Let Them Talk First

Let Them Talk First

Let them talk first

                When meeting and networking with new people, one of the things that’s pretty effective during the communication is to let the other person talk first. After the greetings and introductions, let the person you have just met talk first. You can do this by asking them a question about where they are from, what they do for a living, what brought them to the networking event, etc. Allowing the other person to talk first is a way to immediately establish trust because you are taking the time to listen to what that person has to say. People, in general, love to talk about themselves and share what’s going on their lives so let them talk. Moreover, if being in networking situations freaks you out a little bit, this is also a way for you to take some of the pressure off yourself!

               I will caution against drilling a person you just met with questions so much so that they can’t get a word in to ask you anything about yourself. I have been in plenty of networking situations in which I felt like I was being interrogated because of question after question they were throwing at me.

Remember, allowing the other person to talk about themselves first and drilling them with questions are two different things!

What other tips do you have for effective networking??

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

 

              Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader Award (NELA) Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

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Never Let Anything Stand In The Way of You Connecting With The Right People!

Never Let Anything Stand In The Way of You

Connecting With The Right People!

Find a way

                 If you have/had parents like I did growing up, they probably said things to you like, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts!” when preparing you for the real world. I totally agree and would also like to add that “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know {AND} WHO knows you!” that counts!

              There are so many ways of connecting with people in today’s digital age that simply did not exist just 20 years ago. You can connect with people through social medial channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, etc and find direct contact info for individuals you want to reach out to online. I’ve heard plenty of stories of  job seekers starting conversations with companies they are interested in working with on Twitter and have secured employment through that interaction!

                The world is smaller than you know and it’s easier now, more than ever, to reach out to and connect with others! I’m always amazed when I look at a LinkedIn contact or Facebook Friend of mine and see how that person and I know several other people in common. Sometimes I can’t figure out how in the world one could possibly know the other! My takeaway here is this: Never let anything stand in the way of you connecting with the right people! (Tweet this).  Often times that connection is only a phone call, email or Tweet away!

What are some ways you use to reach out to and make new connections with others in both business and social realms?

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

           Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

A Lesson I learned About Positioning From My Dog

A Lesson I Learned About Positioning From My Dog

maltipoo

(The above photo is not of my precious Bella, but she looked just like this as a puppy!)

               I have a cute little 10 pound Malti-poo named Bella who is the center of attention – always! She is the sweetest, kindest dog you’d ever want to meet and, in full transparency, has her hyperactive moments as well! She does her best to always be in a position to get what she wants when she wants it! In the morning as I am preparing for work, I usually eat my breakfast such as fruit, cereal bars, peanut butter and crackers, in between various tasks I’m running around doing before I hit the door!

           Bella has figured out that I often drop crumbs as I’m eating on the run and she likes to scoop those up for her breakfast too! Additionally, as long as she is on good behavior, I normally give her a treat. Bella sits, ever so politely, in the “Sit Bella” position right next to my feet hoping to catch some crumbs or a treat. If she waits for too long and thinks I don’t see her, she will move to the other side of me and try the “sit Bella” position again. This happens repeatedly until she gets what she wants!

             Watching her do this one morning made me think about how many of us give up on getting what we want because we are afraid to position ourselves where it counts. I believe that “Good things come to those who wait, but better things come to those who work their butts off!” (Tweet this)

           If Bella can properly position herself to get what she wants, you sure as heck can to! Learn to put yourself in positions that lead to success by networking and making the right connections, updating your resume and CV regularly, participating in philanthropic endeavors and giving back to the community. You can’t simply sit around and wait for opportunities to come to you, you have to continuously work to position yourself where it counts and don’t give up until you see the reward (whatever that means to you) you desire!

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

           Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

Most Acts of Leadership Happen Behind Closed Doors

Most Acts of Leadership Happen Behind Closed

Doors

                We often think of Leadership as being front and center, and very visible. However, the truth is that most acts of Leadership occur out of the public eye. They include thinking strategically about important decisions, proper planning and attention to details.

❐ It involves having that difficult conversation with someone on your team about their performance.

❐ It involves networking with other leaders to bounce ideas off of one another or attending that After-work Happy Hour to build report with colleagues.

❐ It involves personal and business development like reading industry journals, magazines and blogs

❐ It involves conversations with individual team members to understand their goals on the team and within the company

❐ It involves putting out fires that happen when least expected

❐ It involves putting the pedal to the metal when approaching an important deadline

❐ It involves sometimes doing more than you are paid for – coming in early and leaving late or taking on extra responsibility to ensure the tasks are completed as desired

❐ It involves having compassion for those on your team or in the organization who may be facing personal difficulty

❐ It involves having the courage to make major decisions even though they may be unpopular

               So remember, most acts of Leadership happen outside of the limelight, where the ground work is laid and during the day-to-day operation of you with your team.

