Everyone makes mistakes. That means you and me. It happens every day. How we deal with them can affect our networking success.
Step one is to stop fighting the fact that you make mistakes. Accept it. Arguing against will not help your networking endeavors. In fact, it could be shooting yourself in the foot if you do that.
Too often, I encounter people who just want to argue that they did nothing wrong. Stop that! Nothing wrong in admitting you made a mistake. We all do it. Fighting that fact makes you look like a fool. Just admit it and move on.
When you do make a mistake, it is smart to step back and evaluate what happened. There are lessons to learn with every mistake. Trust me, even small lessons can be found.
What happened to cause that mistake? Could it have been avoided? How can you avoid repeating it in the future? Ask yourself these questions and let the mistake help you grow to be a better person.
Laugh At Yourself
You need to learn to laugh at yourself even when you make mistakes. That is the first step in showing the confidence you need to succeed in this world. Someone who can laugh at themselves shows the world that mistakes don’t topple them, they only make them stronger.
When you laugh at yourself, you take away ammunition from the haters. They have nothing to hold against you because you laugh at what you did and move on with lessons learned. What better way to come out on top?
After all this, reflect on your mistake. Don’t ever forget you did it though you should never let it become the albatross around your neck. Rise above and lit the mistake create the strong foundation you stand on.
As you network, stop and think if your grandmother would approve of what you are doing. I’m not kidding. If what you are doing would be shameful to your grandmother, you might want to rethink your actions.
A Different Light
When you look at your networking actions through the eyes of your grandmother, you see them in a different light. Too often we get caught up in the moment and the trends of society that we forget the basic roots that help keep us grounded.
Look at your actions through your grandmother’s eyes. You’ll see whether or not it is right, wrong, fair, or unfair. If nothing else, it makes you rethink your position so what decision you make is done after look at it from all sides.
We Could Argue It
Yes, it would be easy to argue that Grandma wouldn’t understand the idea of networking or the times we live in. Yep, we could, but we’d be wasting our breath. You would be surprised what Grandma could understand. There was networking long before the Internet came on the scene. She knew about it at church and in her own social settings.
Stop arguing, and think of how Grandma would view your actions.
We need to get realistic now. If Grandma would think your actions were wrong, you might need to rethink them. We can argue all we want, but it is just our way to justify what we want to do.
Network in a way that will make your Grandmother proud.
Too often, people use flattery to advance their networking. On the surface, it might not seem such a big deal, but it seems fake, and people don’t like fake. Avoid the flattery.
Nice Versus Flatter
There is a difference between nice and flattery, and people know it. Flattery is “to praise excessively especially from motives of self-interest” per Webster. The praise might be real, but it goes above the normal. It is nice to say someone is a great cover designer, but to send them a message every day and post how wonderful they are over and over crosses the road to flattery. It can be excessive.
Dangers of Flattering
Why is it wrong to flatter? Because it can be dangerous. Flattery implies that you are saying something only to get something from it. That is why most people use flattery.
When people see flattery, they immediately begin to distrust you. That hurts your networking which in turn hurts your marketing. Flatter someone and you open the door to ruining your reputation.
Keep It Real
The best thing you can do is keep it real. Don’t fake it. Give people real compliments. Don’t fake it. People will take the real thing easier than anything you dish out that is fake. Your marketing will go much farther if you are real.
As a writer who is networking, you need to be able to accept feedback. That is vital if you want to be seen as a mature writer with a good reputation. Accept feedback and use it to improve your own networking profile.
Positive and Negative
Feedback comes in two forms: positive and negative. You’ll get people who love your writing and say all sorts of good things about it. That is easy feedback to accept. What you really need to learn to accept is the “negative” feedback.
Negative feedback encompasses anything that you don’t like. If someone doesn’t like your writing, you have learn to accept it. You will always get negative feedback. Every writer gets it no matter how good they are. Accept that. It all comes down to how you respond.
