Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Conversation Starters

It's an age old dilemma when meeting new people at a business event. “If I meet someone what am I going to say?” You wonder how to start a conversation and worry that you’ll sound silly commenting on the usual stuff like sports scores and the weather for the billionth time. Here’s how to change that.

When you say hello and he/she responds with the usual, “How are you?”, answer in this way:

“Today I am feeling ____(see list of feelings below) because ______.”

The list of feelings you can choose from are: Loving | Joyful | Happy | Peaceful | Grateful | Fearful | Angry | Sad | Hurt.

Do not use any other words
. It might sound something like this:

Them: “How are you?”
You: “Thanks for asking. Today I am feeling peaceful because most of the things I wanted to get done this week have been accomplished.”

The reason it works is that you are answering with openness and honesty -- actually opening the door to a more meaningful conversation. Your answer will create questions and off you go on a great conversation!

What about the words fear, anger, sad and hurt. Should you use them? Absolutely. If it is what you are feeling, say it. “Today I am feeling angry (or) sad because it cost me $50 to fill my gas tank.” “Today I am feeling hurt because a long time friend in moving back east.”

It is the open and honest sharing that will win you a new friend!

This works when you state feelings and reasons that are real. Connecting with people requires a little risk… take the chance so that you can reap the reward.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Your Reputation is Your Brand

Its been said you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat waiters and waitresses in restaurants -- and I agree that is a pretty accurate barometer. In the business of professional services the brand of a firm is so closely linked to the personality and character of its partners that it can be said the reputation of one partner will be the brand for all.

At one firm I've worked with there was a partner that was smooth as silk in his treatment of client executives yet, was a caustic, rude man to everyone else including the non-executive staff at his client companies. When a client would finally say (and eventually most of them did), 'enough is enough,' and went looking for new representation, there was nothing we could do as a firm to salvage the business. We were told quite often that any firm that allowed that type of behavior was not the firm they wanted to be with....

If you struggle to understand how to create or affect your firms brand, just look to its smallest parts; the reputation of your individual partners. What is their reputation both inside and outside the walls of your office? Ask your clients for their opinion of the people in your firm and then ask them about their opinion of your firm in total. You’ll find the two sound very much alike.

Your reputation is your brand.

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Graphic Artists are Crazy

I might know. I am one. But, not like, "Wooo Hooooo, la la la la la, put me in a rubber room!!" Go online and look at any portfo...