Friday 18 February 2011

If I were to give a speech...

First published in 2009

If I were to give a speech - This would be it!

Hello, and thank you for having me here. My name is Rika Nauck and my father in law would be proud to hear that I am introducing myself as a ‘dilettante’. So here I am: Rika Nauck, dilettante!

When I was still young, ‘looking pretty’ worked well for me to achieve things, I nevertheless felt the strain of having to be successful in something. I just couldn’t decide what that might be, since I had much too many interests. In his calm and charming way my father in law explained to me, that if I wanted to, I could divide people into two groups; one group is good in just one thing, but pretty useless in everything else – they are called nerds. The other group knows just a bit about everything, but they are not very good in any particular area – these are the dilettantes.

Unfortunately it’s the nerds who get Nobel prices and become CEOs of companies, while dilettantes usually end up in a support role. They are able brew coffee, proof-read a paper, re-design the office space and manage the expenses all at the same time, and since they lack fancy certificates and awards, secretary or business support, as it is called these days, is one of the obvious choices of profession for them.

And here comes the part where I usually get a lot of booing from one half of the population and a lot of Yays from the other one, and I’m fully aware that I might be beaten up for this. However, I am claiming that nerds are mainly male and dilettantes are mainly female. There are exceptions – I give you that - and we even have names for them: It’s wimps… and …bitches.

But, whatever the gender: nerds fall into a crisis when threatened in their field, while dilettantes feel threatened in any field they touch. Hence dilettantes have a low self esteem, and usually need many years to accept their role and to stop competing with nerds; they just won’t win.

I needed another 20 years after I had spoken to my father in law, to eventually acknowledge that I am a dilettante and that this is the best thing that could happen to me. I might not be rich – yet – but with the knowledge I have accumulated over the years I can pull myself out of any misery. All that we dilettantes have to do, is to find the niches in which we can outsmart the nerds, and the aim of this talk is to inspire you to trust your set of skills. You can do more than you think!

Take networking! It is categorized as soft skill – what in nerdy terms means: not worth the effort! However, they do network, they just call it differently, and they are doing it brilliantly. Nerds are organized in professional scenes which are fine tuned networks with a picking order, information on who knows what, and calling in favours is an absolutely common practice. If you can play your scene you will get far.

Dilettants despise of all that: for them this means favourism, and using people for profit – and hence they only network for social reasons, because then one can call it 'helping each other'.

When, some years ago, I wanted to go to a workshop on networking which was organized by the women’s network in my workplace, I needed authorization of my boss in order to attend. I was nervous because I never had asked for such a thing before, braced myself and started uttering stuff of ‘women’s network’ and ‘workshop’, and got as a response: ‘Ah, is this your knitting club? Yeah well, you can go.’

Knitting club? I knew he was joking, but that this phrase crossed his mind at this moment in time, and being in a working environment – I think that is telling, and  I can’t even blame him. He is working in a male environment and that means that one ‘moves in a scene’ rather then ‘belongs to a network’. So firstly, there is a clash in terminology. Secondly, he is a nerd by definition; he has a blind spot for these things.

We dilettantes are actually brilliant networkers, but we don’t know it because we are rubbish in defining what we mean by that. We are so scared that we might be blamed for taking advantage of people and that we might have something dubious or shifty in mind, that we rather not commit to it.

Heather White – she is the CEO of Magic of Networking and gave this workshop I was attending – she defined it brilliantly. Networking is like throwing a stone into a lake and causing ripples on the water. They will reach the other side to be picked up; they will mingle with ripples caused by others and some of those will reach you. It is a lovely image and it basically means what goes round comes round.

If you would encourage picking orders, and pushing people, you most likely would find yourself very quickly  in the company of similar minded individuals, and hence in a rather unpleasant environment – well, except if that is what you were after.

