The other day I met a friend at a coffee shop. He had recently changed jobs, so I asked him about his new company. He said “Everything’s great! There’s just one small problem. My desk is pretty close to where all the senior managers sit. And since I am new I don’t know anyone. It gets little awkward when I run into them sometimes.”
Fellow toastmasters and guests, how hard is it for us to just say Hi!!!
I have heard similar instances so many times. It is always either that you don’t know people in your organization or people don’t seem to know you. And neither is good. And if you are an introvert, you do go unnoticed in office. Recently I attended a session by John Stepper on his upcoming book “Working out Loud”. Listening to John Stepper, I felt, his ideas to create visibility for your work and for yourself are applicable to both introvert or not. Here are three simple ideas I would love share with you.
Consider this; you step into your office elevator. As you enter you see your CEO in it, your pause, you stare then you simply nod or put a smile on your face, reach one corner then quickly take your mobile phone out and dig into its screen pretending to be busy. “Phewww, saved.” Is what your thinking, while the CEO is thinking “What a creep, I wonder how he deals with our clients.” It is absolutely important to learn to greet someone and introduce yourself. Figure out what best describes you and what you do. Order events chronologically, it makes it easier for you to remember and for others to understand. Practice your introduction with your friends. Once you feel confident with your introduction, start using it. For starters, remember those folk you came across around office pantry, why not open up to them, introduce yourself. See if your introduction works.
Thank You Notes:
Who doesn’t like to be appreciated or thanked for the work they do, but we seldom take the efforts to express our gratitude. Guy Spier is a well known speaker and a best selling author on value investing. He is a big proponent of thank you notes. All he suggests is to make efforts to thank people. He says he always leaves a short thank you note for hotel staff before checking out for making his stay comfortable. He says thank you notes are small investments that compound over time. Thank you notes are long term investments, they don’t pay back immediately. Keeping at it is the key. And for the rewards, are rarely monitory. The true reward is the satisfaction one gets appreciating others efforts towards you.
A fellow toastmaster of our club was telling me how he was facing a particular problem and how he found an easy fix for it. Once he had the solution he didn’t want to loose it, so as a reminder to himself he posted it on his blog. He was amazed to find his blog had over 5000 visitors overnight and in a matter of few days millions had visited his blog looking for solution. You always have something to contribute, it’s just that we are either unaware or undermine our ability. It’s so easy to share today. Use social and collaboration tools like, Word press, BlogSpot, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. When you open up and share your ideas, it becomes easier for others to share there thoughts and ideas with you. Being part of Toastmasters Club is a great experience and I am sharing this experience on my blog, tracking my Toastmasters Club journey.
Let’s recap; a confident and welcoming introduction is your foot in the door. Appreciate what other offer you and reciprocate with a simple thank you note. That’s the least you can do. Finally share your thoughts, ideas and put your work out there for others to see. Networking is not simply sharing business cards, quick handshakes, phoney smiles and small talk. Networking is about making meaningful relationships. I hope what I have shared with you all today will help you shed inhibitions about networking and help you explore new ways to make yourself and your work visible.