4 Networking Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Daily Muse, Contributor , Forbeswoman, 9/30/11

Whether you’re looking for a job or not, you’ve probably been encouraged to “network, network, network!” more times than you can count. Are all those conferences and

Photo courtesy of Jodi Womack.

events you’re attending leading to new connections or opportunities?

No? You’re not the only one. Many networking newbies have tendencies that actually inhibit building real relationships with their new contacts.

The good news: it’s not that hard to fix. Here’s what you might not even realize you’re doing wrong—and what to do about it.

Mistake #1: Talking about Yourself—All the Time

You’re talented! Eager! Ambitious! You have lots of ideas to share! And you want to make sure that every person you meet at the event knows who you are and what you do!

We get it. And yes, sharing your story with new contacts is important. But sharing your life story is overkill: Nothing can set a person off more than an aspiring professional who takes no interest in anything beside her own ambitions.

The Fix: Take Some Interest.

Stop highlighting your latest accomplishment and start listening instead. Find people with industries or careers of interest to you, and ask them questions: How did they get their start? What do they love about their jobs, and what do they wish they could change? By taking an interest in your contact, you will make her feel valued—and hopefully interested in continuing the relationship. And you’ll likely gain some new insights, too.

Mistake #2: Expecting a Job

You’re looking for a new job, so you hit the circuit of industry events every week, asking every person you meet to help you find your new gig—after all, it’s not what you know, it’s who.

Well, yes. But give people some credit: If you pursue networking opportunities purely for the job prospects, your contacts will figure you out. You will leave them feeling used, and they will be less likely to recommend you for an opportunity.

The Fix: Provide Some Value.

If you’re looking for a job, don’t ask for it—work for it. Do some research into what your contact does both in and out of work and find ways that you can contribute your time or support.

Perhaps you could volunteer your expertise in social media for the big convention she’s heading up, or offer your accounting knowledge for her non-profit. Provide some opportunity for contacts to see you in a working light, and you’ll be that much closer to a good referral.

Mistake #3: Not Saying Thanks

You attended a large event last week and grabbed coffee with one of your new professional contacts afterward. And then—the week got busy, and you didn’t get around to saying thank you. She’ll understand, right?
Maybe. But if you don’t show gratitude, even in the smallest (or largest) event, you risk leaving a negative impression—probably not the desired outcome of your meeting.

The Fix: Just Do It.

Whether you pack notecards in your purse for post-meeting scribbles, set yourself a reminder on Gmail to send off a quick note, or just insert a quick “thanks for taking time to meet with me!” at the final handshake, you must say thank you. Not only will you solidify your reputation as a courteous individual, but you won’t be leaving your contacts with a bad taste in their mouths. Always say thank you, and your good impression will last until your next meeting.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to Follow Up

You meet someone over a networking happy hour and tell her you’ll send her your portfolio. But as the night goes on, she has a few drinks and meets a few dozen more people. You’re sure she’s forgotten all about you, so you decide it’s not even worth emailing her the next day.

Bad idea. Meeting someone is just the first step in networking. In order to forge a lasting relationship (and make sure people don’t forget you), you need to follow up, every single time.

The Fix: Stay Accountable.

If you told a networking contact that you would do something, do it. Even if you’re not sure she remembers you, you can bet that she will be grateful that you took the time out of your day to send her what you had discussed. If you’re worried about forgetting, keep a pen near your business card holder to quickly scribble out what follow-up actions you have for that contact, and review your cards after the event.

Above all, keep in mind that networking isn’t about short-term gain, but about learning, growing, and forming connections. Adopt good social habits, and you’ll see your skills and comfort improve, your opportunities increase, and your relationships grow—for the long haul.

4 Networking Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Daily Muse, Contributor , Forbeswoman, 9/30/11

Whether you’re looking for a job or not, you’ve probably been encouraged to “network, network, network!” more times than you can count. Are all those conferences and

Photo courtesy of Jodi Womack.

events you’re attending leading to new connections or opportunities?

No? You’re not the only one. Many networking newbies have tendencies that actually inhibit building real relationships with their new contacts.

The good news: it’s not that hard to fix. Here’s what you might not even realize you’re doing wrong—and what to do about it.

Mistake #1: Talking about Yourself—All the Time

You’re talented! Eager! Ambitious! You have lots of ideas to share! And you want to make sure that every person you meet at the event knows who you are and what you do!