Honestly, no one accepts negative response with a smile on their face. We all get upset. Not going to say that you can’t feel that way. What I am going to tell you is that you have to keep that response private. Your public response should be much more positive and upbeat.
Read the negative feedback and vent privately. Talk to your friends and calm yourself down. You don’t respond until you can do so with a smile on your face and only positive words. Thank the person for their feedback and tell them that you will take their words to heart.
Respond with a smile!
Grow From It
Now take that feedback and grow from it. You can take any feedback and gain something positive from it. If someone says your writing is juvenile, maybe it could obtain a little more maturity. Yes, that person might be nasty and vindictive, but you can still find ways to improve your writing. Every writer can improve. You just need to know where to grow.
After you get upset and vent, see where you can take it and benefit from it. The feedback might be painful, but in the end if it is the best thing for you.
Today’s communication is almost completely online. That means we rarely hear each other’s voice or see each other’s face. It all depends on how words are read on a screen of some sort. And that includes the use of all caps.
It’s All in the Delivery
What does all caps signify? Screaming! Saying “I need the report” is one thing but saying “I NEED THE REPORT” says something entirely different. That means my response will be different.
All caps puts me on the defensive. You could ask me nicely. Maybe I won’t rush to get you the report this time. It’s all in how you deliver it. I don’t know that you aren’t mad at me.
Think of the Recipient
You are not the one receiving the message. Just because you don’t think anything of all caps doesn’t mean everyone thinks the same way. Put yourself in their shoes first.
Always keep in mind etiquette in your communication especially if you are talking with those who are not your closest friends. Keep it professional and make sure that there is no miscommunication between the two of you. Use standard English and grammar. If you use slang, make sure they know what you mean. Text talk? Make sure they understand it and use it regularly.
Keep it where everyone knows what is being communicated and in what tone.
If you really want to succeed in networking, you need to learn to be able to keep confidence with people. That means not running and telling others what they said. When they tell you something personal, you don’t share it with anyone else. Keep their confidence.
You need to be able to be trusted. If I tell you something personal, I need to know that you aren’t telling everybody else about it. I also shouldn’t be seeing you tell other people’s business. Keep what you are told private.
People see what you share. If it is about other people, they won’t talk to you. That means they won’t network with you.
Don’t Repeat Even the Innocent Stuff
Even if you don’t think that what you are repeating is that private, don’t repeat it. Why, because what you think is innocent might not be. I’ve seen people repeat ‘innocent’ stuff and started a lot of drama. Friendships can be lost and business relationships ruined.
Just keep your mouth shut.
Gain a Good Reputation
You’ll get a good reputation by not breaking confidence. Yes, you might be ignored as the drama erupts around you, but that is a good thing. You don’t want to be talked about in a negative light which accompanies drama. You want to be seen in a positive light.
Again, keep your mouth shut.
It is easy to just let it all out. When we are emotional, we let everyone know it. Might not be a bad thing when it is emotional in a good way, but usually not when we are angry and upset. It might be better if we kept that out of the public eye.
Keep It Private
I am not saying you can’t be upset. I am saying that you need to learn to keep it private. Get mad without posting anything online. Scream and shout, but don’t share all that with everyone on social media.
Call a friend and scream. Text your best buddy and tell them what is wrong. Go outside and shake a fist at a satellite. Just keep it offline.
Better Not to Respond
When someone sets you off, it is better not to respond at all. Yes, we want to tell them where to go and how to get there, but…do all of that in the privacy of your home. When you respond with emotion, you give others ammunition and you get drama stirred up. That is childish. Just ignore them.
Yes, you might respond later with a snappy comeback, but let that be later. Avoid responding as long as possible. You’ll be seen in a better light if you do.
Get a Second Opinion
Before responding, if you do, get a second opinion on your response. Have someone else read it. I usually recommend you type up a response someone safe on a Word doc that won’t accidentally be seen. That way you can vent safely. If you want to really respond later, type it up again on a doc so you don’t accidentally send it and have a friend look over it. They can help you word it where it is not so harsh and have people looking at you in a bad light.
Better safe than sorry.