The most successful networks however, are the ones which are non-intrusive. You introduce yourself, you leave your name and your card with contact details; you have dropped your stone.  You let people introduce themselves and collect their cards, you caught a ripple. That’s it; the rest is wait and see. The rest of the networking is done after you met people. They talk with others, you talk with others, and at one point proposition and demand will find their match. Win-win for everybody.

Networks go further than scenes; they look outside the box, they need nerds and dilettantes equally. And see - alone we are just that: Nerds and dilettantes. Once we are connected in a network and starting to compliment each other we become ‘Experts’ and ‘Connectors’. All the knowledge an expert has is worth nothing if nobody knows that it is there.

In a world as connected as ours these days, experts can’t afford anymore to only work their scene and to stick between themselves. And I don’t mean experts scientifically. If plumbers only communicate with plumbers because that is what they like to talk about, they will run out of business. They may need information on how technology is changing, or how to run the business more efficiently, or how to find customers in their area to reduce cost of driving. I may be in dire need of a plumber – which I actually am … so if we both would just know somebody who knows …

Things are moving quickly, Innovation is what is asked for these days, and that needs communication between the scenes; it needs people who travel these universes and who know just enough of many things to be able to bring the right people into contact.

So in the end of the day the message should not be:

Nerds VS. Dilettantes
Experts AND Connectors

Thursday 17 February 2011

Networking – A Serious Game

First published in 2008 - report of the second networking workshop

After the first networking workshop I left with a feeling of confirmation… the feeling that the one thing I’m doing rather intuitively and in which I’m actually good at is something that is a valuable skill and should be exploited, and not just something that is to be taken for granted. So my confidence got a real boost.

When I then went for it, I hit the brick wall a few times, and the harder I tried the more scared and confused I got. Something was missing! When I entered this second workshop I felt less confident in being able to do good networking than before. So I was rather tense: I had visitors from work sitting in an office not far, and thus hoping that my boss wouldn’t need me, I hadn’t have time to prepare at all, my paperwork from the last workshop was at home and not in my bag, had even forgotten what I had written about the first one, and there was a rather big likelihood of not being able to remember a single name.

Scatterbrain mode!

Well, in the end of the day this turned out to be a good thing. Heather, the coach, instantly tapped into it, turning this odd feeling of lack of confidence and focus into something productive.
Some catching up on previous outcomes
On catching up on the outcome of the first workshop it turned out that we more or less came from two different types of make-up.
The nerds!
One group of highly skilled people who know about their skills, but were not sure how to bring them across to the right people to give their career a boost. However, for two of them it had worked: They had braced themselves after the last workshop, have been talking to the right people and changed their careers to the better, and a lot of the others are on their way. Good for them!

The scatter brains!
The other group are more ‘jack of all trades’ kind of people, who are good in a lot of things, but just not good enough that they feel like showing it off. Usually we don’t have a degree in what we are best at and feel confident doing the job as long as a real expert is not around. We are always hoping for others to tell us that we actually are having a high level of expertise already, we need the praise to believe in ourselves, and we are hoping that networking might find us such people and open doors to opportunities which are not too scary to go through. Well, that is at least the truth I had to face – however, I have a hunch that this is not too far from it for some of the others as well.

After we had told our stories Heather tailored the workshop according to what was needed for us bunch of people.

Working a room
The first part was about 'working a room'. Basically: How to get into a group and how to break out of a group.

According to Deborah Tannen in 'You just don’t understand', women mostly use language to bond, while men mostly use language to transport information. Which is one reason why guys are often more straight forward in saying what they want. This, in female eyes, blunt approach is not useful for bonding – for that you have to give a lot of reasons and stories around the information itself. These different styles in communication reflect in the body language and in group structures as well.

Luckily, we had one gentleman attending and Heather used the poor bloke quite a bit to demonstrate that guys usually avoid eye contact (threatening) and are not standing opposite each other but fan open a bit. Therefore easy to approach, but be prepared and not bothered that they won’t look at you while talking as long as the rest of the body language shows interest. However, if you would see guys closed in and looking at each other while talking – never, ever try to barge in! Serious business going on there and you will not want to interrupt that.

In my experience ladies in a group are more difficult as they stand closer and look at each other. To get in, you would need to know one of them, have something really interesting to contribute, or catch an eye with one of them signalling: yes you can come in!

Important note: The real action happens AFTER you have met people. What they remember of you and what they talk about you behind your back can make or break a career.

Although the meeting might not have gone as well as you would have wished for: If your first impression was good and you managed to relieve them off your presence before they get really bored: They may even keep you in a good memory and talk good about you in a pivotal moment of your career.
Another important note: Practice, practice, practice!

Observe and throw yourself out there whenever possible. Start using occasions which don’t really matter, learn from it, raise the stakes a bit more every time. Take little risks. We usually can’t plan for when this little window of opportunity will open. You may have a bad hair day and might be lacking sleep… that’s not the moment to start practicing.

Moving about in a networking environment is a bit like driving a car. At the beginning you have to concentrate on every move, once you practice it sinks into the subconscious and becomes reflex. You start driving in streets you know and then you move on to bigger distance, wider streets. The same applies for networking. One day certain body language will just come natural – and you will be able to not only see the window of opportunity but to dare tackling it.

As for the breaking away: As soon as you realise boredom – cut your story short, kindly say your farewell and move on to the next group. You don’t want to waste your time with people who are not interested in you and you don’t want to waste their time either. So we practiced a lot of handshaking and introducing ourselves, gave each other feedback on how we come across, had a lot of fun, and – although we knew each other already - a bit of getting out of the comfort zone as well.

This was recognised as very useful and important advice from all of us, although I have a hunch that the instant benefit is more for the group of skilled people. The ones who know what they want and who can go straight away to deliver their message.

I might be well able to break into or out of a group now, but I wouldn’t actually know what to tell them: ‘Good morning, my name is Rika. I’m a scatterbrain!’ Not really a career booster, is it?

Branding and networking strategy
So, the rest of the workshop was about branding ourselves and networking strategy ( more). And again Heather nailed it! She delivered everything I needed in order to take the next steps.

And it will be tough!

It goes so much beyond networking. I will have to dig deep and do some soul searching. I have a vision, but I can’t see it as a real picture. It’s all on a: ‘Would be so nice’ – level. It needs to be shifted to a: ‘I will do that!’ – level. I will need to sit down and make one of my infamous lists to find out the action points. And then I will have to go out there and make it happen.

Slightly in panic mode now!

However, the alternative is to sit back, put the legs up, eat sweets and watch East Enders. There is no in-between. Just being nice and a good girl with a decent skill set won’t be enough. There will be no knight on a white horse coming and bringing me to the goal line a bit closer. I will have to march there on my own feet every single step. And if I’m lucky I will  find a few good companions who will walk with me and flatten the ground once in a while or pick me up when I’m down.

Yet another important note: Networking is nothing but a tool!
Networking might inspire some ideas on what you want to achieve, but in the end of the day it is nothing but a tool that brings you from A to B. What implicates that you have to have an A and a B in the first place.

A: You will have to define who you really are. Which skills you have, which of those you would like to use more than others and which ones you would like to improve, what sort of life you lead, where your priorities are, …

B: You will have to develop your vision, pinning down WHAT YOU WANT for your future!

If you have that sorted, then networking is a wonderful tool to help make your vision come true.

Wednesday 16 February 2011

And THAT's how it’s DONE – Networking Strategy

First published in 2008

During the past few days I was in the lucky position to observe serious networking – and I mean SERIOUS networking, real big business. Having Heather’s follow-up workshop coincide with this business meeting, I first thought that this was unfortunate as I was flying between tasks and didn’t think I would be able to take as much from it as I would have liked. However, in the end it turned out that the workshop had sharpened my eye and given me the background to understand that there is a method behind their doings.

She had addressed three striking things which I found confirmed in watching these pros in action.

Firstly: They have a vision
And they are not scared to dedicate their lives for it! … or if they are, they don’t show it. For them there are no real limits. They believe in themselves. They see the benefits, formulate them in a way that they become win-win games … and then go for it.

I always think too far ahead about everything that might or might not happen, falling into all sorts of worries and then don’t even start. They deal with the problems when they occur and not when they crop up in their fantasy. And if they reach a point of no return which might mean going BIG or not going anywhere at all: They evaluate the risk and when things are are looking good: Then they go for BIG without hesitation and pull through.

Secondly: They have a plan.
They develop a networking strategy. They look at the outcome they want, they may lay down several possible versions at the beginning or adjust as they go along. Nevertheless, they identify the key players in the game and then they target them.

For that they need a good basic network of people they can trust and of whom they exactly know the skill set. These people then develop their vision further and bring it to the right people and make the contacts.

Thirdly: They work hard.
Say what you want!
Working hard to get your act together!
A vision is not something fluffy. It needs to be formulated in a way that you can present it to different types of people. That means, that the vision – a thing that is nothing but an idea stuck in your head – sounds as true as if it already existed. People who are targeted to participate need to leave the meeting with a feeling that this is the right and only way to do it, and they need to be so confident about this idea so that they will propagate it further. Meaning: turning vision into fact.

Take calculated risks!
Working hard to keep your network close
Once you know what you want, you can start the actual networking, using the right contacts to get the information you need to underpin your vision, to drive it forward, to expand the network to get more information and to find people to drive it forward, ….

Decisions are to be made and targets to be stretched constantly, and to be able to do that that the network needs to be kept tightly knitted and the key players need to be kept close in order to have the right information at the right time.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

A Network is a Home

First published in 2008

A good network is built like a good house. One would like to have it structurally sound and purposeful. The difference lies in the currency: For the house it is money while for networking it is time.

Getting to know your resources!
The rooms in a house are like people in a network. The study could either be all the business and techie people, arts and crafts people, or both – depending on how you use it. All the people you are socialising with are making a great sitting room, as for the kitchen one would gather everybody who knows about inside maintenance and housework, and to build a garage people who are skilled in DIY, garden and outside maintenance would come handy.

Well, let’s not get deeper into the matter of whom one would like to invite to create the bed room - well, I guess George Clooney would be a definite 'Yes!' – ... moving on: Guest rooms are very interesting as they may change their purpose quite frequently, so in our networking home they would be made up by groups of people we are rather loosely connected to.

Sometimes we build our house from scratch. These are wonderful houses, although they cost a lot of time and effort. However, they have all the rooms in the right places, and to use it is like running a clockwork. A lot of us have been faced by this when leaving our parents house to go to university or to take on a new job somewhere else. This is always a bit of a scary option - to be alone and having to find ways to connect to people, but on the other hand you don't have to stick with people only because they are friends of friends. It is much less time consuming to buy a house. One might quite like it, but usually bits and pieces are missing, it needs a bit of decoration here and there and some of the rooms need to have the purpose re-allocated. In networking terms that would mean, that there is a base of people (family, friends, neighbours, work) on which one can build upon, a solid base to use for network extension.

Wishful Thinking!
There is just one thing that we need to accept – there is no 'perfect multi function room'. That is what we all would like to have, don’t we?

A joker, the one thing that becomes whatever we need it to become. Imagine your kitchen is a mess and you quickly need a coffee. You open the door to your Joker-room and there it is: The perfect kitchen unit with a coffee machine and a clean cup.
The next time you want to do some gardening, but can’t find a thing in your shed – off you go to the joker room, and you would wish to do so when your computer is breaking down, your marriage is at stake or you need help with organising something.

Do you know what? We ladies tend to think that we have something like that in our network!

We call it friends!

We have this fairytale idea of unconditional friendship in our heads. This best friend who is there for us whatever we are up to, the one with whom we share everything. Sometimes, very rarely we are lucky to have such a friend – most of the time it’s a person from childhood days. Once we’ve grown up, it hardly happens that we can build such a friendship again. That might be the reason why all these online networks are so successful. They all give the opportunity to re-kindle old school relationships.

It's all in the head!
Although we have grown up and know a bit more about life now, we still have the old patterns in our heads.
Who doesn't feel a bit guilty when bonding with somebody else not including the old friend - let's call it the best-friend-syndrome. And who doesn't feel a bit guilty if not responding to a friends request with 100% commitment - let's call that the chicken-out syndrome. Well, and finally who on the other hand wouldn't feel a bit disappointed when a friend shows signs of chicken-out.

I believe that this is a typical female way of seeing things. Ask a guy what he knows about his best friend: good soccer player, name, degree, size of the house and type of mortgage, type of car now and 10 years ago. That’s about it, and probably in that order.

Ask a women: she will tell you the story of her friends life in detail!

Guys seem to gather information to network, girls seem to gather information to bond!

Bonding is nice and well: That is why we are rather good in certain areas of networking. However, we are rather crap in others.To be really good in bonding we have to take things emotional and personal. Hence the best-friend syndrome. It means that we need to maintain the bond - it's in the meaning of the word - and that is time consuming. A network under bonding constraint has to be small, otherwise guilt will be eating our minds and energy.

We don’t have to lose the bonding bit altogether – we are much to good in it to abandon that skill. However, we have to accept that some bonds have to be let loose if the time comes. We will have to understand that we will have to build new ones, and that it is okay to do so. We have to understand that building a new part of a network is no deceit to the old relations.

Let’s go back to the image of the 'perfect multi purpose room': What happens if we are...

Using friends as jokers?
Be honest: How often did you feel disappointed by a friend because you asked for something you were passionate about, only to see that they didn't share your passion and chickening-out was clearly on the agenda.
Imagine you are organising a trip to Tate Modern and you need to fill the group with one more person to get the cheaper tickets. So you are asking your garden freak friend to join. The scenario most likely would be:
  • Friend responds positively as helpers syndrome kicks in - we are friends after all. And if you are really passionate in your explanation friend might even really believe that it is a great thing to visit this museum.

  • Once the dust has settled and after you've parted, friend realises that you are - well, friends - however... hmmm, well, c'mon Tate Modern - and my hedge needs trimming and I have to... and this and that, and ...

  • Then: A phase of trying to avoid each other - one of them sensing that the response was not entirely genuine, while the other one didn't find a good excuse yet.

  • As more time goes by the possible excuses become lamer and lamer, until - with bad feelings on both ends - the whole thing goes bust.
And now be even more honest: How often did you behave that way when used as joker? We just have to accept that there are aspects of each others lives which we do not share, and it is okay that way! Otherwise we would have clusters of people who are all doing the same. We have to have crossovers of interest to keep this globe rolling. Hence it is fair enough to find other people to cover the areas our friends don't.

This is called 'Networking'
Our fellow gentlemen usually handle things that way intuitively while we ladies need to learn this way of networking'!

Get to know your people, and then use them accordingly.
This has two huge benefits: Firstly, you will gain time! You won’t waste a lot of time nagging and making yourself and others feel grumpy, which is a very inefficient mode to be in. Time which you can well spend to expand your network to find people to cover the aspects of your life, your friends are not able to.
Secondly, you will be able to keep your friends! You will have a lot of fun doing the things together which are in your both interest and thus deepening the bond rather then stretching it.

The aim has to be:
Create Win-Win situations
avoiding bad vibes and building good ones,
for yourself and for your network,
using your currency (time) smartly.

Monday 14 February 2011

Knitting 21st Century Style

First published in 2008

- About the Importance of Networking -

Ladies, I have it officially now! Please tell your husbands and boyfriends: We need to meet more often!