We get it. And yes, sharing your story with new contacts is important. But sharing your life story is overkill: Nothing can set a person off more than an aspiring professional who takes no interest in anything beside her own ambitions.

The Fix: Take Some Interest.

Stop highlighting your latest accomplishment and start listening instead. Find people with industries or careers of interest to you, and ask them questions: How did they get their start? What do they love about their jobs, and what do they wish they could change? By taking an interest in your contact, you will make her feel valued—and hopefully interested in continuing the relationship. And you’ll likely gain some new insights, too.

Mistake #2: Expecting a Job

You’re looking for a new job, so you hit the circuit of industry events every week, asking every person you meet to help you find your new gig—after all, it’s not what you know, it’s who.

Well, yes. But give people some credit: If you pursue networking opportunities purely for the job prospects, your contacts will figure you out. You will leave them feeling used, and they will be less likely to recommend you for an opportunity.

The Fix: Provide Some Value.

If you’re looking for a job, don’t ask for it—work for it. Do some research into what your contact does both in and out of work and find ways that you can contribute your time or support.

Perhaps you could volunteer your expertise in social media for the big convention she’s heading up, or offer your accounting knowledge for her non-profit. Provide some opportunity for contacts to see you in a working light, and you’ll be that much closer to a good referral.

Mistake #3: Not Saying Thanks

You attended a large event last week and grabbed coffee with one of your new professional contacts afterward. And then—the week got busy, and you didn’t get around to saying thank you. She’ll understand, right?
Maybe. But if you don’t show gratitude, even in the smallest (or largest) event, you risk leaving a negative impression—probably not the desired outcome of your meeting.

The Fix: Just Do It.

Whether you pack notecards in your purse for post-meeting scribbles, set yourself a reminder on Gmail to send off a quick note, or just insert a quick “thanks for taking time to meet with me!” at the final handshake, you must say thank you. Not only will you solidify your reputation as a courteous individual, but you won’t be leaving your contacts with a bad taste in their mouths. Always say thank you, and your good impression will last until your next meeting.

Mistake #4: Forgetting to Follow Up

You meet someone over a networking happy hour and tell her you’ll send her your portfolio. But as the night goes on, she has a few drinks and meets a few dozen more people. You’re sure she’s forgotten all about you, so you decide it’s not even worth emailing her the next day.

Bad idea. Meeting someone is just the first step in networking. In order to forge a lasting relationship (and make sure people don’t forget you), you need to follow up, every single time.

The Fix: Stay Accountable.

If you told a networking contact that you would do something, do it. Even if you’re not sure she remembers you, you can bet that she will be grateful that you took the time out of your day to send her what you had discussed. If you’re worried about forgetting, keep a pen near your business card holder to quickly scribble out what follow-up actions you have for that contact, and review your cards after the event.

Above all, keep in mind that networking isn’t about short-term gain, but about learning, growing, and forming connections. Adopt good social habits, and you’ll see your skills and comfort improve, your opportunities increase, and your relationships grow—for the long haul.

How Are Your Relationships At Work?

Regardless of whether you sell a product or a service, how are your relationships at work? Do you spend time getting to know your clients, your employees, and your vendors? In a technology-driven, fast-paced world, taking the time to connect with the people involved in every aspect of your business will pay off in the long-term.

1. Be Genuine

People automatically take in both verbal and nonverbal body language when they interact with you. If your words are not congruent with you nonverbal body language, then people will pick up on the inconsistencies and when they do, then it makes it twice as hard for them to trust in you. This can affect your sales and the office atmosphere.
When you are being genuine, you connect with the other person by making direct eye contact, by engaging in back and forth conversation that does not get off topic, and by tending to their needs. If your mind is wandering or your feelings do not match with what you are saying, then it can also prolong figuring out if everyone’s needs were met in the interaction. When you are focused on someone and in the present moment, not thinking about the past or future, then your thoughts/feelings/actions are all on the same page. Even if the other person is scattered, your presence can help calm, re-center, and re-orient them to solving the issue at hand.

2. Smile

Both men and women respond to being smiled at in a friendly, engaging, professional manner. A smile does not mean you are flirting with the opposite sex. When you have a pleasant smile on your face you broadcast that you are at ease, approachable, and if someone wants to talk to you or ask a question, they know you are present and ready to help them out. Smiling at other people, and just because you are happy, also causes a chain reaction. Just try not smiling at someone the next time they smile at you.

