" ... you
can reconnect with anyone in your life, ..."
in business can no longer afford to hold back when there is opportunity..."
Reconnect & Rebuild!!!
By Michele Alexander Owner of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting
It's that time of year again. Time to reconnect!!! Remember between
now and mid January you can reconnect with anyone in your life, not
just close friends but colleagues you have lost touch with. This newsletter
is dedicated to one of the building blocks, of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching
and Consulting, to help you make connections and build an affective
support network. Don't forget check out 4 The Perfect Fit's new blog,
too. It's called Metamorphosis and it will also have articles and exercises
to help you start reconnecting as well as discussions on other relevant
How to Re-Connect & Re-Build
Your Network in Seven Simple Steps
you know that the best time of your to reconnect with old friends, distant
family, colleagues and even forgotten networking contacts is now, mid
- November to mid - January? It's because those months represent the
holiday season. However, when I discuss this with my clients or at events,
the response is how do I do this? … or I'll try; but, I don't know.
Because of these responses, I put together these tips to help get you
started reconnecting to rebuild your network. It's really simple and
only takes seven steps.
- Sit down and write a list of everyone who
is in your personal and extended network. If you come up with 25 or
30 that's average. Initially, don't spend too much time on this step.
You are going to have the opportunity to go back to it.
- Get your elevator speech together. That's
60 to 90 seconds of what you've been doing, where you are now and
what you hope to do or for in the future. Write it down, know what
you want and own it.
- Review your list. Identify your contacts remember
include yourself and add accordingly. It breaks down in the following
- You - I call it a table of six, the perfect
amount of guest for a dinner party. These people know you.
- Level Two-These are individuals who know
your primary contacts. Think about all of the people that your
friend might refer you to, parties or networking events you attended
because you were forwarded an invite, people you would invite
to a charity event.
- Decision Makers and Experts - These are
the people who can help you get a job, loan, give you advice in
a crisis or move you to the top of the list.
Now that you have gathered you list its time to start reconnecting.
How? The last four steps will tell you.
- Define how your will make contact:
- Snail mail
- In person
- Make calls and set appointments, write notes
and cards, and mail cards and greeting.
- Develop a tracking system. Excel is a wonderful
simple database spreadsheet.
- Don't forget to include follow-up and Follow-up!
Now you've reconnected and started rebuilding
your support system. Don't be a pest. Also, don't take it personally
if you don't reconnect immediately or get the results that you want.
It takes time to rebuild a relationship of any kind.
About The Author
Michele Alexander is the founder
of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching
and Consulting. http://www.4ThePerfectFit.com.
4 The Perfect Fit Coaching
and Consulting focuses on single thirtysomething and fortysomething
women's issues to help them realize their dreams and live their best
life. Also, check out Metamorphosis,
4 The Perfect Fit's New
blog, that discuss
hot topics for single women in mid-life. .
Stumbling Blocks To Successful Networking And How To Overcome Them
By Lydia Ramsey
The ability to connect with people is essential to success in any business.
Professional networking events present opportunities to interact with
others on a personal level and to develop profitable relationships.
These occasions are critical for anyone who wants to grow a business
or promote a career.
Many people are simply not comfortable walking into a room full of strangers
and striking up conversations. Here are five common stumbling blocks
that you may face and tips to help you overcome them.
1. A Reluctance To Talk To Strangers.
You were taught at an early age not to speak to people you don't know.
It's not safe. In certain situations today this is still good advice.
In business, however, talking to strangers is a way to generate interest
and support for your products and services. If you only talk to the
people you already know, you will miss out on opportunities to make
new connections and establish valuable contacts.
To get past your discomfort in talking to strangers, set a goal for
yourself before you attend any networking event. Decide how many new
contacts you want to make or how many strangers you want to meet. In
some cases, you may specifically target individuals whom you'd like
Next come up with some icebreakers or conversation starters. Have questions
prepared that you can ask anyone you meet at the event. You may want
to inquire about other people's business, their connection to the sponsoring
organization or their opinion of the venue.
2. Lack Of A Formal Introduction.
It's much easier to make a new contact when there is someone else to
handle the introduction and pave the way. If you wait for another person
to make the move you may not meet anyone. At networking events, the
goal is to meet as many people as possible.
This is the time to take the bull by the horns, walk up to people you
don't know, introduce yourself and start a conversation. You can do
this if you have prepared your self-introduction in advance.
