Networking Strategies for Introverts

KMG Consultants Inc. Networking Strategies for Introverts
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Sometimes networking isn’t a choice. Your job may require you to make networking connections as part of your regular duties. Introverts are made uneasy about social tasks in general and possibly more so when they’re a requirement.

Don’t panic. We’ve assembled some strategies that will help introverts become more comfortable at networking events. Give them a try and start improving your skills this week.

Practice Networking Techniques

The anticipation of a networking event is often more painful for introverts than attending the actual event. Reduce your fears by getting them out of your head with a trial run. Set up a practice session with friends, family, and coworkers. What are you most afraid of? Act out your nightmares and you will reduce your fearful anticipation to manageable levels by developing coping responses before hand. You may not eliminate your fear, but you will reduce it.

Have Short Conversations

Networking is frightening for introverts because the worst situations we’ve imagined feature long conversations with lots of different people we don’t know. Relax, you don’t have to have a lot of long conversations. It’s perfectly reasonable to approach people at the event to say hello and request their business card and offer yours and then move on by simply explaining that your time is limited. People will appreciate your efficiency. Let them know that you’ll contact them later and then remember to follow up within the next day or two with an email, a useful resource, or an invitation for a cup of coffee.

Write Open-Ended Questions

Develop a few questions in advance based on the event topic to develop conversations starters. Write out your questions on cards and become familiar with them before the event. You can add some bullet points related to these questions for further discussion. Your goal is to develop familiarity and ease with your topics before the event. Practice asking the questions and answering them out loud to increase your comfort levels.

Identify Preferred Contacts

It’s often possible to use your existing contacts or to contact the event’s organizers to find out who will be presenting at or attending the event. Use this information to craft a list of people who you would like to meet. Pick a number from one-to-ten and decide to meet only the number of people you’re honestly comfortable meeting. Be honest with yourself. If you can only handle one person at a time then only plan to introduce yourself to one person. If you attend 4 networking events in one month then that means you’ve made 4 new contacts.

Build Social Links Before You Network

Introverts find social media to be great tool when they want to reach out to colleagues, coworkers, and contacts without increase the stress created at face-to-face events. Use LinkedIn or Facebook to reach out to your friends if you want an introduction to someone at an upcoming event. Connecting through social media allows you to start a conversation before the event that you can continue when you meet in person. The hard part is already done!

Volunteer, Organize, and Present

Networking is easier for introverts if they’re part of the event from the very beginning. By becoming part of the event as a volunteer, organizer, or presenter you are able to build connections from the inside out. Often you will be invited to participate in training events prior to the event that will allow you to practice reaching out to others in your professional community in a low-pressure situation. If you have a particular area of expertise consider leading a workshop or talk, which are both great ways to make a big impact at one event in a limited focus.

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Developing a Success Mindset

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Welcome to the KMG Consultants Inc. WordPress! Learn more about more company on our Twitter: @KMGConsultants

Sometimes success can be a bad thing. If you’re a star at the start of your career it’s possible to develop an expectation of success. This mindset means that you’re not open to trying new things and that you’re resistant to risk because it introduces the possibility of failure. Having a fixed mindset means that you see challenges as threats and engage obstacles with fear, not curiosity or even excitement.

To achieve success you must develop a mindset focused on growth. You may not have gotten great grades, but you always did the work and attacked problems with enthusiasm. A growth mindset is flexible, resilient, and passionate. It doesn’t require genius because is comfortable with asking questions. You’re not afraid of people knowing you don’t have all of the answers.

Risk is Good for Business

Now that you understand the qualities of the fixed mindset and the growth mindset you probably think you’ve got everything under control. If only it were that easy! A mindset for growth can turn into a fixed mindset without you noticing the change.

As you advance in your career and are given additional assignments your growth mindset can gradually move from nimble to fixed. An increase in responsibilities comes with an increase in status, authority, income, and professional reputation. When someone has more to lose his or her response usually is to avoid risk.

Instead of imagining a variety of solutions to a problem you may chose not to act. If you’re interested in advancing in your career—or even keeping your job—you must set up an interior warning system programed to alter you when you start to reject innovative solutions.

Failure is a Gift

When you, a team member, a colleague, a boss, or an employee wants to take a risk pause for a moment to consider the pros and cons and then make a decision. And here’s the scary part—sometimes the solution you pick won’t work. Don’t panic. Don’t blame anyone.

Recognize failure as a gift and take responsibility for the outcomes. Fixing the problem provides you and your team an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. You are a person with a growth mindset and you’re able to turn failure into fortune.

Learn From Your Experience

The best strategy for managing failure is to keep a record of it. Once the project is finished and a solution is found you schedule a time for your team to review all of the successes and failures achieved on the road toward completion.