3. Play

I love the Pikes Place FISH! philosophy and culture. One of my favorite tenets is: play. And, yes, I just said play at work. Why not? When you are playful with your co-workers, and with your customers it is almost impossible to be insincere or to frown. When you play at work, something beautiful occurs: you enjoy being at work. A dose of silliness does not mean losing your professionalism, but what it does mean is that your office climate is conducive to productivity. A byproduct may be increased efficiency and sales, just because people love what they do and are having fun with their jobs.

4. Acknowledge

While acknowledging and recognizing people for their work is germane to everyone, it’s especially meaningful when you publicly recognize women’s efforts. Women are not recognized enough at work, partly because they do not self-promote according to what John Gray, PhD, found and book, How to Get What You Want at Work. Women do not naturally boast or tell others about their accomplishments; partly because social conditioning tells women that it is uncomely to brag.

John Gray, PhD, talks in this book about how showing appreciation to men about their efforts and results may work more to their benefit rather than showing respect. Whereas the opposite tends to be true for women at work; they would rather be shown respect over appreciation for their accomplishments. If you’re interested, then you can also take a quick Mars Venus Coaching online workshop on just these differences between men and women.

5. Praise

I believe as a culture we tend to focus on the bottom-line and what’s not going well compared to how much time is spent praising and encouraging one another on what we are doing well. A simple, “hey, Joe, you did a great job on that presentation,” or a quick note will work wonders. Positive reinforcement will always net you positive results, because people like and want to feel good about themselves and their work. Therefore, if you spend more time praising people at work, regardless if they are co-workers or customers, then you will have more satisfied people at your place of work.

Enjoy placing value on your relationships to make them work at work!

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

4 To-Dos for the “Someday” Entrepreneur

By Adelaide Lancaster, Forbeswomen, 3/7/12

I talk with a lot of people who want to start a business “someday.” And as a result, I often think about the factors that determine which “someday” entrepreneurs will actually become business owners, and which will continue to say “I wish” for years to come.

Surprisingly, the ability to take the plunge has a lot less to do with people’s personalities, and a lot more to do with how accessible and familiar the experience of entrepreneurship is to them. Those who can picture themselves running a business often do. And those who continue to think of entrepreneurship as a big, scary thing that other people (perhaps more gregarious, sales-oriented, or risk-tolerant people) do tend to never move forward.

So, if you, too, dream of someday being your own boss, an important first step is just getting acquainted with the nature of the beast. Here are four things that will help you do just that.

1. Make New Friends
One of the best ways to learn what entrepreneurship is really like is by getting to know some entrepreneurs. Not necessarily the fancy, media darling types, but just normal, low-key people who work for themselves. To start, connect with entrepreneurs who match your own demographic—it helps you to start thinking “hey, if they can do it, so can I!” But be sure to branch out from there, and also to meet people in a wide variety of industries. There are lots of styles of entrepreneurship, so the more diversity you can experience, the better!

If you don’t know any entrepreneurs, just start asking people to make some introductions. Or, join groups on LinkedIn or Facebook, and start paying attention to the discussions that are happening. Ask someone you find interesting to have coffee and take it from there. Pick their brain about useful resources, groups, or meetings, and see if they can introduce you to even more entrepreneurs.

2. Pick Some New Role Models
In addition to making some new pals, it’s important to identify role models who are a little more established in the business world. You might not be able to take them to coffee, but you can learn a lot by observing them and their companies from afar.
Select three brands or companies that you like and admire. Find as many ways to follow their leaders as possible—be it their blogs, articles, or Facebook profiles. Read their books if they have them. Read their press and interviews that they’ve done. Think about how their personalities and leadership styles have shaped the brands and the companies they run. Stay abreast of their company news, and take note of what they share about their own experience.

3. Fall in Love with Small Business as a Customer
There’s a certain romance to small business. As a customer, there’s always something more special about the experience. Sometimes it’s witnessing changes over the years, other times it’s the connection to the owner, others it’s the attention to detail that’s given to the product or service.

And there’s a lot to learn from that! So, in addition to making friends with entrepreneurs themselves, it’s important to also make relationships with some actual businesses. Think about the small businesses that you currently patronize, or the new start-ups whose products you love. What do you know about their owners or story? What are their goals and where are they going? What do they do that’s memorable, distinct, or unique? What do they do particularly well? Thinking about your own experiences as a customer will give you tons of insight into running your own show.

4. Demystify “Business” Speak
Most would-be entrepreneurs get scared off by the “business” side of things. They overestimate the skills and knowledge that are needed to run a business and assume that there are huge mountains to be climbed and learning curves to overcome before even getting started.

But it’s important to confront the monster under the bed—it’s not as hard as you might think, and you certainly don’t have to have an MBA to do it. Pick a small business magazine like Inc. or Fast Company and invest $15 to get a subscription. Peruse it each month, but feel free to read only what’s interesting to you. You’ll soon see how un-mysterious business can be. From behind-the-scenes business profiles to questions about how to handle particular challenges, you’ll begin to learn a lot about the experience of entrepreneurship.

As you start talking to people, expanding your reading list, and thinking more and more about the what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, you’ll soon see that it’s not as big and scary as you might think. And that “someday” will inch a little bit closer to today.

Moving on Up: How to Ask for a Promotion

ForbesWoman 10/04/2011

Asking for a promotion ranks high on the list of life’s most anxiety-inducing activities. Putting yourself out there to higher-ups can be intimidating, and competition can be fierce, especially in the current economic climate. And, of course, what if they say no?
But—it’s also one of the most important things you can do for your career. If you want to move forward in your company or field, promotions are part of the game, and they won’t just be handed to you—you have to work (and ask!) for them.
Ready to take that next step? Here’s what to know before the big conversation.

1. Do Your Homework
The most important part of asking for a promotion is preparing ahead of time. When you make the ask, you’ll need to prove (with specifics) that you’re ready for the next step.
First, you’ll want to emphasize to your manager what you’ve brought to the table so far—it’s a good measure of both your contributions and your future potential. Make a list of all of your accomplishments to use as your talking points. Have you taken on a side project that grew into a new revenue stream? Doubled your sales goals in less than six months? Doing a great job in your position isn’t enough to make your case—you’ll need to show that you’ve gone above and beyond.
Next, identify the specific position you want, and why you’re ready to take it on. If you’re asking to become assistant manager, know what that entails and then demonstrate that you’ll be able to fulfill the position. Want to be a team leader? Give examples of how you’ve successfully managed smaller projects or groups of people, like coordinating your department’s internship program. Find concrete examples that prove that you’re the right person for the job.

2. Plan the Timing
There’s no “perfect” time to ask for a promotion, but sometimes are definitely better than others. The most straightforward time to ask is your annual (or semi-annual) review—it’s a built-in opportunity for both you and your manager to discuss how you’ve been doing and where your career is headed. (Just be sure that you’re not asking for a promotion solely because you’re up for review—you still need to demonstrate that you deserve the bump.)
Also consider your position in the company and what’s going on within your department or team. Are people around you leaving or moving up the ranks? Is your department merging with another, or repositioning itself within the company? When there’s a lot of overall change going on, it presents a great opportunity to step up and ask your boss where she sees you fitting in as the organization moves forward.
Finally, don’t be scared off by the dismal economy. Even in these tough times, smart employers understand that their employees are one of their most valuable assets, and they’ll want to retain (and reward) the best of them. You might get a smaller salary bump than people did in years past, but a promotion isn’t just about the money: It’s also about increased responsibilities, and hopefully you’ll be fiscally rewarded when the economy starts to turn around, even if you aren’t now.

3. Ask for the Meeting
If you decide to ask for a promotion when it’s not annual review time, plan ahead before you approach your manager. Send an email requesting a meeting, and make it clear that you’d like to discuss your performance and potential. You don’t want to show up to a meeting and catch your manager off guard—by giving her advance notice, she’ll have time to reflect on your performance and what the company will be able to offer you, position- and raise-wise.

4. Know Your Numbers
One of the biggest career mistakes women make is not negotiating their salary. According to a 2008 Carnegie Mellon study, men are four times more likely to negotiate a first salary than women, and 2.5 times more women than men said they feel “a great deal of apprehension” about negotiation. That’s not a good thing!
You shouldn’t discuss numbers until you’ve actually been offered a promotion, but you should be prepared to have the conversation if it arises. So, do your research and know what you’re worth, both within the company and outside of it. Check out Pay Scale and Salary.com, and see if you can find out the norms for your industry and company, too.
Then, when negotiation talks begin, don’t sell yourself short—it doesn’t hurt to ask for too much. That’s the nature of the negotiating game: they can always offer you less than what you ask for, but they’ll never offer you more.

