We all know how important small things are. Chaos theory asserts how tiny movements create tsunamis. Just think about an atomic bomb. Or consider our DNA. Or the March of Dimes. Think about the advancements in nano-technology. Or micro lending. Little things matter. We ignore these small things at our peril. The details of life. We know how our daily lives are made up of thousands of assumptions, perceptions, and habits that keep us going or hold us back.
Recently, I went through a series of video golf lessons that revealed micro habits and physical aspects of my swing that I did not know were there. Things I felt were the exact opposite of what the video showed. Once I reconciled that my perceptions and feelings were wrong, I could alter my swing.
We can't see what we are doing or not doing.
There are zillions of examples how micro things can lead to changes or challenges if unattended or ignored. Making a change, getting better at something requires a series of changes in habits, assumptions, and muscle and neural memory.
In other words, new habits require the breaking of old ones. And at the micro level, you have to be aware of what you do or don't do.
In our minds we have figured things out. We think we are doing things well or the best we can. We are in control of what we do and who we are. If we stop and think about it, we know we are deluding ourselves. Our lives are made up of of thousands of routines that are reflexive and non-thinking moments of reaction. We are constantly disconnected from our consciousness while reality is ignored. Again, like the way I thought my golf swing was dramatically different from my real golf swing.
Sorry I left the planet of concreteness there for a second. I am getting to a point. :) In order to advance your life and your career you need to confront and understand your habits, your micro habits.
HR consultants say they can tell a good resume from a bad one in 8 seconds. Executive recruiters say they can size up a candidate in the first 30 seconds. Scientists tell us that we form an opinion about another person in 100 milliseconds by just seeing their face.
Your face is worth a thousand words. But what does it say?
So let's consider how you make the initial connection with people. What do you do? What do you say? What does your face say? What is your body language communicate? Sorry to make you self-conscious but taking an inventory by answering these questions is important.
I am asserting here that you need to adopt several new micro habits to shift your self awareness and your networking---and ultimately your life.
Here are 5 micro networking habits that will change your life, get you to enjoy and appreciate networking and your ability to do it.
- Say Hello--You get on the elevator. You meet eyes with someone at the grocery store. You sit next to somebody on a plane. Whereever you are acknowledge the other with a "hello" or a "Good morning." It connects the world for that moment. And often a brief conversation ensues. Force yourself to greet and acknowledge strangers.
- Smile more--Really this is a huge change. You think your face always looks pleasant and even happy? Wrong. Not a request to plaster a fake clown face on your mug. My favorite is people who say they are "glad to meet me" with a frown and a scowl. :)When you greet people, when you meet people, smile! Watch the other person's face when you smile, it's contagious. You have a great smile use it! It makes others feel comfortable and it opens up the world.
- Introduce yourself differently-- Don't just mumble robotic words that no longer mean anything to you. Think about a way that engages people and invites conversation. I call this your BIT--Brief Inroductory Talk. Most people provide no energy, no information and no invitation to talk. Don't just utter name, rank and serial number. Reveal something about why you are here. Recently I met a guy that had "Dr." on his nametag. I said, "Nice to meet you Dr. so and so." He said, "I am a medical doctor but now I run a business training immigrants." He anticipated my question about his mdeical profession and gave me a huge opening. I met a woman the other day who said, " Hi I am a lawyer and a soccer Mom."
- Reconnect with someone you care about--This is so easy. Call or send an e-mail to someone you know and like, but with whom you have disconnected. Schedule it. You are not too busy!! I guarantee that your reconnection will be fulfilling and worthwhile.
- Say Yes--The next time someone asks you to go somewhere, to meet someone, to experience something new--say Yes! Get out of your routine and experience new things and meet new people. Don't make excuses to preserve your convenience or your routines. Everyone says they are spontaneous, but they aren't. They prefer plans and limited risk.
The point here is taking little steps of progress can lead to huge changes. I know this seems simple and intuitive. Break some little habits and start some new ones. Just try it. New intentional habits lead to new experiences and opportunities. Little changes can push yourself further and further down these paths to connect and reconnect.
Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible. St Francis of Assisi
Thanks for reading. John