Networking is More (and Less) Than You Think

Laura Okmin

Sometimes, the most valuable lessons come from the most humbling moments. At least, it was one of those moments that gave FOX NFL reporter Laura Okmin one of her greatest insights in what not to do when networking.

As a young reporter, and the first woman to be covering TV news in Alabama, she had gotten to know Charles Barkley, the NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

“One day, I called Charles and he answered the phone and said: “Well, well, well. Laura Okmin, what do you need?” And I went: “Well, can’t a girl just call and say hello?” “A girl can,” he said. “You just never do.…I know when you call, you need something. So, what do you need?”

Register one of the biggest networking mistakes: always having an agenda. From then on, Okmin made sure she reached out to offer something—such as, congratulations on wins and condolences on losses—more often than she asked for something. She’d learned that networking is really about relationship-building.

Here are 3 more tips from Conference for Women experts: Read More

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Holiday Survival Tips from Simple Habit’s Founder

Yunha Kim meditating in a white roomA Stanford B school dropout, Yunha Kim is on her second startup—and like most things that meet a real need, it’s genius. Called Simple Habit, the app is a “Spotify” for meditation, meaning it’s a platform for different experts to share their bite-size meditations and audio therapy sessions.

Kim had her Eureka moment after turning to meditation apps to cope with the stress of running her first company. “I got pretty tired of hearing the same voice over and over again,” she recalls. “It occurred to me that to listen to a new singer, I don’t go to another app. I go to a platform like Spotify, where I can find new artists as well as my favorites.”

Flash forward less than three years, and Kim has a huge hit on her hands. “Simple Habit has helped more than 2.8 million people relieve stress and anxiety, with an average of 30,000 new users joining the platform every week,” she says. What’s more, she just closed $10 million in her series A, after raising $2.8 million from seed investors.

Her advice for newbie entrepreneurs? “Taking care of yourself is critical,” Kim says. “When you’re building a business from scratch, you are the number one resource you have. You will work long days, and stress is inevitable, so it’s important to take a little time each day to step away, breathe and reset.”

Here, Kim’s four tips—and her Simple Habit audio recommendations—for surviving the holidays: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Communication Skills, Networking, Job Advancement Tagged , |

Real Advice for Women Seeking Mentors and Allies

If your mentors all look like you, you have a mentor problem. Same goes if they all have similar backgrounds and work histories or if you have only one—or none.

“Your mentors should be a diverse network,” says David Smith, an expert on gender workplace issues and co-author of Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women. “If they’re not, you’re missing out on key perspectives and information, and you’re probably not being challenged enough in your thinking.”

Of course, for women in male-dominated fields such as the military (Smith’s background), the problem isn’t having too many mentors who look like you (i.e., female). The problem is having a mentor, period. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Communication Skills, Networking, Job Advancement Tagged , |

5 Tips to Feel More Comfortable at Networking Events

This is one thing Alice Rutkowski, an executive communication and presence coach who has worked with more than 8,000 executives over the past 20-some years, wishes everyone knew:

Body language reflects what you believe about yourself and others.

“Consciously and unconsciously, we are reading others and they are reading us all the time,” says Rutkowski, vice president of executive development at Sagin. “For example, whether you’re sitting or standing, crossing your legs can convey nervousness. It puts your body out of alignment, and being unbalanced isn’t conducive to feeling confident—and people can see that.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Communication Skills, Networking Tagged , |

Could Your Emails Be Hurting the Friends You’re Trying to Help?

Technology hasn’t only made it easier to stay in touch with former colleagues, old classmates and far-flung friends. It has also made asking them for favors such as referrals and introductions as effortless as hitting send.

Likewise, when you’re on the receiving end of such a request, it’s less or little hassle, in this age of email, to help a contact out.

But before you make another ask or agree to act as connector, consider this: some e-introductions can actually be harmful to women. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Communication Skills, Networking Tagged , |

Thinking of Joining a Non-Profit Board?