5. Follow Up
If you get the promotion, great! Go out and celebrate—you deserve it! But if not, know that it’s not the end of the world, and more importantly, don’t just close the conversation just yet.
Make sure you leave the meeting with an idea of what will happen down the road. If now is not a good time for the department to be offering promotions, ask your boss when you can revisit the conversation. If he or she said no based on your current qualifications, get feedback on steps you can take to gain experience and be considered for a promotion in the future.

Above all, know that if you’re in the right position, your manager will be glad that you’re looking to advance. Nobody ever gets fired for asking for a promotion (trust me!). But if you don’t ask, you’re only hurting yourself.

To Increase Revenue Stop Selling

Mike Myatt, Contributor, Forbes Magazine 5/1/12

Creating or expanding business relationships is not about selling – it’s about establishing trust, rapport, and value creation without selling. Call me crazy, but I don’t want to talk to someone who wants to manage my account, develop my business, or engineer my sale. I want to communicate with someone who desires to fulfill my needs or solve my problems. Any organization that still has “sales” titles on their org charts and business cards is living in another time and place, while attempting to do business in a world that’s already passed them by.

Engage me, communicate with me, add value to my business, solve my problems, create opportunity for me, educate me, inform me, but don’t try and sell me – it won’t work. An attempt to sell me insults my intelligence and wastes my time. Think about it; do you like to be sold? News flash – nobody does. Now ask yourself this question, do you like to be helped? Most reasonable people do. The difference between the two positions while subtle, is very meaningful.

The traditional practice of sales as a business discipline has become at best ineffective, and in many cases flat out obsolete. You see, good business practices are not static. Stale methodologies and disciplines simply die a slow and very painful death, and it is my contention the overwhelming majority of sales processes I see in today’s marketplace are just that – stale.

The problem with many sales organizations is they still operate with the same principles and techniques they were using in the 60′s, 70’s and 80’s. While the technology supporting sales process have clearly evolved, the traditional sales strategies proffered by sales gurus 20 or 30 years ago have not kept pace with market needs. They are not nearly as effective as they once were, and as I’ve alluded to, in most cases they are obsolete.
Trust me when I tell you that your existing and potential clients have heard it all before. They can see the worn-out, old school closes coming a mile away. They can sniff antiquated selling strategies, and will immediately tune out on presentations not deemed relevant. If your sales force is still FAB-selling, spin-selling, soft-selling or using any number of outdated, one size fits all selling methodologies, your sales are suffering whether you realize it or not. If you want to create revenue, increase customer satisfaction, and drive brand equity, stop selling and start adding value.

Lest you think I’ve lost my mind, I want to be clear that I’m not advocating taking your eye off the revenue creation ball. Rather what I’m recommending will help you generate more revenue, with greater velocity by simply doing the right thing in putting your customer’s needs first.

I hear a lot of noise about the tough economy, and revenue being down for many companies. I hear complaint upon complaint that companies just don’t have money to spend, and that nobody is buying. If you’re experiencing this type of reaction from your customer, it’s not because they don’t have money to spend, it’s because you’re selling and not adding value. It’s because you’re talking and not listening. It’s because you don’t get it.

It’s not about you, your company, your products or your services. It’s about meeting customer needs and adding value. When you start paying more attention to your customer needs than your revenue needs, you’ll find you no longer have a revenue problem to complain about.

So, my first suggestion is you change nomenclature. Clients are people not fish. Don’t “lure” or “hook” them – engage them, listen to them and serve them. Eliminate the words “suspects” and “prospects” from your vocabulary and replace them with potential clients. Think about it – do you establish trust by profiling and targeting prospects, or by attempting to understand the needs of a potential client? This is much more than a semantical argument – it’s a philosophical shift in thinking, and a practical shift in acting. Stop selling and start serving.

