How many emails have you received this week/day/minute? Since the dawn of email (which occurred at some point since the Bronze Age), our efficiency at work has supposedly increased. There are some contexts in which email is appropriate and more effective. But there are crucial, often-forgotten advantages of picking up the phone. If you would hate to pitch your startup by email, don’t do all your networking by it either!Read More
For any startup, it is often during a meeting or phone call that an investor or contact agrees to help you by completing an action: for example send you a document or introduce you to a useful contact. But because of poor memory and fading enthusiasm, a great opportunity will often be lost - unless you employ two simple techniques: follow up and chase up.Read More
Have you ever glanced at a notification on your phone and been distracted by something that you didn’t have time to deal with? This post shows why having the willpower to choose when you look at your notifications will benefit you enormously.Read More
Have you ever walked into a room full of strangers, be it a networking event or a cocktail party, and felt absolutely out of place? That everyone else was aware of your grindingly inappropriate presence, and was judging you for it? We all have, and this blog post will explain why you were probably wrong.Read More
Have you ever watched someone give a presentation and been fascinated by it for the first six minutes, but then lost interest over time? We often think the more content we give our audience, the more satisfied they will be, but the opposite is generally true. Ending early, and on a high, will leave your audience wanting more.Read More
Most of us are very capable of empathy towards others, but we often forget to take the time to consider whether the other person might need it right now. Whether at a networking event or with our friends and family, it can be immensely useful to bear in mind that it isn’t immediately obvious what has just happened in the comic strip of their life.Read More
How often, in a conversation of more than two people, have you felt you had to jump in as quickly as possible to make yourself heard? In this post I'm going to show you why a squeaky novelty parrot is what you need to get more out of every single group discussion from now on.
If you read last week’s post on smiling, you’ll know that after a recent move to Madrid I have found my Spanish is, while sufficient for general conversation, hindering my ability to connect with people on the same level as I can in English. This has recently proved to be particularly true in group conversations, and in a way that has made me realise how often I have unintentionally made it hard for other people to contribute.Read More
Have you ever found yourself saying that you didn’t get on with a person, but struggled to work out exactly why? Unless that person had repugnant views about a recent world atrocity, I suggest it was probably because they didn’t smile very much.
I've recently realised just how far a simple smile can go. I moved to Madrid three weeks ago after two and a half years as a management consultant in London. My Spanish is good but, contrary to conventional wisdom, my ability to speak it is significantly better than my ability to understand others (friends unkindly suggest that I also have this problem in English). Moving to another country without any personal connections and with only the names and phone numbers of a few friends-of-friends, my greatest chance of avoiding social exile has been to connect with new people quickly: otherwise known as building rapport.
Usually, the best way to build rapport in a conversation is to show you are enjoying the other person’s company. This in turn allows them to relax and enjoy yours, liking you more in the process.Read More