Merge's Blog

Tag Archives: networking

Maximize introvert power by tapping into their strengths

Extroversion versus introversion.  Despite numerous studies and anecdotal situations that show otherwise, people still continue to assume that somehow extroverts are more successful in the workplace than introverts.  As I have blogged about in the past, that is simply not true.  Introvert power comes from tapping into what makes introverts different from extroverts, and not by taking on more extrovert traits.  In fact, in the past I have blogged about how introverts lead, and how introverts network.

Which is why I was delighted when my professional colleague Dave Byrnes agreed to guest on the blog today.  Dave is known as The Introverted Networker, and not surprisingly, he helps introverts use sales and networking to succeed in their business and careers.  Today he writes about how leaders (extroverts or introverts) can help their introverted employees maximize their introvert power and productivity.

Convert Your Introverts for Greater Productivity

There has been a lot of press about the power of introverts and their differences from extroverts in recent times. While better understanding is great as a leader, you may be asking yourself how this affects the bottom line.

How can you turn these insights into increased productivity from your introverts and improve job satisfaction so they stick around longer? Continue reading

What does it take to be recognized as a high-potential employee?

Last month, I told you all how excited I was to be one of the featured speakers at the Elevate Your Mind conference presented by the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Alberta in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre on May 14, 2018.  This is an organization that I have partnered with for several years on a variety of learning events, so I am very excited that they are welcoming me back to “elevate
the skills of professionals in any stage of their career.  My session on May 14 is titled Are you a HiPo?, and I am looking forward to giving attendees specific high-energy and fast-paced ideas to get recognized as a high-potential employees in their organizations.

Registration is open now

Registration is open now, so if you’re thinking about attending, don’t delay!  This link will take you directly to the registration page.  Even though this event is organized by CPA Alberta, registration is open to anyone from any organization.  If you belong to a profession that requires ongoing professional education credits, then this may be a perfect (and fun!) way to get a head start on 2018’s requirements.  Here is a link to the Conference Agenda page, with additional links to more information.

Wondering what a HiPo is?

P.S. In case you’re wondering, HiPos are those employees who have been tagged as the Continue reading

Are you a high-potential (HiPo) employee? Don’t miss this upcoming event!

Earlier this year, my regular column for Canadian Accountant covered specific ways to get recognized as a high-potential employee.  In it, I laid out seven ways to become worthy of high-potential employee status.  Well, the topic of the high-potential employee got so much attention that I have now been invited to speak on this very subject at an upcoming conference.

Are you a HiPo?

elevate_mind

I am very excited to announce that I will be one of the featured speakers at the Elevate Your Mind conference presented by the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Alberta in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre on May 14, 2018.  As our Alberta blog readers may already know, I have partnered with this exceptional organization for several years on a variety of learning events, and so I am thrilled to be working with them once again.  Elevate Your Mind is a full-day conference offering a variety of engaging and targeted speakers and sessions to “elevate” the skills of Alberta CPAs at any stage in their careers, and on May 14, I will be presenting a fast-paced high-energy session titled Are you a HiPo?

What is a HiPo? Continue reading

Want to climb the corporate ladder? Then get recognized as a high-potential employee

high-potential employeeThere are two ways to get ahead in the world of work. One, strike out on your own as an entrepreneur and create your own million dollar company. Or two, successively rise through the ranks in an established organization. Both are viable options, but if your career objective is to climb the corporate ladder, then you need to get recognized as a high-potential employee, or HiPo.

Seven ways to become worthy of high-potential employee status

If rising to the top at your place of employment and getting recognized as a high-potential employee is something you aspire to, then my latest column in Canadian Accountant lays out seven actions you need to take right now in order to become worthy of HiPo status.  Read Looking to rise in the ranks? Here are 7 things you need to do now.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic of what it takes to be recognized as a high-potential employee.  Does it even matter?  What has been your experience?  Good or bad, I’m interested.  Share your thoughts either here or on the Canadian Accountant website.

Successful business relationships require that you invest before you withdraw

I continue to be astounded at how many people simply don’t understand what it takes to build solid thriving business relationships that stand the test of time.  This was emphasized to me, yet again, because of something that happened a few weeks ago.

business relationshipsbusiness relationshipsNow that we have opened our new west coast office, I find myself attending a lot more business networking events in Victoria and Vancouver than I have in the past.  At one of these well-attended events, I was walking back to my vehicle at the end of the evening, when I happened to find myself next to a woman who was also leaving the same event.  I had not had an opportunity to meet her earlier in the evening, so as we made the three-minute walk to the parking lot, we shook hands and introduced ourselves to each other.  As we parted ways beneath a street light, she asked for my business card, suggesting that we should meet again over a cup of coffee to get to know one another.  I readily agreed, always open to building relationships in my professional circles.  I took her business card as well, intending to connect with her the next time I was in town.

