Networking

6 Ways You Can Kill Others’ Enthusiasm to Help You

Bored

I’ll be honest; I’ve done some of these myself. Not only might you say the same thing, but you might also recognize when you have tried to help others, but they killed your enthusiasm to help them.

If you know me, you know that I share the following with total love and support and only with the highest intentions of raising your self-awareness so that you can make changes where it makes a difference to the results you want in your life. No judgement here.

No one you admire rose to success without the help of others. You need it, so if you are doing any one of the following, I suggest you own it and correct it, perhaps even address it with those who have tried to help you. Restore their faith that their efforts to help you will be appreciated and promise that you will take action. Then, keep that promise.

Now review the list, which is by no means exhaustive, and ask yourself honestly – have I done any of these?

  1. Not Asking For Help or Not Being Clear How Someone Can Help You

It’s obvious, right? I would have to guess most of the population of the world can say at one time or another, they failed to ask for help or ask for specific help.

Part of the problem is that people who have a sincere desire to help aren’t trained in needs assessment, and they don’t read minds. They may be very general and vague, such as saying, “Need help?” or, “Can I help?” or even, “How can I help?” Unintentionally, this puts a burden on you to figure out exactly how this person can help, without knowing if they even have the resources or knowledge you need. Furthermore, if you are under stress, few personalities can see clearly what is needed to help a situation.

The more specific you can be about what you want, though, the more help you will receive. Specific action plans and follow up items (with due dates) are how things get done. Ask any project manager. See your transition or goal as a project. Break it down, even on paper. Look at it visually and it will help you identify where there are needs, so that when someone asks with what you need help, you can run off a list and they can either respond with something they can do to help immediately, or stay alert for how their network might assist.

2. “I did that already.”

I’ve been guilty of this, and it’s been true, so I was fully justified in answering this, right? Yeaaahh, but…  I can remember vividly many conversations that went like this. I was at the end of my rope – I’d already exhausted my options and was feeling frustrated and desperate for help, even though I had very little hope of receiving it. In the end, the person who was just trying to be helpful felt just as frustrated as I was and felt bad about themselves and me. I know I started to sound like someone who’s almost insulted that this person wouldn’t think I’d tried that already. That’s not how you want the person who is trying to help to feel. I’m glad to have become aware of how I was making them feel, but I can’t undo the conversations; only do things differently next time.

Number one is to warn them that there was a long list of advice you’ve received and things you already tried, but so far nothing solved your dilemma. Give them a disclaimer that while you appreciate their desire to help, it may lead nowhere new. If they’d still like to help, promise that you will not be defensive, and keep your promise. Stay calm, detach from the frustration for the moment, and take a deep breath after every suggestion. When they offer a suggestion you already tried, tell them why it failed to bring about the desired results. Maybe they can troubleshoot your approach and you can retry something in a new way that is ultimately successful. If you get to the end and there is no new information, let them know that just their willingness to help was meaningful and appreciated.

3. Not following up on leads promptly

When someone makes a powerful introduction on your behalf, they turn a cold lead into a hot lead. Ideally, you are positioned as a solution to a problem or a catalyst toward an important goal. People have become all too accustomed to people not following up and responding. When someone follows up immediately, it’s exciting and keeps the momentum high. There is a much better chance of a great outcome when action is taken and responded to promptly.

On the other hand, a hot lead will cool down, and even forget why they were excited in the first place. Think about how many things can happen in a day, then multiply that. Not to be cliché, but strike while the iron is hot. If you don’t, you’ll find other people will feel less compelled to follow up on your behalf as quickly, and then their enthusiasm and the details they remember wane. This leads to a lot less powerful and enthusiastic introduction if people don’t completely lose interest or forget that they were even supposed to do anything on your behalf.

Timing is everything!

I’ll give you this – sometimes delays are fortuitous, so even if some time passes, follow up. However, I’ve seen many more great things happen from a cascade of timely actions than from delayed reactions.

4. Not researching people before you connect after being referred/introduced

With LinkedIn at your fingertips, there is no excuse not to do at least some minor research on who it is that someone has recommended you to or introduced you to. Skipping the “getting to know you” part of the conversation and digging right into the “How did you find that experience” conversation will help you accelerate building rapport and put you in a better position to earn trust and additional action on your behalf. Come to these conversations prepared to reference what you have learned about them and a clue as to how you can be of assistance to them.