I was at a workshop. Yep! Me! Usually not the workshop kind of person, but this one I took… and it was – GOOD! 
At my workplace there is a women’s network and they do great stuff. Their invitations kept coming to my mailbox since I work there, but I never got round to actually attend one of these events. All these new people, and would the time be worthwhile it, and well, … everything, really. 

Now came this new invitation, red it, thought it was interesting, and dropped it into the bin. Habitual behaviour! Thank God that Iwona came to the rescue, dropping a line and asking if we should go together. I can’t propagate the slogan ‘Get the bums up, girls’, and then chicken out myself, can I?
So we went to attend the ‘Magic of Networking’!

A knot in the thread!
In we went, workshop started, and then the usual: 28 ladies introducing themselves, one after the other. I’m telling you: I can walk into a room with 200 casually chatting people and starting to take it over – no probs whatsoever. Here: knot in the throat, sweat breaking out…thinking… thinking … who am I? ah, Rika! … should I say my surname? Is it important that I’m German? They can hear that anyway… What is my job?... Oooof, my turn. Panic! 

Oh! My! God! Can you imagine: Me shutting up for once? I didn’t get a single of the other introductions due to thinking through my text, which then wouldn’t want to get past that damn knot, making me stutter.
Well, and then Heather, the speaker – what do I say – performer, took off! She is brilliant, and if you ever would have the opportunity to attend one of her workshops: Go for it!

Learning the pattern!
We were told that this was one of the calmer presentations. Nevertheless, I have to admit that most of the time I was observing Heather rather then paying attention to what she said. However, now that I have been mulling it over for a while, her message is coming back to my mind. That is what I call a good advertisement for a subject – the presentation is easy on the eye and the ear, but the information sticks nonetheless.
And one can tell that she is enthusiastic about ‘Networking’. Ladies, we are on the right track with what we are doing!

One of the messages:
There is nothing dubious or shifty about networking.
It is not about sneaking into other peoples lives to take advantage of them. It is about fun, and it is – most importantly – about building resources. It is absolutely OK to gather people around you, who might come handy for the one or the other reason. It actually is the only way to create win-win situations. 

An Example:
Take our Race for Life. We are still small, but we are building our team as big as we can to raise as much money as we can. As a side effect I intend to create as much fun for us as possible - nothing wrong about that, is there? As a second side effect I'm hoping to get recognised by the event organisers and probably even by the local press. Well, that could be misinterpreted as exploitation - however, I'm hoping to be able to expand our network of ladies, get known by local businesses and deepen contact to the press in order to get a bigger team next year, to extend our sponsorship base and to get even more publicity... 

We can grow, charity gets more and more money through us, businesses can use us as advertising platform when sponsoring, and press has something to tell. That is a quadruplet-win and I can't see anything wrong with that.

Heather compared networking with ‘throwing a stone into water, causing ripples’. When others do that as well, the ripples mingle and in the end some of the ripples come flowing back to you.

Another message:
One doesn’t have to be an outgoing person to be a good networker.
Be honest: When you think about someone who has a reputation for networking you usually think of an extroverted person, who is ‘everywhere and nowhere’ at the same time and has a loud voice. That at least is the cliché that jumps into my mind. But that is not true! A good networker has the skill to listen, and to be genuine. And actually this is something one will find rather often in the calmer fellow women.

Another Example:
Iwona and I are two ladies of the different ends of the spectrum of networking, each of us using her character to achieve the best she can. Iwona usually a bit shy and the body language a bit tied back, and me… well, you know me… more the ‘barging in’ type. When we walked over to the workshop, Iwona confirmed this saying: ‘I’m not good in networking so I thought I should take that chance.’ C’mon girl: who started this whole thing of attending. OK, she might have wanted me to be a bit of a backup, but that is exactly what networking is about.

