‘Any kids yet?’ and other minefield networking questions

Networking is crucial in business these days. But what happens when we break rapport before we even start?

‘Any kids yet?’ and other minefield networking questionsNetworking in business has spawned books, articles, podcasts and videos. You name it, there’s content out there for a business owner looking to rock their networking. The best advice I’ve been given is to simply be curious. Go in, look to have one or two conversations and just ask questions. Then listen. But what happens…

Get the most out of your online meetings

We went from in-person meetings to chaos-driven online meetings. And we didn’t stop to learn how to run these meetings

Get the most out of your online meetingsFor the past six months, business meetings have definitely looked a little different. People are utilizing Zoom calls, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams to replace the in-person meeting. Some don’t like mask protocol, some have their kids at home with them and some just see the advantage of having an online meeting (with one person…

6 reasons we suck at spotting liars

The best way of countering liars is to follow the old adage “trust, but verify”

6 reasons we suck at spotting liarsRecognizing that we are being lied to is an important social and business skill. But surprisingly small factors about someone, – where we meet them, what they wear, what their voices sound like, whether their posture mimics ours, if they mention the names of people we know or admire – can enhance their credibility to…

The best leaders build and maintain trust

Five actions that will build trust in your organization. But only sustained behaviour will ensure that trust survives and thrives

The best leaders build and maintain trustTrust is the belief or confidence that one party has in the reliability, integrity and honesty of another party. It’s the expectation that the faith one places in someone else will be honoured. When I asked 537 managers how leaders build and destroy trust, here’s what I learned: It’s always a case of ‘follow the leader.’…

Four tips for improving your people skills

Quality people skills are important if you want to be promoted to a management position

Four tips for improving your people skillsHuman Resource professionals and headhunters classify skills into two categories, hard skills and soft skills.  "Hard" skills are easier to define because they apply to a specific function – computer programming, database management, driving a truck, piloting a plane, designing a house or office building (architect), building a cabinet (carpenter) or wiring a building (electrician). Soft…

Consulting is tougher than you think

Romantic visions aside, consulting is not all it's cracked up to be

Consulting is tougher than you thinkMost IT people have a romantic vision of what the consulting lifestyle is all about. What does it take to be a consultant? Consulting is about knowing who to sell your ideas to, coaxing people to think creatively about solutions, and working with many different people to follow through on those ideas and achieve results.…

Listening with your eyes

When your business colleague stops looking at you, she is "saying" with her eyes that she has, in effect, stopped listening

Listening with your eyesYou're at a business event and the colleague you've been having an intense conversation with begins to shift her gaze from your face to look around the room. Ever wonder why that makes you feel as if she has stopped listening? You know it's not logical. A person doesn't have to look at you to…

When leaders talk with their hands

If a speaker's gestures are not in full agreement with the spoken words, the audience perceives duplicity

When leaders talk with their handsHave you ever noticed that when people are passionate about what they're saying, their gestures automatically become more animated? Their hands and arms move about, emphasizing points and conveying enthusiasm. You may not have been aware of this connection before, but you instinctively felt it. Research shows that audiences tend to view people who use…

10 simple and powerful body language tips

Small nonverbal changes can make a big difference in how people perceive and relate to you

10 simple and powerful body language tipsI’ve spoken to over 200 business, university, association, and government audiences and, in the process of preparing to address these very savvy professionals, I’ve discovered even more about the role of body language in business success. Here are my 10 simple and powerful body language tips I've culled over the years: 1) Before an important…

You think it’s easy being a boss?

A promotion to boss changes relationships with everyone – especially co-workers

You think it’s easy being a boss?A promotion to boss changes relationships with everyone – especially co-workers.  No longer one of the gang, you've joined the other side. There is a boundary line separating bosses from the rank-and-file. Newly minted managers are saddled with responsibilities no one prepared them for. Unlike musical or athletic abilities, which often have a genetic root,…

An effective first-aid kit for your new job

Getting the gig is just the beginning. All kinds of landmines exist and there's a good chance you can injure your chances without a good plan

An effective first-aid kit for your new jobGreat news! You've been through the interview and now you've been invited to sit down (or have a Zoom meeting) with the HR department for a job offer. You like the people, the money is good and the job is challenging. Sure, it's a bit of a stretch, and your potential boss was even kind…

Simple rules to get your busy boss to listen

To get your boss' attention, you need to know your stuff. Be firm and communicate in a way that your boss can understand

Simple rules to get your busy boss to listenIt can be hard to get your boss' attention, even when you need it the most. Listen to this story from ... let's call her Rhonda. Rhonda, a VP of communications, went into the CFO's office for a signoff on the annual report. She made a point of explaining carefully that the report was going…

Hate your boss? Four job-saving tips to mend a bad relationship

No matter how desperate and unhappy you are, you'd be making a big mistake if you followed Johnny Paycheck's lead

Hate your boss? Four job-saving tips to mend a bad relationshipIt's hard to find someone who hasn't had a problem with a boss at some point in his or her career. The higher you go on the corporate power ladder and the more you earn, the more complicated the boss-employee relationship becomes. But no matter how desperate and unhappy you are, you'd be making a…

Relationship builders leading the charge for change

The high achievers of today are not so much a product of superior expertise as they are a product of superior networks

Relationship builders leading the charge for changeWhat really distinguishes high performers from the rest of the pack? Their ability to maintain and leverage large, diversified networks that are rich in experience and span all organizational boundaries. In other words, our greatest advantages aren't coming from what we know but rather from whom we know – and the high achievers of today are not…

The do’s and don’ts of e-mail etiquette

When it comes to interoffice e-mails, most employees are under the impression that they can be more casual and informal

The do’s and don’ts of e-mail etiquetteThere have been hundreds of stories and several books published about the importance of crafting grammatical, well-thought-out, professional e-mails at work. Yet most people are still under the impression that different rules apply to e-mail. Discipline and planning go into writing letters and memos committed to paper, but most employees think they can be more…
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