The truth is most corporations have a hierarchy of sales that comes with a very established and entrenched pecking order. The enterprise sales folks and key accounts reps sit atop the food chain, followed by inside sales reps, and at the bottom of the ladder you’ll find the customer service reps. The hunters are revered and the farmers are tolerated. Regardless of the titles being used, this entire concept of sales is so antiquated it’s laughable. Frankly, most people I know would rather talk to a knowledgeable customer service person over a sales rep any day of the week. The reason for this should be obvious – the perception is a customer service professional is providing information and helping them meet their needs. A sales person is trying to sell them something.

It’s time for companies to realize that consumers have become very savvy and very demanding. Today’s consumer (B2B or B2C) does their homework, is well informed, and buys…they are not sold.

If customer centricity is a buzzword as opposed to the foundation of your corporate culture then your leadership has some work to do. The reality is until I know that you care more about meeting my needs than yours, you’ll remain on the outside looking in. By the way, in order to understand my needs you have to actually know something about me…

Since the large majority of all buying decisions either begin or conclude on the Internet, you better be visible online. In addition to the basics of search engine optimization and traditional search engine marketing, I would strongly suggest getting involved in social networking. Just by having a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social networking platforms, you not only open-up a new communications channel to your existing clients, but you also make yourself readily available to those looking to find what you have to offer.

Teach your sales force to become true professionals focused on helping their customers for all the right reasons vs. closing the big deal for personal benefit. To do otherwise will lead to missing substantial opportunities without even being aware of it.

The most important factor in creating revenue and building brand equity is the client/customer/end-user. If you don’t engineer everything around the client, your client relationships will vanish before your very eyes. Don’t be just another vendor, become a trusted adviser and advocate.

Five Reasons Baby Boomers Need To Review Estate Plans (And It’s Not About Taxes)

Kaycee Krysty, Forbes Magazine  3/29/2012

Conventional wisdom has it that baby boomers are about to receive one of the largest waves of inheritance in history. But in a recent speech, “Capacity for Care: Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow,” Paul G. Schervish, Boston College professor and renowned researcher on wealth and philanthropy in America, made a startling pronouncement: Boomers will give away much more than they receive.

That’s a call to action to review our estate plans. Wills, trusts and other documents put in place years ago may no longer reflect who you are, what you care about or what you have today. With so much at stake, being intentional about who gets what is more important than ever. It’s not about our parent’s generation anymore. It’s about us.

In fact, Schervish’s remarks really hit home for me. Just before our recent trip to Hawaii, my husband Michael and I suddenly discovered that although we had talked about changes in our plan, we had never gotten around to communicating them to our attorney. Yikes! We found in our file notes about possible changes and marked up old documents, but no new ones. You can bet that this resulted in a flurry of activity before we got on a jet to fly over the ocean.

As I looked over those changes I was struck by how different our thinking is now, in our late 50s and early 60s, than it was the last time we tackled these issues.
In midlife planning tends to be mainly about making sure your affairs are in order and leaving enough for those left behind. If you have kids, their needs are front and center. Now, as boomers enter into transition, new perspectives and different priorities emerge. Today, it’s more about you, your security, and your legacy.
Here are five things Michael and I noticed as we completed the exercise with our attorney. Perhaps some of them will fit for you.

1. Relationships change. Perhaps you left money to people or gave them responsibilities that no longer make sense. Say your connection with these people isn’t what it used to be. Or maybe they no longer need your help. That is an important reason to change your plans. Do you have the right people in place?

2. Kids grow up. You may find that your old documents are laced with protective measures for children who were still minors. Now that they are young adults, you know a lot about their character. With luck, they are fully launched in their own lives and careers, or close to it. Are those protective devices still required?

3. You know a lot more about your health. For better or worse, as we age our physical future becomes more apparent. In addition, medical science has greatly advanced in its predictive ability. You might have more information than you had 10 years ago to consider the future–and it’s not just death to be thinking about. Have you made provisions for a time when you may not be able to think for yourself?

4. You have more, less or different stuff. Personal property, as attorneys like to call it, tends to accumulate. You might be surprised at the sentimental value your family members place on some of your belongings. It is still true that families go to war just as often about Aunt Millie’s teapot as they do about money. You can avoid that by making some simple decisions and putting them in writing. Decide who gets what.

5. You are thinking about your legacy. The reality is that in order to leave a legacy you need to live it, and that could mean using some of your financial resources now. The older you are the more financially feasible it becomes to give things away during your lifetime, whether it’s to charity or to the people you care about. At 50 you were holding on for dear life to be sure you have plenty for retirement. At 70 those concerns change. Should you consider making some lifetime gifts, rather than waiting until the end?
Even if none of these issues fit your situation, you still may want to change something. Estate planning is a discipline where the state of the art changes constantly. There are new tools and techniques available; you may actually be able to simplify your plan. Our will was several pages shorter this time around–always a good thing in my book.
As stressful as this subject can be, Schervish leaves us with a comforting thought. What he calls the “post-boomers”–ages 28 to 45–are in better shape financially than we might think. Adjusted for inflation they have a greater level of wealth than boomers did at the same age. He also notes that they may be more financially careful since “they envision a longer lifespan and have faced the forces of financial insecurity since the 1999 recession, the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000, and the attacks and aftermath of 2001.”
The bottom line for boomers? Take care of yourself. Think about your legacy. The kids will be all right.

4th tip for the workplace

Tips for Women

Promote yourself
This is a great skill and essential in a situation where it is necessary to maintain status within a group. Being confident in promoting yourself will improve levels of communication with men in the workplace.

Avoid tag endings
One of the ways women undermine their own abilities in the work place is by using tag endings. These are the couple of little words that are often added on to the end of a sentence like “isn’t it”, “is that ok”, “maybe”, “I think”. These tiny words serve to make you look unsure and change a sentence or what could be a powerful statement in to a question.

Be direct and concise
When communicating with men, come straight to the point and leave out unnecessary details and background information. Men usually communicate in a very direct and to women’s ears, a blunt way.

Your final tip is… “Don’t take male comments so personally”
Men don’t take their comments to each other personally and can’t understand why women do. Women tend to allow their feelings to be hurt by things that men say. To help women succeed at work being able to separate business from personal issues is a great skill.

Tips for Men

Build rapport
Because relationships are important to women, if you make the effort to get to know her, or if she feels she has something in common with you, she is more likely to respond better to your requests, selling methods or ideas.

Avoid monopolizing conversations
Men need to actively practice involving women in open discussion; remembering that it is not her natural tendency to speak up over the top of others.

Don’t lecture
If a man goes on and on about the incident what happens in a woman’s head is she starts to switch from feeling responsible to defending her actions and moves from feeling remorse to resentment.

The final tip for men is “Be specific with praise
This is almost the opposite of the way we would praise a man. Because women like to be able to repeat what they did well, the more specific and the more detail you can give them about what they did well or what you liked the better it is for a woman. For example “Jan, the report you handed in was great. Having the graphs in there and the comparison of the two departments made a big impact.

Are you ready to learn even more tips? Why not get started and improve your skills with a workshop that has the timely information to make you stand out in your organization and move your business or career forward.

Again, if you found this information helpful, click the link below to learn more about the complete online video eWorkshop, “Mars and Venus in the Workplace”. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMPLETE ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP NOW

“Mars and Venus in the Workplace” is the same life-changing workshop that John Gray and his team of Mars Venus Success coaches have given in-person throughout the world. And now you can benefit from this workshop in the comfort of your own home.

PURCHASE “MARS VENUS in the WORKPLACE” ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP TODAY!

“How to Get What You Want at Work – 1st Tip For The Work Place

“How to Get What You Want at Work – 4 Tips for Dealing with the Opposite Sex at Work”. These tips are based on the fascinating online video eWorkshop: Mars and Venus in the Workplace. There are 4 unique tips for women and 4 for men that when practiced reduces gender conflict and will have the following benefits:
• Higher productivity and creativity
• Greater cooperation and collaboration
• Decreased loss of personnel, which leads to decreased cost & time spent on recruitment and training
• Better understanding of the needs and concerns of your customers (regardless of whether they are internal or external customers), and
• Better decision-making… a competitive advantage for the company as a whole when it maximizes masculine & feminine skills
Here is the first tip for both a woman and a man…

Tip For Women
Women need to practice letting others know of their achievements, their results and their ideas. Do not wait for someone to ask you for your ideas or what you’ve been up to – let them know. Men do not see this as bragging. What they see is a competent and capable person. Women need to remember that men are socialized from an early age to suppress doubts and maintain, either a façade or, a reality of self confidence. This is a great skill and essential in a situation where it is necessary to maintain status within a group. Being confident in promoting yourself will only improve levels of communication with men in the workplace.

