Most of us are on the bandwagon. When it’s time to purge the pantry, you start to have the “talk” with yourself about the gym, fitness, or maybe even buying a Peloton? (I’m guilty of all of those by the way)
But let’s be clear, this is not a blog about physical activity. I’m talking about how you will dedicate yourself to being active in your profession Every. Single. Day.
And just like the commitment to making it to the gym by the second week in February, we all need to create the long lasting PROFESSIONAL habits to stay active at work, with our clients, and most importantly as leaders, with our teams!
We’ve all fallen victim to the everyday distractions. A chat pops up, a client emails you, you get a text from your significant other, or your friend sends you the latest article on Reddit. The problem is, you’re in the middle of a one-on-one with your top performer and they see you typing.
While multitasking may seem like you’re “doing it all”, you’re really not. You’re alway missing a detail. Whether in your response to your client, or during that one-on-one.
I’ve gotten into the habit of silencing my phone, closing my laptop, and even (gasp) not checking my Apple Watch during meetings. Nothing is really that important it can’t wait.
It’s time to commit to actively listening. You’ve set time aside, and so has the person (or people) you’re meeting with. Truly, intentionally, and wholeheartedly LISTEN.
You’ll be surprised by what you hear.
Wait, what? I showed up – isn’t that enough?
Well, no it’s not. Part of the word describes it as “work”, and it does take effort. It’s easy to be a wallflower or just talk to your known connections, but what value does that really create?
Be prepared. A lot of networking events will offer the list of attendees leading up to the event. Look them up on LinkedIn, send them an invite and tell them you’re looking forward to meeting in person.
Really show up. Smile, introduce yourself, and have your elevator pitch polished. Energy begets energy, and you will notice people walking up to you.
Pay it forward. Know everyone in the room? Broker other introductions if you see others who seem a bit lost of distracted (read: checking their phone).
Follow up. The hardest but easiest way to get the most of out of your networking. You’re all jazzed after the event, but then the next day hits and those business cards just sit on your desk. We’ve all done it. Make the connection happen live, let the new contact know you’re emailing them in the moment so both of you find a time to grab coffee.
I attribute 95% of my success by unbelievable mentors throughout my career (note: the other 15% is pure hustle, and yes I realize that’s 110%).
Whether you’re a mentor or your goal is to become one, it is a HUGE responsibility. You have to be all in. Your mentee will hang on every word you say, so choose wisely.
This goes both ways by the way.
As a mentee you are asking for valuable time, and need to come prepared. Don’t let the tail wag the dog, for lack of a better term. Show up with your goals, and what you’d like to get out of the mentorship.
Lastly, choose wisely when creating a mentor/mentee relationship. Success and title does not necessarily mean you will naturally click with someone.
Our team at Catch Talent took action to take our top 5 goals from our strategy meeting and commit to being intentional with them.
That meant being actively engaged in conversations around those goals, creating a deadline around each milestone, and most importantly that we all had buy-in.
What will your professional activity look like this year? Let’s build up the stamina to stay focused, build muscle memory around those habits, and use those daily routines to be the engaged and intentional leader and peer your team needs!
Great post! Being an active listener is so important in ALL conversations you have whether personally or professionally. You get so much more out of being present and in the moment. I need to pick it up in the networking and mentoring categories, thanks for the reminder!
Great tips on being active!! I talk about Active Listening all the time- it’s HARD but totally worth it.