Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup: some suggestions for getting relationships off to a great start, managing relationship priorities, and picking the right atmosphere to develop them.

When to sever a relationship – One of my favorite statements about relationships is, “a reason, a season and a lifetime”. As our lives change so do our needs for our relationships, including those that serve as mentors. In this Harvard Business Review article, some relevant tips for establishing goals that monitor when a relationship is past its prime. Read the tips here

Social contracts – Negotiating the terms of relationships at work are a smart way of ensuring that cultural values are adhered to in the workplace. In this HBR Blog, authors Christine M. Riordan and Kevin O’Brien from the University of Denver share some great resources to implement expectations within your organization. Read the blog here

Extraordinary sightings – If you seek an extraordinary boss, or aspire to be one, this Inc. magazine article explores the eight traits that successful CEO’s have implemented to build great teams. Read the article here

Investing in People – I can’t get enough of Big Think and SmartBrief’s partnership to bring great ideas from industry leaders front and center. In their latest episode of the VIP Corner, Jim Quigley, the senior partner and former CEO of Deloitte shares his thoughts on why companies need to invest in their people. Read and view it here

Relationship atmosphere – If you’ve ever taken Keith Ferrazzi’s advice on initiating a long slow dinner and using meal time to advance relationship intimacy, you know that atmosphere is a key attribute to consider when making a restaurant selection. New website Hoppit aims to help diners filter choices by environment style. Read the Springwise article here

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup we’re addressing habits, email timing, gender balance in the workplace, our desire to “pin”, and gifting that can increase intimacy. Enjoy the variety!

Habitual behaviors – All habits aren’t good for us personally or for the organizations we work in. In this very promising new video blog series between SmartBrief and BigThink, author Charles Duhigg shares his studies on habitual behaviors and how a closer look at them can reveal some opportunities for change within organizations and ourselves. Read the blog and view the video here

Email timing – We’ve tackled the question of email timing at myGreenlight in the past through general crowdshare. In this CBS Money Watch article, author Laura Vanderkam shares what her studious observations on open rates have revealed about the best day and time to send email. Read the article here

Gender diversity in leadership – Consultant Dana Theus presents the business case for gender balanced leadership in this SmartBrief blog. Read the article here

How pinteresting – Recently Pinterest was named the #3 most popular social network. I haven’t started pinning yet so I can’t attest to the rage. However, I can foresee many ways it might help me connect in more deep and meaningful ways with those in my network and those I wish to be in my network. Find out why “pinning” is the new “like” here

Gifts that give great impressions – At certain points in a growing relationship, we are all faced with the “gift conundrum”. Everyone knows that what you choose to give shows another how thoughtful you are and how much you really are paying attention to their interests. Smart gifting can be challenging so I was pleased to see these two services that provide some assistance so you can make a big and positive impression. Read about them here

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

The Greenlight Highlight: How a 24/7 Ambassador Leverages Relationship Mastery Skills to Create Professional Advantages

Mike Bruny
North Grafton, Massachusetts (outside of Boston)
Greenlight Member Since: March/2010
Nominated by Greenlight member: Aimee Lucas

Elevator Pitch: I am an operations manager by night and entrepreneur by day. I work mostly with young entrepreneurs and young professionals. I use hip hop lyrics as a form of personal and professional development.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

At an early age, I realized that relationships were important to my life success. I had an experience in my last year of Jr. High School. I didn’t get into any of the three high schools I applied to. That meant I would have to go to what is known as my “Zone School” (the one closest to your home). My zone school had a very bad reputation and I really didn’t want to go there. Lucky for me my principal saw something in me and decided to leverage her network to get me into John Dewey high school (a much better school). Her ability to change my life with a phone call highlighted the power of relationships to growth and progress. When she endorsed me, I went from having nothing to having a great opportunity that changed my life trajectory. 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

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

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

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

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

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Mini Mission Monday

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.

Your Mission:

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.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup, tips for advice that isn’t useful, extreme intimacy in the workplace, the power of LinkedIn for job seekers, more on relationship marketing, and expert insight for doing business in the social era.