Tip For Men
For men dealing with women, building rapport is a very easy and important way to improve your work dealings with women. Because relationships are important to women, if you make the effort to get to know them, or if they feel they have something in common with you, they are more likely to positively respond to your requests and ideas.

A female manager will typically tend to discuss a challenge or situation with others, seek their input and feedback from the team before making a recommendation to senior management. She thinks it’s important that everyone feels they have contributed to the decision and therefore are more likely to support it. This is her style of management. It is based on cooperation and collaboration (and a whole stack of other C words – conversation, connection, commiseration and compassion).When a man values and frequently practices building rapport another C word will be realized and that is COOPERATION.

The whole premise of our “Mars and Venus in the Workplace” online video eWorkshop is that we are different and equal – not that one is better than the other – different and equal. Through awareness and understanding of some basic gender differences we both can learn some simple, yet practical solutions… making it much easier to interpret each other’s behavior correctly, act accordingly and ultimately get the outcome we desire.

If you found this information helpful, click the link below to learn more about the complete online video eWorkshop, “Mars and Venus in the Workplace”. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMPLETE ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP NOW

“Mars and Venus in the Workplace” is the same life-changing, career-changing workshop that John Gray and his team of Mars Venus Success coaches have given in-person throughout the world. And now you can benefit from this workshop in the comfort of your own home.

PURCHASE TODAY! “MARS and VENUS in the WORKPLACE” ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP

The Relationships You Want. Start Here.

Sincerely,

Mars Venus Coaching Team

2nd Way Men & Women Can Reduce Each Other’s Stress

Hopefully you will learn about the changing roles of men and women, and how this has affected our stress levels.

Here is the second way we can help each other reduce stress….

#2- Recognize that men and women are actually hardwired to be different. The way our brains are structured and function is not the same. Acknowledging these hardwired gender differences helps us to identify and release our unrealistic expectations that our partners be more like us and to accept that we are not the same.

At first, these differences may seem to be a hindrance, but once you fully understand the biology, it becomes clear that we complement each other perfectly. In fact, it is as if men and women were made for each other.

Studies confirm there are real differences in the way men and women estimate time, judge speed, do math, orient themselves in space and visualize objects in 3-D. Men tend to excel in these skills. Women have more developed relationship abilities, sensitivity to emotions in others, emotional and aesthetic expression and appreciation, and language skills. Women are adept at performing detailed, planned tasks.

The advances in neuroscientific research have allowed scientists to discover significant anatomical and neuropsychological differences between male and female brains that explain our observable behavioral differences.
• A woman’s brain has a larger corpus callosum, the bundle of nerves that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This link, which produces cross-talk between the hemispheres, is 25 percent smaller in men. In practical terms, this means men do not connect feelings and thoughts as readily as women do. This stronger connection between different parts of the brain increases a woman’s ability to multitask. When she is listening, she is also thinking, remembering, feeling and planning all at the same time.
• A man’s brain is highly specialized, using a specific part of a single hemisphere to accomplish a task. A woman’s brain is more diffuse, using both hemispheres for many tasks. This neurological difference allows men to focus and to block out distractions for long periods of time. Men tend to do one thing at a time in their brains and in life.
This insight can help a woman not to take it personally when he is at his computer and seems annoyed when she asks him a question. For her, it is a simple task to shift her attention when she is interrupted, but for him it is much more difficult.

In a similar manner, women become annoyed when a man tries to narrow down the focus of her conversation to a single point. He may interrupt her and ask her to get to the point, or ask what she wants him to do when she is still just connecting all the dots of what she is talking about. Quite commonly men will say, “I understand”, but what a woman hears that he wants her to finish talking.

By understanding our differences, we can begin today applying new insights and strategies to support each other in lowering stress levels. The most effective way to do this is to respect our differences-which are anatomical and hardwired in our brains.

If you found this information helpful, click the link below to learn more about the complete online video eWorkshop Why Mars & Venus Collide.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COMPLETE ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP NOW

Why Mars & Venus Collide is the same life-changing workshop that John Gray and his team of Mars Venus Success coaches have given in-person throughout the world. And now you can benefit from this workshop in the comfort of your own home.

PURCHASE WHY MARS & VENUS COLLIDE ONLINE VIDEO eWORKSHOP TODAY!

The Relationships You Want. Start Here.

Sincerely,

Mars Venus Coaching