Our next contact was not what I expected

One week later, I received an email from her.  But it didn’t contain the expected invitation to coffee.  Continue reading

Five ways to build a kick-ass personal brand

kick-ass personal brandYour personal brand is how others see you. If you want to grow your business, obtain a better job, get noticed by your peers, take your career to the next level, or meet high-quality professional colleagues, the impression others have of you will have a huge impact on your success.  But how do you build your “best” personal brand?  How do you build a brand that “kicks ass”?  And just what does “kick-ass branding” mean?

What does it take to build a kick-ass personal brand?

This is exactly the topic of my latest column for Canadian Accountant titled Five ways for CPAs to build a kick-ass personal brand.  In it, I offer five steps that anyone can take to positively influence how they are perceived by others.  Not an accountant?  Doesn’t matter – the five kick-ass tips I give here apply to anyone who is looking to take their career or business to new heights!

kick-ass personal brand

 

As you can see, authenticity is ultimately at the root of building a kick-ass personal brand.  As far as I am concerned, everything grows from the foundation of genuineness and truth.  But what do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  This is what has worked for me, but I’d love to hear what you’re doing to build your personal brand.  Share your thoughts here or on the Canadian Accountant website.

Is business networking difficult for you?

networkingThe benefits of business networking are invaluable. When you meet new people, you learn interesting ideas, build relationships outside your immediate circle, and create an environment that cultivates new opportunities. But, many people, particularly those who consider themselves introverts, find initiating conversations with strangers to be awkward and uncomfortable. In the past, I’ve addressed this in several posts including this one: Introverts can be great networkers too! Here are three more ideas to help get the dialogue going. Continue reading

What can I do for you?

Is there anything I can do for you?

This is the question posed by Colleen Albiston, chief marketing officer at Deloitte Canada, and my fellow columnist at The Globe and Mail in her column last week: Don’t forget to ask: What can I do for you?

It’s a question every leader should be asking of their staff, their customers, their peers and even their superiors. Colleen describes, and very rightly so, that this question is an enabler. It opens the door for others to ask you for help – whether it’s advice, resources, or access to connections – AND it sets you up so that you can reach out to others when you need energy, enthusiasm or people power to take you further. Perhaps even more importantly, when you ask this question with a genuine interest in helping others achieve their goals, you create a workplace environment that is team-oriented and supportive. As a leader, you are a role model, and this question sets the tone for those who work with and for you.

Now not everyone agrees with me. Some people have expressed concern that this is a dangerous question to ask. Continue reading

Introverts can be great networkers too!

Like it or not, networking is critical to your career success. The ability to develop and maintain contacts and personal connections with a variety of people leads to increased business opportunities, more job possibilities and long-term relationships. But … it comes easier to some than others. As an extrovert myself, I find it fairly easy to attend events, initiate conversations, and keep the dialogues and relationships going. But I am very aware that there are many among us who dread the thought of networking!

Which is why I found myself very interested in a conversation I happened to have last week with a professional colleague. Somewhere in our exchange, she confided to me that she’s an introvert. Surprised, I uttered the first thought that came to my mind. “You’re such a good networker, I never would have thought you to be an introvert,” I exclaimed. “It’s true,” she said. “I loathe talking to strangers, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t like being in groups of people either.” As I stared at her with raised eyebrows, she continued on to tell me how she has found ways to network that fit her style as an introvert. So for those amongst you who find yourself in the same dilemma, I thought you might want to hear about two specific things she does to overcome her natural aversion to networking.

  1. When she goes to events, she focuses on individuals rather than groups. By seeking to have a few meaningful one-on-one conversations rather than interacting with groups of people, she’s able to make networking fit her introverted style.
  2. Because she’s naturally shy, she uses LinkedIn to initiate or continue relationships. If there is someone she wants to connect with, she looks them up on LinkedIn and sends them a connection request, saying a little bit about herself, and if applicable, how they met or know each other. Getting things started online is not as stressful as face-to-face.

So if you’re someone who dislikes the traditional definition of networking (or even if you’re not), what are some of your ideas to get past the fear and aversion and make it work for you and your career? We all want to know!

To facilitate change, bring people together who are not connected

Chinese symbol for change

A couple of weeks ago I talked briefly about a leader’s role as an agent of change. And it’s a responsibility you should take seriously. The expectations that your clients and customers have of you are changing, rapidly, so you need to keep your ear to the ground to know what they’re thinking and what they demand of you. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the change curve is to find ways to think differently. Here’s one idea that I have observed many leaders use successfully. Bring people together who are not connected.

If you’re in a mid-sized or large organization, then in its simplest form that means creating cross-functional teams. If you’re working on a new initiative, put folks from engineering, operations, accounting, human resources and legal on the same team. Yeah, there will be some friction, but it will be for the good of the final result. Even if you’re not part of a large organization, you can still achieve the same outcome by deliberately choosing to interact with people who have different backgrounds or work with different target markets. One way to formalize this is to create a mastermind circle. If you don’t know what that is, or want to learn how to create and use one, then this short article titled Mastermind Circles: A powerful and easy way to create your own advisory panel that I wrote for CGA Magazine in November 2008 will be helpful.

What are you doing to bring together people who can offer you different perspectives and a variety of alternatives? Please share with the rest of us.