5. Making it difficult to schedule something

Few people know about complicated logistics better than a work-at-home mom who operates as a single parent (seasonally.) For many years while my kids were small and not in school full time, there were few hours I could make available to people on a regular basis. From October through March, my husband’s busy season, most scheduling was based on trying to arrange childcare around other people’s schedule. I tried to instruct people to offer me 3-5 times and days, but I often received responses like, “Whenever it works for you.” So then I would ask a babysitter what they could offer me and pass on that availability to people. But then often by the time they got back to me, the babysitter’s availability would change and I would either have to find a new babysitter who could be available during that time or get a whole new set of available days and times to offer.

You can see how many people would just give up and opt to work with someone who had more traditional hours. This was just one complicated scenario out of many complicated scenarios that arose frequently. I know from studying user experience – the more hoops you make people jump through, the more barriers you are putting in building rapport and creating synergy – the less prone people will be to take action. I had to make things simpler.

I tried two different calendar apps – Meetme.com and Calendly.com. They both integrate with my google calendar so that times I block off don’t show up as available. I stayed with Calendly because it enables me to create different types of calendar events at different lengths with required and optional questions or information fields. I can even accept payments through this app. I also integrated a Facebook messaging app from my company page so that people can find the option they want and book me right from there. If I need a certain amount of notice for a meeting, in case I need to arrange childcare, I can adjust that setting as well.

Now if someone doesn’t schedule, I at least know it’s not because I made it too hard. And I’m not making people feel like they’re not important or like they are burdening me.

6. Being wishy-washy about what you want

I get the logic that if you leave your options wide open, you’re expecting more to come in. It just doesn’t work as well, however, as giving people a crystal clear idea of what would light you up and help you thrive and succeed. That’s just so much more motivating because it FEELS better. Don’t underestimate the “feels” part of getting people to help you. The better you make them feel, the more help you can expect.

Also the better you can articulate the value you bring to particular people and situations, the more people feel capable of selling you to others, and the better they think you’ll make them look when you come along and save the day.

 

I didn’t include things like offer your help back. Do I think it’s a good practice? Yes, but I think it’s even better when you ask specific questions that enable you to identify for the person what you can help with and then just give it as opposed to making a general, “Hey, if I can help you, too, let me know.” Take the burden off people to figure out how you can help.

Also, there are some people who would rather you pay it forward than pay it back. That is essentially the ideal outcome of offering someone help – you create a win-win for two people you want to help by introducing them.

Make sure you update the people who help you on what happens, especially the good stuff. A thank you card is a dying, but uber appreciated gesture of gratitude.

Being aware of these practices and taking corrective action can mean the difference in generating momentum toward your goals and being stuck in an abyss of frustration.

What are some ways people have discouraged you from helping them?

Carole King – It’s Too Late [HD]

Carole King sings ‘It’s Too Late’ from her 1971 Ode album ‘Tapestry’ – one of the best selling ever. This song written by King and Toni Stern reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, won the Record of the Year Grammy and is on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs list.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play.

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales.

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019, and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

5 Real Reasons Your Network Hasn’t Stepped Up To Help You

This term “ghosting” spells out a new level of pain to the concept of putting yourself out there and getting nothing back. Being in limbo with your career already comes with feelings of uncertainty and vulnerability. So much can happen in a job transition that can make you believe there’s something wrong with you, or that what you want isn’t viable or available. But, feeling good about yourself and your prospects is so critical to getting a successful outcome from all your efforts.

I want you to understand better what is really happening when you think you’ve been ghosted by your network so that you don’t take it personally, and keep your spirits up for the adventure and challenge that big change is.

#1

You aren’t getting a flurry of leads from your network because you’ve only asked them to be on the lookout for open positions with your particular title. This means that your network is not going to be able to uncover the hidden job market for you.

I realize this hidden job market might seem like an enigma, but it really does exist. It just means that there are people out there who you need you, but who have not gone through the formal process of creating a job requirement and getting it approved by HR or Finance. In the meantime, they are most likely experiencing some kind of pain, and they may confide in some people about their pain to their network. That is what you want your network trained to detect, report, and respond to.

This is why your network needs to understand what your future boss could be experiencing that would be a clue that he or she might need you. Once they have this information, not only can they pass along news of a job opening for your role, which happens (rarely), but they can also generate leads through their social activities, which is when a lot more useful information gets shared through closer relationships that are easier to leverage.