Together, you’re going to perform a post-mortem, like investigators do on detective shows. They examine what went wrong. They discuss how decisions were made. They review the resources that were available during the assignment. They search to understand what happened, why it happened, and how it happened.

They also keep an eye open for out-of-the-box thinking, bold suggestions, and creative ideas that might not have worked for now but could work at another time or in another situation.

Follow these strategies and try out some of your own and you’ll be well on your way to creating a success mindset.

KMG Consultants September 2015 Newsletter

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The view form the pool during the KMG Consultants Cancun trip!

KMG Consultants is ready for fall! As the summer came to a close, there were many different events and activities that we were proud to attend.

The Cancun R&R trip was a blast! From the sandy beaches to relaxing at the pool, it was a worthwhile time to come together and rest up to finish the year strong. Check out our photos from the event on Facebook!

There also were some promotions at KMG Consultants! Jazzmyn has been promoted to leadership in just two short weeks. Happy Birthday to KMG Consultants Assistant Manager Aaron Birsen, which will be on September 17th.

We are also looking forward to Bill & Aaron’s trip to Los Angeles in October, as well as the next round of Business Building Blocks.

View the KMG Consultants September 2015 Newsletter by clicking here!

6 Quick Tips for Improving Your Focus

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No matter how well organized you think you are—you’re going to get distracted. Life is very complicated. You have constant demands on your time and attention. In order to finish our tasks at work—and be an active participant in your personal life—need to be able to maintain focus.

At work there are emails, text messages, phone calls, and colleagues who stop at our desks for informal check-ins. At home you have chores to do, hobbies to enjoy, and relationships to nurture. You’re focusing on achieving a work life balance. However, sometimes staying focused seems nearly impossible. But it’s not.

It’s possible to improve your focus at work and at home. All you need is a little discipline, a few new habits, and some useful tips. Review the list below and try them out. Remember to share you search for better focus with your team at work, your friends, and family. Finding focus is good for everyone.

Plan Your Day: It’s such an obvious suggestion we often overlook it. Make a plan for you day. List of your tasks at work and home. Rank them for importance from 1 to 4. What doesn’t get done today goes to the top of the list for tomorrow.

Organize Your Email: Don’t let email folders fill up to overflowing. It’s distracting because you worry about unfinished tasks. Set a time everyday to go through your inbox. Resolve each message before moving on. Unsubscribe from anything not directly related to assignments and goals.

Quiet Works Best: Focus works better without distractions. Let your team know that you’re trying to improve your focus and reduce distractions. Get some headphone and listen to inspirational music. If your team suffers from too much noise ask your supervisor if there is a way to quiet the environment.

Time Your Tasks: You’ll be amazed at what you’re able to get done in managed bursts of time. Ignore your email, instant messages, and phone for 20 minutes. Then check your messages and respond for 10 minutes. Then dive back in for another 20-minute sprint. You’ll be amazed at how much more you accomplish each day.

No Facebook at Work: Social media steals focus and time faster than you can know. You’re only allowed to use social media at work if it’s part of your job. Otherwise it’s a waste of time—and time theft from your company.

Eat, Drink, and Focus on Health: Take care of yourself throughout the day. Drink lots of water. Have healthy snacks near your desk. Take short breaks to stretch. Go for a walk at lunch or schedule a regular exercise plan before or after work. You’ll focus better when you’re well rested, well fed, and in good physical condition.

Working Things Out Between Co-Workers The Right Way

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Flickr CC via Phong Nguyen

For KMG Consultants, we understand that conflict within the workplace is rarely a good thing. However, it would be naïve to assume that all conflict can be avoided. So how do you deal with conflict in the workplace and resolve issues between co-workers in a productive way?

Communication

  • Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and your co-workers. When communicating with your co-workers, be sure to always do so clearly and to respond promptly.
  • After finishing a conversation with a co-worker, follow up and ensure that both of you are clear on what you discussed. You don’t want any situation to become worse or go unresolved simply because of a lack of communication.
  • If possible, always try to have conversations in person instead of through email. Not only does this decrease the likelihood that you will be misunderstood, but it will keep your fellow co-worker from thinking you are being passive aggressive or avoiding their presence.

Learn more about KMG Consultants by visiting our website at http://www.kmgconsultantsinc.com/.

Strategies for resolving issues

  • Prepare what you are going to talk about and do a little brainstorming about how the situation might play out. Don’t participate in or start a conflict if you are unprepared and have no plan.
  • Try to identify common ground with other employees.
  • This may seem obvious, but it’s important: propose a fair solution to the conflict. Nothing will get better if neither side changes their ways or suggests a solution.