Tips for handling off target advice – We often get questions in the myGreenlight community about how to handle the feedback and advice we seek from others, especially when it’s off track. HBR blogger and managing partner of Schaffer Consulting Ron Ashkenas and Schaffer Consultant Holly Newman’s article offers great tips managing these scenarios. Read it here

New levels of intimacy – This isn’t quite what we have in mind when we encourage people to foster intimacy in their working relationships, but you never can tell what may happen when you open the door of intimacy. As long it as also facilitates business goals I’m all for it. Read the study here

LinkedIn reigns supreme – If you’re a job seeker, the place to be right now is LinkedIn. Above all other social media outlets, recruiters invest most of their time seeking appropriate candidates within the LinkedIn platform. Read more here

More from Mari – Last week we recommended Mari Smith’s book on relationship marketing. This week we’re recommending you view her interview on Mashable. Enjoy.

Rules for business in the social era – I highly recommend tuning into Nilofer Merchant’s series of HBR blogs and/or her new book The New How to learn how the social era can change the way you look up and down your organization’s hierarchy.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

The Greenlight Highlight: Keith’s Executive Assistant Shares the Value of Building Relationships with Gatekeepers

MyGreenlight’s monthly community member spotlight interview.

Shannon Stewart
Executive Assistant to Keith Ferrazzi
Los Angeles, CA
Ferrazzi Greenlight Team Member Since:  August/2009

Elevator Pitch:These days, my entire elevator pitch is about my son. He’s such a cool kid and I love spending time with him. He’s really into art right now and I’m really into art so we are all about anything that has to do with art exploration.

What incident from your past do you recall being the moment it clicked for you that relationships make the difference to your success in business?

10 years ago I recognized that business is about who you know. My partner works in the entertainment industry and the dinner parties and events that must be attended to manage staying employed brings it all home for you. Whatever you are trying to accomplish, connections make things move a lot smoother.

Favorite Relationship Mastery Mindset and why:

For me, intimacy and generosity go hand in hand. Those two qualities in a relationship allow you to be most accountable towards each other. I always strive to develop a rapport for delivering generosity. It’s allowed me to develop partnerships with other executive assistants in various organizations. Our collaborations become an easier process because we have taken the time to get to know each other.

What still presents a challenge for you in building relationships that you continue to work on?

When I really know and care about someone, candor still presents a challenge for me. The closer I am to you, the more difficult it is for me to tell you what you need to know vs. what you want to know. My innate pleaser personality, squelches the willpower to be truly accountable to someone I care for and tell them the really harsh truths. I’m working on it.

What’s the coolest things you’re working on at home or at work right now?

At home, I’ve been creating an art space for my son because he’s really shown an interest in it lately. It’s a great space for him to get messy with minimal boundaries.  At work, I’ve been very engaged in the development of the new GM project.  It has allowed me to connect with some new individuals within and external to the organization.

How has putting a thoughtful process around your relationship development benefitted your business?

What I do for Keith has greatly facilitated and accelerated by my ability to put relationship development into practice. With so much distance and time between interactions with some of my colleagues, staying on their radar can be challenging.  I like to fill time gaps with gifts. I make sure that I pay attention to our conversations and pick up on hobbies, favorites, children and grandchildren’s names, but at the minimum most of us executive assistants can bond over one must-have of the job, Starbucks gifts cards. We can’t get through our day without a coffee run, so these are always appreciated. These small tokens add up to a ready-to-assist collaborative partner when it’s time to coordinate our next project together.

What advice would you give to new members of the community that you have found to be best practices for relationship mastery?

My normal state is to stick to myself.  If you’re like me, first decide, what is it that you want to do? Vague doesn’t work. Know who you want to build a relationship with and WHY. If you’re not clear in your mind, you’ll never do it. It will make the difference in how you feel about the networking and focus you towards some clear objectives.

Give us your best opening line for starting a new relationship.

If I find that I can use humor with someone, I will always go that route.  If I can get them to laugh, I can get them to talk and if I can get them to talk, I can get the call. Nine out of 10 times for sure.

Mark Magnacca Shares the Two Questions that Tell You Everything

Check out an excerpt from the transcript for The Social Capitalist interview featuring Mark Magnacca. Check out Tahl Raz’s post on the interview here. You can access the audio recording here. Here’s the full transcript: Social Capitalist Transcript – Mark Magnacca. Enjoy!