#2

The person or people you ask either don’t have strong persuasion skills or generally feel like their opinions don’t matter. Ineffective influencers range from in behavior from not even trying to assert their opinions to overly asserting their opinions. You would be surprised how many unlikely people are included in this group, and who would not readily admit this about themselves, if they’re even aware. It would be much easier to avoid you than to admit that they weren’t able to make something happen for you.

Especially in a large company, people may not feel like they have influence. They may want very much to help you, but don’t feel as though a recommendation from them would carry much weight. This can be a painful realization. It may make them feel bad, and they may not want to confront you because of how they feel, especially if they get ghosted. Oof, right?!

What if you are one of those people? My advice – get a coach!

#3

They are unhappy where you are aspiring to work. They may not tell you that for multiple reasons. It could be because they don’t want to say something disparaging. They may not want to explain why they will stay there unhappy, but could have their reasons – benefits, vacation time, golden handcuffs, change is scary, feeling there may not be something better, etc.. They don’t necessarily want you to share in their misery, but they won’t necessarily be forthright about it. So they will avoid having to answer any more questions. Before you ask someone for help getting into their company, do a mini-informational interview. Ask people what they do and don’t like about working there. You may find out you don’t even want to work there.

#4

They feel bad for you, but don’t have faith in you. This is what we fear, so I know this one hurts. Sometimes we relate to people as we once knew them and it’s hard to envision them as anything else. They do that to us, too.  If someone knew you since you were young, they might still see you as the kid who dropped the ball in the playoff game, or who played a prank on the principal. It doesn’t mean we can’t outgrow images. It isn’t always an easy thing to do, and sometimes it’s not worth the effort, but we have to take ownership if that person has never really been able to see anything else but that person in us. It could be just a matter of you showing that person how grown-up you are now, or this person was just meant to be a part of your past and you might want to leave them there. The person you ask has to have some faith that the introduction is going to make them look good, and not make them look bad. Reintroduce yourself.

#5

You know there are things that you don’t get around to doing. It’s a noisy, busy world. Just think about it – we have cars, houses, bills, pets, children, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, classes, paperwork, taxes, not to mention bodies that need our attention. Take ownership of follow up and practice patient persistence and forgiveness. People genuinely want to help, but very few of us have our sh*t together so much that we never let things fall through the cracks. Some people are certainly better than others. I can’t count how many times my patient persistence led to people thanking me. Firstly, you should aim to understand what method of communication people prefer. So many people prefer texting nowadays for reminders and to confirm plans. Some people who are active on social media can be easier to reach through messengers. Of course, there’s something about hearing the sincerity in your voice, too. Try each of these up to 5 times before you give up on someone or judge them as inconsiderate or undependable.

Look, unless we know for sure what is going on with someone on their end, all we can do is guess, which means we’re assuming. You know what ASS-U-ME means, right? Having someone sponsor you for a job is a great plan A, but there’s a whole alphabet. The less you let people let you down, the faster you can pick yourself up and continue to take action, the more you can generate momentum, and the more empowered you’ll be to make a choice that is in your highest good.

Don’t let other people’s lack of response discourage you. Focus on making so many things happen that you barely notice the things that don’t. Work on developing your ability to influence and inspire others. You don’t have to give everyone else power of your fate.

4 Non Blondes – What’s Up

Listen to the Best Of 4 Non Blondes here: http://playlists.udiscovermusic.com/playlist/4-non-blondes-best-of Stream more from 4 Non Blondes: https://4NonBlondes.lnk.to/Essentials Follow 4 Non Blondes & Linda Perry https://www.facebook.com/4nonblondes/ https://twitter.com/reallindaperry Music video by 4 Non Blondes performing What’s Up. (C) 1992 Interscope Records

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and recently instructed for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cabrini College, where her students won the national competition and were named America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Debunking Networking Myths That Keep People From Optimal Careers

When I speak about job search, I ask people, “Who has heard before that networking is the #1 way to find a job,” or I’ll ask people to “Fill in the blank… what is the #1 way to find a job?” Without fail most, if not all, of the attendees will correctly state the answer. (Networking is the #1 way to find a job.)

Then I ask them to tell me what they spend most of their time doing, and the answers don’t match up. So, do I just shake my finger at them? That’s not my style. I know that the solutions only reveal themselves when we really know the root cause. I seek to understand and empathize.

So, when I ask job seekers why they spend most of their transition time scouring job boards and filling out online applications when they know logically that the chances of getting a job that way are ~7%, I hear one of the following:

  1. Networking isn’t my thing
  2. I don’t have a network
  3. I’ve exhausted my network

#1 is not a truth; it’s a limiting belief either about yourself, about the expectation of receiving help, or about networking.