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

               Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

Why It’s Important to Say “Yes” to that After Work Happy Hour

Why It’s Important to Say “Yes” To That After Work

Happy Hour

Happy Hour

                I recently had a discussion with someone who is frustrated that they are working really hard for their company, but seem to get passed up for bigger projects and promotions. They went on to tell me that this has happened more than a few times in the past couple of years. Upon further probing, I approached the topic of how much networking this person does within their organization and how well they know and interact with others in their work place environment.

           I’m glad I took the conversation in that direction because what it revealed is that this person works really hard for the company – comes in early and sometimes leaves late. However, they never really take out the time to engage in after-work happy hours with co-workers or participate in other “after-work” type events. They usually eat lunch by themselves at their desk. They really don’t go the extra mile to learn more about their co-workers beyond the work they do in the office. I totally understand how people don’t like sharing too much of their personal life in the office. Some would even say they don’t like to “mix business with pleasure”. If you are one of those people, I want you to consider this: Your non-participation in after hours work functions or willingness to get to know others in your office or on your teams, may be resulting in you being passed over for opportunities within the organization!

              Working hard is simply not enough anymore. You have to get to know people in your organization personally to even have your name considered in conversations for promotions and greater opportunities. I’m by no means suggesting you should go to an after-work Happy Hour, sling back 5 beers and talk about all the problems you and your significant other are having at home just so you can relate to your co-workers. What I am saying is that when people know more about you as a person and feel they can vibe with your personality, you become more than just an employee. You become part of the team.  As is the premise for my Dinner With Nerds Food Blog, you learn much more about people over dinner, coffee or lunch than you do in the traditional work environment! Go out and make those connections that matter!

               Even if you are not a “drinker”, per se, head to Happy Hour with your colleagues anyways and enjoy a mocktail, a soda, or appetizers. What’s important is that you are taking part in the conversation so that your name is considered during those major conversations that matter!

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

 

            Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

How to Create An Audience from Scratch

How to Create An Audience From Scratch

audience

For today’s post I’m sharing a question I was asked after a recent presentation I did on blogging and Personal Branding:

Question: If I’m not an established Blogger like you, how do I create an audience? How do I find people willing to let me interview them for my blog when I have no experience and I’m not well established?

My Answer: We all have to start somewhere! (Tweet this!) I had a “first blog post” on my Dinner With Nerds Food Blog and here on my Leadership Blog just like every other, now established, blogger out here on the internet. I had a “first interview” for my blog because I wasn’t afraid to ask that person for the interview. I told her that I was getting my new Food Blog started and I would be honored if she would be my first interview! She said yes!

              One thing I believe works to my advantage quite often in life is the fact that I’m not afraid to ask for what I want. The worst someone can tell me is “NO” and if they do, I’m on to the next person who can help me out. Hearing “NO” is not comfortable by any means, but hearing “NO” simply means that I won’t be doing whatever it is I want to with that person, right now. There’s always a way to make things happen when you really want something. (Tweet this!)

                Have confidence in yourself, plan out how you will pitch your idea and simply ask. Often times when you are requesting to interview people who are influential or have something to share, they readily welcome the opportunity for any interview – that’s great exposure for them! The more you add to your blog, the bigger your audience will grow, the more experience you get under your belt and there presents your ripple effect. Just Get Started!

– Dr. April

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

       Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

Leaders Don’t Have All The Answers

Leaders Don’t Have All the Answers

Keep Calm and Find Answers

              Leaders don’t have all the answers – no one does. However, great leaders know how to create power teams around them to fill in where they are weak. In his world-famous book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill spends a lot of time talking about Mastermind Groups. He illustrates how each of the world’s most successful people he interviewed for his book, all understood the importance of participating in Mastermind Groups that met regularly. These Mastermind Groups consist of anywhere between 5-12 like-minded business people who meet REGULARLY to bounce ideas off of each other. They share ideas on how to get Results in their business ventures.

             Leaders are not born, they are made! It’s important to constantly sharpen your leadership skills through reading, continuing ed, attending conferences, meeting with mentors, and meeting regularly with Mastermind Groups, etc

Have you ever considered meeting with a Mastermind type group? If not, why don’t you join one or even start one yourself?

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

 

            Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril