Keep the window open

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The key is knowing that in conducting small talk, we should be aware of the different styles at play and adapt to the person we’re talking with.

If we address someone with the wrong style, the window may close shut without nothing revealed. No connection is made.

One helpful technique I use is to try and envision myself as a mirror to the person with whom I’m speaking. What’s the cadence of their speech? How loudly do they talk? What’s their body language? By adjusting your behavior to mirror the person you are talking to, he’ll automatically feel more comfortable. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should be disingenuous. Rather, it shows that you’re particularly sensitive to other people’s emotional temperaments. You’re just tweaking your style to ensure that the windows remain wide open.

Keith Ferrazzi

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Be Yourself

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When it comes to making an impression, differentiation is the name of the game. Confound expectation. Shake it up. How? There’s one guaranteed way to stand out in the professional world: Be Yourself. I believe that vulnerability – yes, vulnerability – in one of the most underappreciated assets in business today.

Even when there is disagreement, I’ve found people will respect you for putting your cards on the table.

The message here is that we can go through life, particularly conferences and other professional gatherings, making shallow, run-of-the-mill conversation with strangers that remain strangers. Or we can pout a little of ourselves, our real selves, on the line, give people a glimpse of our humanity, and create the opportunity for a deeper connection. We have a choice.

Keith Ferrazzi

Connect the Circles

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A hut circle at Grimspound (a late Bronze Age ...

A hut circle at Grimspound (a late Bronze Age settlement) on Dartmoor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most efficient way to enlarge and tap the full potential of your circle of friends is, quite simply, to connect your circle with someone else’s.

Like a business in which cofounders take responsibility for different parts of the company, networking partners help each other, and by extension their respective networks, by taking responsibility for that part of the web that is theirs and providing access to is as needed. In other words, they exchange networks. The boundaries of any network are fluid and constantly open. 

Keith Ferrazzi

 

Follow-Up

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Internet Bubble - McCarran Int'l Airport, NV  USA

Internet Bubble – McCarran Int’l Airport, NV USA (Photo credit: gTarded)

Follow-Up is the key to success in any field.

Give yourself between twelve and twenty-four hours after you meet someone to follow up. If you meet somebody on a plane, send them an e-mail later that day. If you meet somebody over cocktails, again, send them an e-mail the next morning.

But remember – and this is critical – don’t remind them of what they can do for you, but focus on what you might be able to do for them. It’s about giving them a reason to want to follow up.

Keith Ferrazzi

Gatekeepers

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Wringin Lawang, a 14th century Majapahit split...

Wringin Lawang, a 14th century Majapahit split gate in Trowulan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make the gatekeeper an ally rather than an adversary. And never, ever get on his or her bad side. Many executive assistants are their bosses’ minority partners. Don’t think of them as “secretaries” or as “assistants”. In fact, they are associates and lifelines.

Secretaries and assistants are more than just helpful associates to their boss. If they are any good, they become trusted friends, advocates, and integral parts of their professional, and even personal, lives.

Treat them with the dignity they deserve. If you do, doors will open for you to even the most powerful decision makers.

Keith  Ferrazzi

Don’t talk too much

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You want to impart both a sense of urgency and a sense of convenience.

You will, of course, need to provide enough information about your value proposition to make the person want to spend some time talking. But also, don’t talk too much, If you launch into a long sales pitch without finding out the other person’s thoughts, you can turn them off immediately. It is a dialogue, not a scripted monologue.

Don’t ever talk at someone. Give them time to come along with you.

Keith Ferrazzi

Getting over Fear

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The choice isn’t between success and failure; it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.

The best way to deal with this anxiety is to first acknowledge that our fear is perfectly normal. You are not alone. The second thing is to recognize that getting over that fear is critical to your success. The third is commit to getting better.

You’ll get comfortable with the idea of rejection. With that perspective, even failure becomes a step forward. Embrace it as learning. 

Keith Ferrazzi