If someone sold you the idea that there is something dirty, immoral, inauthentic, or selfish about promoting yourself, networking will make you feel icky. You might have been taught from a young age to be seen and not heard, or that you need to yield to someone else’s needs or agenda. For that reason, you might prefer to let others get the glory while you stay meek and humble in the background.

Here’s the truth about #2, too – if you are on a first name basis with people outside your family, networking is your thing. It doesn’t have to look like making superficial connections with people you wouldn’t otherwise want to associate and using people. Even if you are an introvert, even if your network is small comparatively to other people, there is still a way to engage in meaningful connection with others and produce employment leads as a byproduct.

Here’s an opinion, albeit a much more empowering and relevant opinion – You were born with unique gifts and values, and you were gifted unique experiences and influences. Not only do you owe it to yourself to take every opportunity to expand your ability to use those gifts, but other people depend on this as well.

Whatever rules you were given that restricted your permission to own your own light and brilliance, I release you from those rules and give you full permission to love yourself unabashedly. We can only love others to the capacity we love ourselves.

The internet attributes this idea to Bréne Brown, but Matthew 22:39 states, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” So many focus on the neighbor part, but if you read this a bit deeper, you’ll notice that you are supposed to love yourself, and love your neighbor as much.

Take it from someone who believed that I had to be meek and humble, but found myself being victimized by people who sought to abuse me to gain artificial power, even though they were supposed to be aligned to the same principals as me. I found that I don’t need to steal other people’s light, and in fact doing so dulls mine. But I must not let others steal my light, or there will be others living in darkness.

First, you have to learn to love and appreciate your own light, and then you have to let it shine. That’s a high-level look at networking at its finest. Consider it to be an activity that enables you to find those who can show you where your light is needed most.

Beyond your immediate circle of influence are many people who will “get” you, who will like you exactly the way you are, and who want to help you, because it makes them feel valuable.

#3 comes from people who are from one of two categories:

  1. You are a people pleaser, and you can’t stand the thought of someone not liking you or feeling annoyed by you. You, therefore, will only seek to be helpful and not a burden. You figure people will help if they want to and like you, so you’ll ask, but you’ll make it seem nonchalant. You’ll tell people, when they have time, if it’s not too much trouble, they can help you by letting you know about jobs open or by introducing you to people. Then, people do little to help you and you worry that you’ve been too forward, too demanding, or too annoying. You wonder if these people even really like you. The lack of action or response is painful and re-opens old wounds from when you wanted desperately to be accepted, maybe even popular. You are immediately discouraged and you give up, figuring that people don’t want to help and they don’t like you. You’ll assume you have better chances applying online cold to new people who are more likely to give you a chance.
  2. You literally spoke with anyone and everyone was willing to listen. You asked humbly for help. However, if you didn’t generate momentum by doing so, you most likely didn’t apply the best practices or properly train your network how to identify a good lead for you. You may have presented it too much as a favor to you, and didn’t get across exactly what value you have to offer. You may have only asked them to let you know if they hear about and opening for your title. You also may have thought that by being very general and broad about what you want, that your network would produce more leads.

It seems counter-intuitive, but you will produce more high-quality leads by being specific about the kinds of problems you solve, the kinds of initiatives that you make successful and the kinds of challenges you know well how to overcome, and then being clear about who would be experiencing these problems, challenges and initiatives and asking for introductions to these people.

Even beyond not adequately inspiring or educating your network, there are still other reasons why you might find efforts to network in order to land a new job fail, and I’ll cover more of them next week: Real Reasons Your Network Hasn’t Stepped Up To Help You

So Lonely – The Police w/ Lyrics

Single from the Album: Outlandos d’Amour Writer: Sting Released: November 1978 Re-released: February 1980 Length: 3:10 (7″ single edit), 4:52 (Full-length album version) Label: A&M Records Producer(s): Stewart Copeland, Sting, Andy Summers Personnel: Sting (Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE) born: October 2, 1951 Bass guitar, lead and backing vocals, harmonica Andy Summers (Andrew James “Andy” Summers) born: December 31, 1942 Guitar, spoken word and piano Stewart Copeland (Stewart Armstrong Copeland) born: July 16, 1952 Drums, percussion, backing vocals

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and recently instructed for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cabrini College, where her students won the national competition and were named America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs.