Category Archives: Making connections

Dear Introverts

I’m writing to you today because I want to tell you how much I appreciate – and understand – you. And because I have a few thoughts and ideas that might help you converse and connect with greater effectiveness, ease, and confidence. So here goes. 

  1. Give yourself some credit and believe in yourself.  I have numerous friends who are introverts (I’m half introvert myself) and regularly meet with, speak to, and coach them.  They are some of my favorite clients and friends!  One gentleman I

Networking Lessons from the BP MS150

Valuable lessons about networking – and life – can come from unexpected places. I learned and was reminded of this as I participated in – no, scratch that – endured this year’s BP MS150 cycle ride from Houston to Austin, Texas. This ride, the largest of its kind in North America, raises awareness and funds for the treatment and cure for MS.

Here are a few of those lessons:

  1. It pays to be well-prepared. I’ve done this ride a few times and compared to previous

Books, death and powerful conversations

First grade teachers are changing the world. They are the ones who are encouraging kids (and we grownups, too) to read every day. For at least 20 minutes. I couldn’t agree more. And not just because I have a sister who was a first grade teacher and a school principal.  (Thanks, Liz!)

Reading doesn’t just make you a better reader; it changes lives. Yes, there is the learning component. But reading is also a practice that puts you smack dab on the path to enjoying

The surprising power of what is true

In his book A Moveable Feast, the great American writer Ernest Hemingway, admits to the struggle that even the most devoted and talented writers face: what to write.

“…sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of

Best opening line ever

It was a dark and stormy night.  Actually, it was nearly dawn, but you never would have known it by the dark cloud cover, driving rain, and the dramatic thunder and lightning.

I was restless, so I got out of my car to take a look around.  (Okay, truth is I had to use the restroom…)

Soaked to the bone from the rain, but much relieved after locating a Port-o-Potty, I slogged my way back to my car, mud and dead grass sticking to my …

When, where and how should I network?

Now there’s a loaded question.  It’s one I get asked a lot, particularly by people who are in a frantic state about their careers and businesses, are new in town, or are new to the whole notion of networking.  If you want a traditional answer on which networking events you should consider attending, read Chapter 7 in my book The Intentional Networker.  It offers some specific and valuable insights on networking and standing out in the crowd.

But this isn’t meant to be a commercial …

Networking lessons from an art show – Part 1

Do networking lessons happen everywhere? Absolutely, if you’re open to them. And when you are, it’s amazing what you can learn, who you can meet and connect with, and how pivotal and powerful the experience can be.

Take the art show I attended this past weekend.  As my friend Lisa and I wandered through the show, perusing booth after booth filled with extraordinary paintings, photography, jewelry, glass, ceramics and other treasures, we found ourselves enjoying not only the items on display, but also our exchanges …

Networking make you anxious? Uncomfortable?

A few days after presenting to a group of exceptional college students I received very sweet, appreciative thank you note from several of them. One student wrote,

“…I had no idea what it truly meant to network. I assumed it was having awkward conversations in hopes of getting a job.”

Have you ever felt this way? You could even swap out the phrase “getting a job” and add in “finding new clients or prospects”, “meeting new and interesting people”, “making new friends” or “finding …

Two anxiety-busting ideas

Let’s get real here.  Really, truly real.  And let’s do it by starting with this:  What frightens you? Freaks you out?  Leaves your palms sweaty, your mouth dry as whole wheat toast, your heart racing – and not in a good way?

Public speaking and snakes are two things most people fear — more so than death itself. But I’m convinced there’s something else that can be even scarier:  Stepping solo into a room full of strangers.  Especially when those who are already there seem …

Let’s talk about it

Today I’ll attempt to keep my post short and sweet. Not because I don’t have a lot to say, but because I want you to spend more time thinking about it than reading about it.

The topic?  Your conversations.  (Yes, I know I wrote about this topic back in August, but this post offers yet another twist.)

While attending an NSA Austin event this past week a woman at my table, someone relatively new to the group, commented that she really liked our meetings …