Be a good person

  • Practice common courtesy—say your magic words (please and thank you) and generally be kind to other people. Even when you are flustered or angered, try to keep a polite tone of voice.
  • Respect the value of others’ time. Your problem may be important, but remember that your co-workers have schedules to keep and projects to complete as well—don’t make it all about you.
  • Don’t treat some people differently than you would others, and expect the same respect in return.
  • Give your co-workers the benefit of the doubt. Even if it seems they don’t have a good reason for what they are doing, ask questions and try to learn more about the situation. It is important that you do not jump to conclusions.
  • Don’t pass the buck! Take responsibility for your actions and don’t try to pin your mistakes on others.
  • Try to understand your fellow employee’s perspective, but don’t assume that you immediately understand their point of view without asking them several clarifying questions.

Other considerations

  • When conflicts occur, resolve them sooner rather than later. You don’t want conflicts that simmer into passive aggression and disrupt the rest of the workplace.
  • If any conflict escalates too quickly and you want to attempt to resolve the situation (but feel a little too involved to remain objective and civil), make sure that there is someone there to moderate the situation. If this is a person who is in a position of authority, that would be best.
  • If your conflict becomes serious, get superiors involved and make sure that everything is recorded.

For our latest job openings, be sure to visit the KMG Consultants CareerBuilder page!

3 Things to Make Time for Every Day

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If you are looking for ways to motivate yourself, try adding these 3 things to your daily routine that KMG Consultants uses every day. They will help you to increase your productivity, motivation, and will ultimately lead to a healthier you—both physically and mentally.

Become an early riser and early sleeper.

As the saying goes, “early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Getting enough sleep is incredibly important for maintaining physical and mental health, and going to bed early helps ensure that you are getting enough rest.

Starting your day off earlier also has a large number of benefits. First, it will provide you with adequate time in the morning to prepare for work and the rest of your day. Don’t skip your breakfast, shower, morning coffee, or other essential things in your morning routine because you stayed up late! Additionally, waking up early will give you time to fully wake up and get your mind working at peak efficiency. At KMG Consultants, we believe an early riser always gets the worm!

Start every day with meditation or focused thought.

Does your mind tend to wander during the day? Meditation or other focusing exercises can help clear your mind of distractions and fill it instead with motivation and purpose. This is a great way to start your day, and it can also be an effective tool to use during the middle of your workday if you start to lose focus.

Make time for regular physical activity.

Exercising regularly is important to maintaining personal health. You don’t have to exercise every single day, but you should try to add exercise to your normal schedule to ensure that you are getting active enough. If your schedule is jam packed, consider simply adding in a brisk 15-30 minute walk during your lunch hour or break.

On top of the obvious physical benefits of physical activity and exercise, there are mental benefits as well. For starters, exercise releases endorphins in your body, which trigger positive emotions.

Getting your blood flowing can also be an excellent way to release physical and emotional stress—making you more prepared to take each day head on. Regularly scheduled exercise time provides an opportunity for solace and introspection while improving physical health at the same time.

What essential things do you make time for everyday?

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The Most Important Thing To Have in Business: Trust

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Everyone wants to be able to trust their peers. In business, trust is everything. Clients put faith in you, co-workers rely on you, and even managers can put all their faith in you getting the job done. Earning this kind of trust doesn’t come easy, but by slowly building it up, trust can be your middle name. These are a few benefits of building trust in the business world:

Create Connections

When a person is considered trustworthy, they will get more opportunity to build relationships that benefit both parties. In order to increase your client size, and have a lasting relationship with a business partner, trust needs to be the basis. The more trust there is with a company, the more chance that business will grow. Whenever things get too tough, or a big problem is on the horizon, you want to have someone to go to help you out. It’s always comforting to know that through your trustworthiness, you have a wide selection of people to go to help remedy a situation.

Ensure The Right Fit

Building trust will help a client find comfort in doing business with you. When the trust isn’t there, a client could easily go and check out the competition, and leave you in the dust. Trust requires a certain attitude that makes you genuine. The more real your offer or pitch sounds, the better chance a client will accept it. Help them remove any doubt hat you aren’t what you say you are. Ensure to them that they are making the correct choice.

Build a Trustable Reputation

Ever wondered why a co-worker get the big projects and you don’t? You may not have as much of a strong trustable reputation. Building this is important to gain more responsibility, but know that other people think of you when it comes to tackling a big problem. When you have a trustable reputation, you’re more likely to have more opportunity to shine. Build a trustable reputations to go the next level with clients, and business as a whole.

For more information about KMG Consultants, head over to our website! http://www.kmgconsultantsinc.com/