proposes this action, which I’m going to call Reid’s Build-It-Before-You-Need-It Mission:

“Imagine you got laid off from your job today. Who are the 10 people you’d email for advice? Don’t wait—invest in those relationships now.”

Making that list will give you a great start on what we call a “Relationship Action Plan” in myGreenlight. Do it today – and then start reaching out!