Gail HunterAbout 20 years ago, when she worked for the Seattle Mariners, Gail Hunter reached out to the YMCA of Greater Seattle about joining its board. “My family had been members forever and it was a big part of my childhood,” says Hunter, now vice president of public affairs and event management for the Golden State Warriors. “I wanted to give back.”

But expanding your network, acquiring new skills or even giving your résumé a boost are all fine reasons for wanting to join a non-profit board, according to Hunter. That is, “as long as you are willing to do the work,” she says. “Organizations need their board members to be committed and active.” Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Networking, Success & Leadership, Office Hours Tagged , |

2017 Session | Networking to Where You Want to Go: Building the Relationships YOU Need to Succeed

If you think of networking as schmoozing at cocktail parties or scrolling through LinkedIn for new contacts to add, think again. In the social media age, you need a modern roadmap for creating and cultivating meaningful connections to stand out from the crowd and achieve any of your goals, no matter how big or small. In this session, networking expert J. Kelly Hoey will share her approach to mastering this timeworn skill in a world where everyone is posting, liking, and friending fast and furiously, but many are failing to leverage their connections successfully. Hoey will provide Innovative strategies for forming strong relationships—the genuine, mutually beneficial, long-lasting kind—using the social tools at your disposal and show attendees how to:

  • Determine the most effective ways to connect with others so you don’t clutter your calendar with dead-end coffee dates and informational interviews
  • Synchronize face-to-face networking efforts with your digital outreach
  • Turn “closed door” conversations into strong personal relationships and business opportunities
  • Harness the power of your network to accomplish any ambition, from landing your dream job or a coveted account or client to successfully crowdfunding a new business venture.

Read More

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Harnessing the Power of Your Network

By Melanie Foley, Executive Vice President, Talent and Enterprise Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Going it alone is incredibly overrated. And yet as a society we cling to this romanticized image of fiercely independent individuals forging ahead on their own. What drives that? Why is it—when each of us has access to our own network of friends, family and colleagues—that we consider it weak to ask any of them for help? This is a mindset that needs to stop. Let me share with you how I overcame the go-it-alone syndrome and built my career on harnessing the power of my network.

It starts with my mother. A single woman raising two kids in the Boston projects, my mother was never afraid to ask for help. I saw firsthand how she asked family members to pitch in so that she could pursue her nursing degree at night in order to make a better life for us. She even tapped me for help—asking for my tooth-fairy money to buy groceries when funds were low. Her successful use of her network and her matter-of-fact approach to asking for help has defined and informed my entire career. Read More

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The New Networking Roadmap: Building the Relationships You Need to Succeed | Podcast

J. Kelly HoeyClick Play below to listen. 

In this hyper-connected world, where everyone is posting, liking and friending fast and furiously, are you actually leveraging your connections successfully? In this 30-minute teleclass, networking expert J. Kelly Hoey will provide some of her innovative strategies for forming strong relationships—the genuine, long-lasting kind that is mutually beneficial. Master the social tools at your disposal, and never clutter your calendar with dead-end coffee dates and endless informational interviews again! Read More

Play
Posted in Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Communication Skills, Networking, Job Advancement, Podcasts Tagged |

How to Network Effectively in Our Hyper-Connected World

J. Kelly HoeyIf you’re like most people trying to use social media to network, you probably think the number of followers or connections you have matters. But instead of obsessing over breaking 200, 500, 1,000, “you should be paying attention to what’s going on in your network and how you’re connecting with posts, content, likes, retweets and mentions,” says J. Kelly Hoey, a networking expert and author of Build Your Dream Network. “Online or offline, your focus should be adding value to your network.”

In other words, you should “be the person you want to network with and build a vibrant, engaged community from that vantage point,” Hoey adds. That means helping connections in tangible ways such as making referrals and introductions on behalf of people who need them. It also means being open and loud about your situation. “We need to confidently share what it is we’re working on and seeking to get done and provide ways for our network to jump in to help us,” Hoey says.

Here, she recommends five more steps to better networking on social media: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Networking Tagged |
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