Hello SOTGC community,
How many of you have either been told or heard someone say, “Be intentional with your words”? Now what exactly does this mean, you ask? The choice of words you use to explain a situation, and your reaction or solution to it, are important and oftentimes defining moments during any kind of networking conversation.
When you’re speaking with someone that could potentially be a business or career connection, pay close attention to the way you describe the following:
- Your current job
- The jobs you have had before
- The job you envision yourself having
- Your boss and all the previous bosses you’ve had
- The teams you have worked on and/or led
- How you feel about your organization as a whole
Are you using positive words about the things you enjoy, the challenges you’ve had, and the solutions you and your team came up with as well as the other opportunities you’d like to take on to grow as a professional as well as help the organization overall? Or are they mostly complaints about what you’re not being able to do, what is not challenging or enjoyable, and why you want to take on a new role? When describing any kind of work situation that you are or have been in, to people who may (or may NOT) help you by introducing you to their contacts or help you themselves, remember and apply the term: “silver lining.”
Why would you want to do this if your current or previous situations weren’t ideal? Even if factors exist that are not in your favor and you’re “treated unfairly” and not being put in a position to succeed, don’t emphasize those points. No one is looking to hire, help, or put their name on the line with their business associates for people who seem to only make excuses and have a negative tone about their organization or role. People are looking to help, hire, and refer people who will be an asset to the next team they are on. They want to know that you’ll be able to take any situation and find the potential “win” that exists, and work your very hardest to accomplish that.
Think of the attitude you present during active or even passive networking like how you would show up for a first date and during the courtship phase. Go into it with a smile on your face, optimistic hope in your eyes and tone of voice, and your best foot forward. Save the proverbial “I’ve given up sweats” (for you men) and “it’s time to let you see me with my faded pink onesie and mud mask on” (for you women) for after you’ve proven your worth and can relax a bit.
Stay tuned for the next post on The Art of Networking…