You will not introduce yourself the same way on every occasion. Perhaps
it is your first time to attend an association meeting. In that case,
you might want to say that as part of your introduction. Let people
know who you are, why you are there and give them a reason to ask more
3. Fear Of Being Seen As Pushy.
You may think that you will turn people off if you are assertive and
that if they want to talk to you, they will make the first move. If
this is your line of thinking you will find yourself spending your time
alone at the reception or meeting function and leaving without a single
new connection. Being open, friendly and interested does not turn people
You will not come across as overly aggressive if you seek out the "approachable"
people. These are the ones who are standing alone or who are speaking
in groups of three or more. Two people talking to each other are not
approachable because they may be having a private conversation and you
would be interrupting.
4. Thinking That Other People May Not Like You.
There is always the risk that the other person is not interested in
you and doesn't want to meet or talk to you. It happens. If that is
the case, don't take it personally. Nothing ventured is nothing gained.
When you get a cold shoulder, smile, move on and say to yourself, "Next?"
5. Having Your Intentions Misunderstood.
Approaching someone of the opposite sex to begin a conversation may
seem more like flirting than networking. This is more of an issue for
women than men. Women have an equal place in the work arena and need
to make professional connections the same as men do. Women in business
can no longer afford to hold back when there is opportunity at hand.
Neither men nor women will have their motives misinterpreted if they
present themselves professionally in their attire and if they keep the
conversation focused on business issues or topics that are not personal
Whatever your stumbling blocks, face them before the next networking
event and devise a personal plan for getting past them. Once you do,
you will find yourself connecting with confidence and courtesy on every
occasion and the results will be reflected in your bottom line.
© 2004, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.
About The Author
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional
speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING
THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in
The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc.,
Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs,
products and services, e-mail her at email@example.com or
visit her web site http://www.mannersthatsell.com/
Back to TOC
Surround Yourself With
Support Systems to Keep Your Aspirations Alive
By Teresa Thomas-Carroll
In these troubling times, it is especially important to be surrounded
by a strong system of support to keep our aspirations alive. A message
I've heard countless times is that in order to strive effectively for
peace in the world, we must also nurture a sense of peace with ourselves.
To hold peace within ourselves is so much easier when we have the support
Many years ago, I experienced a drought with my creativity. This is
a big deal for someone who identifies primarily as a creative person.
Looking back, it's easy to see that I was overcommitted with responsibilities
that weren't recharging my creativity and I was experiencing burnout.
Though I was immensely blessed with affirming support from family and
friends, I also needed another level of support -- one that would challenge
and encourage me to pursue interests that would exponentially grow my
creativity as I put it to use.
Fortunately, I found a circle of women who support each other to reach
our creative goals. We met every two weeks and continue to meet to this
day. The group's discussion differs from that of friends and family
because we specifically meet to talk about our goals, stepping stones
and stumbling blocks. In other words, we do more than "hang out;"
we have focused conversation and relentlessly encourage each other.
Through this circle, I met and began regularly checking in with a skilled
life coach who has always known just the right questions to help me
dig a little deeper and clarify my intentions and goals. I quickly realized
the immense benefits of building a loose advisory network to lend me
inspiration and energy to carry out my work. The drought disappeared.
Creativity once again bubbles out of a deep well, saturating everything
(It may help to have a journal or paper at hand.)
Who are your friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues who
listen well, ask the right questions, challenge and inspire you?
What would the world be like if everyone had a nurturing support system?
What choices might you make if you received all the support you needed?
Setting a goal
Is there a specific type of support that you would find helpful right
now? Can you think of different or additional ways to garner the support
you need? If so, set a goal for yourself to try strengthening your support
system. If you are lucky enough to already have an effective network
of people who lend you support, let your goal be to let them know you
When what you really need is a specific type of support from someone,
try asking for it. If you want a particular person to offer a different
type of support than she is used to giving you, let her know if you
need to be challenged, listened to or just accepted for your venture.
People in your support network may be unaware of how they could best
be of assistance. In turn, when people come to you for support, ask
how you could be most helpful for them.
About The Author
Back to TOC
Teresa Thomas-Carroll is the director of Purple Crayon Factory, which
offers refreshing workshops and services for reflection, goal-setting
and action in pursuit of an ideal life. http://www.purplecrayonfactory.com.
"Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage
and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness."
Back to TOC
What's Going On!
Check out "What's Going On"
- Request the the Free ebook Dare!
Dream!! Achieve!!!, (Six Steps to Writing a Personal Mission Statement.)
This is a $19.95 value.
Phone: (212) 987-6177
I would like to thank all of the readers
of Second Acts ezine for your continued support. I
would love to hear you comments and stories. Please e-mail me at coach@4ThePerfectFit.com.
Michele Alexander, CTACC
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