Yes, we all speak English -- but words mean different things to different people.
I ran into this a couple times this week in my new home in Maine:
1. Mainers are saying it's "dry" here right now. If you read my musings on humidity last week, I don't know what they could possibly be talking about. There is moisture everywhere!
2. Also, I was getting a new phone last week and one of the employees came in talking about CBD coffee. I'm from Oregon and my immediate thought was CBD Coffee as in marijuana in coffee? I thought relax while you speed up? I made a quip about it and they cracked up. No, it's Coffee By Design, a local coffee shop.
And we wonder why we have communication mishaps, clashing communication styles and misunderstandings! We all have different views of the world and we often don't understand the views of others. It sometimes takes work and a lot of communication.
One place I see this is in partnerships. People often join a partnership for divergent reasons. They have different expectations and different priorities in the business. A lot of assumptions can be made and never talked through, and misalignment results. Frustration, finger pointing, blame and a fractured relationship can follow. You can't anticipate all that happens when you become partners with someone. How you deal with it and communicate when you hit the challenges is the key.
Because of the patterns I've seen in partnerships I've worked with, I created a video on Top Three Tips to Have Partnerships Succeed. These tips are relevant in formal business partnerships as well as in other alliances you create in your business and your career.
Here's the video:
If a partnership gets off track, the best strategy is to confront it head on and address the situation. The challenges don't get resolved by themselves -- and the longer you wait, the situation generally gets more challenging vs. less.
If you or someone you know has challenges in their partnership, or is considering a partnership, let's talk to see how to address the situation. Schedule some time here: https://calendly.com/kerrywalls
I can share some of the key questions that need to be considered to have a partnership go well, and make sure the words you use are understood by your partner and vice versa.
CBD Coffee anyone?
When you think of networking, what do you think of? For me, it used to be a feeling of dread and an evening of discomfort in a hotel ballroom full of strangers.
Fun, eh? When I wasn't having fun, I wasn't being effective, either. Who wants to buy some dread? Sign me up! Pick me! Pick me!
In the last 3 years, I've experimented with a lot of different approaches and I've learned a few things doing so. I've learned that I have certain places I enjoy networking--i.e. small groups, one-on-one conversations, and public speaking. Places that seem to be torture, also, duh, don't produce results. I've learned to accept my style and be creative with how I network, rather than doing what I think I "should" be doing. I've learned to put myself in places where I'm doing the work I do and not trying to explain the work I do.
I reached out to a previous client of mine, Kristen Gallagher of Edify [who is a rock star with on-boarding programs for rapidly growing tech companies] so we could connect during my upcoming trip to Portland, Oregon. She suggested I have some "office hours" and she sent a great invitation with a testimonial (Slow Bar on October 3, 4-6 PM!) I'm looking forward to the event and meeting people in a relaxed and personal setting, and I've already had a phone call and several confirmed attendees! It might end up being Speed Coaching at Slow Bar -- but it's a great idea and an experiment, and has me do what I do best: not just drinking an Old Fashioned, but meeting people, hearing about them and hearing what business concerns they have. Fun? Check. Effective for me? Check.
Thank you, Kristen, for being such a great advocate for me.
It's important to always network -- not just when you need something. It works way better to network to develop relationships that are mutually beneficial. It's important to give and receive in networking -- give a referral, a testimonial, send a relevant article to someone to let them know you're thinking about them, or provide value. Build relationship first, and don't be attached to a result.
Find the style of networking that works for you--and engage it, be consistent, have fun and be creative.
I thought this article on tips for better conversations in the NYT last week was relevant to networking [and all relationships]. Listen and be curious about others. Works every time!
Come see me and Kristen at Slow Bar in Portland, Oregon, October 3 from 4-6 PM or schedule your own office hours with me here: https://calendly.com/kerrywalls.