Mark Magnacca:    The set-up of this story of these two questions is from the meeting that Ronald Reagan had in Geneva, 1985 with the then Soviet Premier Gorbachev and one of the ideas inherent in this is understanding timing and having an actor sense of timing of being able to deliver the right question in the right way at the right time.  So, Reagan sitting in this meeting, it was a historic meeting, the first time they’ve ever met and as you may recall at that time, United States had more than twenty five thousand nuclear warhead pointed basically at the Soviet Union, they had an equivalent number pointed at us and Reagan was there and he discovered in his own mind, that for him to walk out of that meeting with the 10% reduction in nuclear weapons was a complete fraud because whether we could blow the world up about 10 times over or 9 times over, it really didn’t make any difference.  So, the certain point in the meeting Tahl, he looks at Gorbachev and he says, “how would you like to take a little walk with me outside and get some fresh air.”  That’s not an accidental question.  That was a pre-meditated question and within an instance, Ronald Reagan was on a video, one of the final videos on 60 minutes telling the story he says, “in a second, Gorbachev jumps up and says, “da” and out they go with Gorbachev’s translator, they walked down to a little cottage which Reagan had the fire burning and he had had warmed up and everything and he sits down and he says to Gorbachev, he says, “Mr. Gorbachev, we’re not armed, we’re not armed because we don’t distrust each other because we’re armed, we’re armed because we distrust each other.”  He said, “why don’t you and I spend a little time now to get to know each other and see if we can work out that issue of mistrust.”  In 60 minutes of them talking, they start walking back up and Reagan had another question, he says on the way back to the meeting with all the diplomats which they left alone, he says to Gorbachev, “why don’t we agree that we will have a summit in the United States next year and I’m inviting you to come,” and Gorbachev says, “I accept,” and then Gorbachev asked similar question, he says, “why don’t we agree that the following year the Summit will be in the Soviet Union.”  These two men walked back into the room, the diplomats had made no progress whatsoever and Reagan announces that these two guys have just agreed to do two Summits of the next two years.  It all changed because of the questions, so to bring that down to from geopolitical level to the person listening.   Here are two questions that you can ask in the spirit of Reagan’s questions.  The first question, you have to practice saying it and write it down preferably would be this: I would say to you Tahl, Tahl what do you see as the biggest opportunity to grow your business over the next 12 months, and then I would pause.

Tahl Raz:    Let me answer your question before that.  Do you think most people have a, most customers you dealt with have articulate answers for that? Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

Welcome back. Hope everyone had a great kick off to the official holiday season. In the roundup this week, some conventional and unconventional recommendations for taking advantage of the social season and upping the ante on the intimacy in your relationships.

Try a little forgiveness – Forgiveness can be very transforming for an individual.  Imagine what it can do for a company. In this HBR post, management consultant Terese Norton shares how forgiveness transformed a hotel staff’s perception of self to continue bringing value to their organization and its customers.

Nurture the relationships in your nest – While I normally wouldn’t highlight an advertisement as need to know information, the topic of developing internal employees certainly deserves some thought as we go into annual performance review time. Here’s what Booze Allen is sharing about the topic

Release with respect – The unfortunate reality is that some of us may be faced with letting go of an employee in our future. Ending a relationship has some rules of its own. CBS Money Watch recommends 5 “Don’ts” for handling discharges.  Read it here

Before you Bail on Mail – The annual holiday card season offers the perfect opportunity to connect with family, friends and colleagues past and present.  Before you opt for the email version weigh the impact that your personal signature may have on the recipient.  Read what others are thinking about their holiday mailing decisions

Social solutions for the blind – Round of applause for Selene Chew, for considering the possibilities for improving the quality of life of the blind with the BlindSpot Cane — a clever and empathetic technological attempt to create new opportunities for social interaction for the visually impaired. Read the article here

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Manager.

The Shy Networker’s Toolkit

If you’re shy, you may think that networking isn’t the thing for you. But that’s where you’re wrong! Here’s a survival guide to help you get started on the road to reap the rewards of networking.

According to this CIO article- networking may be easier than you think- even if you’re shy- because tip number three is: just be yourself.

The New York Times even suggests that you should force yourself. It may be worth it, even if you have to leave your comfort zone a little.

Next, let’s take a look at the job search guru site, Monster and its thoughts on networking for shy people. Their article suggests that the well known proverb may be true- perhaps the early bird does catch the worm.

And lastly- give it a go.  Don’t worry; you don’t even have to leave your seat. Read a Career Development expert’s test run at a networking event.

Any tips or suggested resources out there that we can add to the shy networker’s tool kit?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.