You have your collection of friends and acquaintances and if you would feel that somebody boisterous could come handy at times, well then you will click and it will work. For me Iwona is ‘good’ because she is a perfectionist by heart. I’m chaotic and had to learn being organised. So once in a while, she is my wall to lean on. 

We are both rather good networkers, only that due to her shyness she thinks she is not, while I tend to indulge in a bit of overconfidence, and probably am not as good as I might think.

Don't drop that stitch!
However, the important thing for both of us was to acknowledge that networking is important, and that it doesn’t have anything to do with exploiting each other. Friendships, work relations, any relations would be so boring if only very similar people would group together. It is about benefiting from each other rather than exploiting the relationship.

So, what do we take from all of that?

‘Do get your bums up, and go out there!’
Building your network
My habit of throwing invitations into the bin didn’t do me any good. If something catches your eye: Give it a second thought … and then think it through, for crying out loud!

Last weekend I had such a lovely experience. The Ipswich Ladies went to the movies. Some of them know each other well and some only met once. One new lady with whom I only had exchanged two emails joined us. She is Japanese and all of a sudden one of my close friends started talking Japanese with her. I was flabbergasted. It needed only one daring lady approaching a group of strangers, to give us a great time by making us giggle a lot, and telling stories. She opened a door for exchanging information that never got triggered before. I’m very grateful that she braced herself and joined our colourful bunch.

Work your network!
Saving time and reducing stress levels
You don't have to do things all by yourself. There are people out there who know much better how to do it. The time you are spending for networking and having fun in the meantime, will be saved - if not more - when using your network to find the right person for the task. All you have to do is to pick up that phone! Networkers first words could be:
  • Hello, my name is ... we met at... and we talked about ... Now I was wondering if you could help me out with something. ...
  • Hello, my name is ... we were introduced by ... at ... and she told me that you know about ... May I ask you a huge favour, I'm entirely stuck in that matter...
  • ...
You will get a 'Yes' or a 'No'. Be happy about the 'Yes' and mentally move that person a bit closer into your network. If it is a 'No' it could be a polite one in which case you would leave the person where it is and probably just amend her/his set of skills. If it is an impolite one - most importantly: Don't take it personally! All you do is to cross this person off your list.

And then you go on networking and having fun with it, and sometimes it might occur that those people somehow trickle back into your life, and it may turn out out that they only had a bad day. As you didn't take it personally, it is easy to take them back in and they may even become friends.

‘Trust yourself!’ and ‘Stay true to yourself!’
Genuineness works best
Don’t believe anybody telling you that you have to change your character to become a good networker. ‘Girl you shouldn’t be so outgoing!’ ‘Girl you should open up more!’ ‘Girl do this...’ Girl do that…’
There is only one thing that I learned and found beneficial, and that you only can learn by putting yourself out there: To let it trickle off your back when somebody is hurting you! In getting in contact with people, you always will bump into some who will hurt you, intentionally or unintentionally. You won’t be able to avoid that by trying to change what is 'your inner self' and adapting to the needs of those people. Tried that, and it almost killed my creativity and hunger for experience. However, what you can do is to top up ‘your inner self’ with a bit of confidence!

Friday 11 February 2011

Nine Words Women Use

First published in 2008

I got this sent in an email and it is just too good to not use it. I have no idea who cast these words. So if you feel that you are the author, please let me know. I am happy to properly mention you!

Thes nine words which women use should actually be published on a male site. Every father should teach his sons these basics of women psyche.
  1. Fine
    This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

  2. Five Minutes
    If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour... However, five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

  3. Nothing
    This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with 'nothing' usually end in 'fine'.

  4. Go Ahead
    This is a dare, not a permission. Don't Do It!

  5. Loud Sigh
    This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of 'nothing'.)

  6. That's Okay
    This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

  7. Thanks
    A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome'; that will bring on a 'whatever')

  8. Whatever
    Is a woman's way of saying sc*ew YOU!

  9. Don't worry about it, I got it
    Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a wom an has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.