5 Ways to be Effective at a Networking Event

Networking events sometimes feel like speed dating. Talk to as many people as you can until you find a mutually beneficial connection. It can be less than comfortable.

These events are created with the best of intentions, but trying to create organic conversation in a manufactured setting can be difficult.

The thought of networking will cause you to reach for a stack of business cards or hide in the coat closet depending upon your personality. Rather then shuffling through your forced mental script of rehearsed questions, consider the following 5 ways to be effective at your next networking event.

Be memorable

We don’t mean wearing a flashy tie. Be the man or woman who is remembered by what you say.

We’re all used to the standard, “So, what do you do?” line of questioning. Simply being prepared for these standard questions can leave an impression.

Come up with an honest answer that is engaging and makes the other person want to know more.

Donald Miller, best selling author and CEO of StoryBrand, gives the following example of a conversation between two people at networking event.

Other person: “So, what do you do?”

You: “You know how hard it is to make a healthy dinner every weeknight with all the stuff your kids have going on? Well, our company delivers homemade frozen dinners that are actually affordable, so parents can relax and enjoy time with their families at night.”

As Miller explains, this method works because you’re telling a mini-story with this type of answer. This also positions you as the person who can solve a specific problem. If the other person can’t work with you at the present time, they’ll be able to file your name away in their mental Rolodex as the person with a specific solution.

Be genuine

Vanessa Van Edwards, a human behavioral expert, and author of Captivate, tries to provide a “me-too!” moment for the other person in every conversation. “It makes us feel accepted. It makes us feel heard. And most importantly, it makes us feel calm,” she explains.

Genuinely showing you care goes a long way. During most of these events, you’re surrounded by people searching for what they can get out of the other person. But entering a conversation with the desire to solve their needs often results in mutual benefit. Maybe you’ll get their business or maybe you’ll just get the blessing of being able to help someone.

Show the other person you care by asking questions you actually want to know the answer to. Rather than the standard, “What do you do?” or “What brought you here tonight?” try the following:

What are you most excited about with your job right now?

What are you most excited about with your industry right now?

What’s the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?

How did you end up in your line of work?

What are you looking forward to this week?

Know where to stand

It may sound trivial, but the location you choose to stand in a room can make all the difference. Rather than backing yourself up into a corner, choose strategic high-traffic locations within the room.

More specifically, stand where people are walking away from – against the flow. Find a place where there is a natural traffic flow such as a few feet from the bar or hors d'oeuvres table. This will allow you to make eye contact and be in position to naturally engage other attendees.

Check your body language

In a recent interview, Van Edwards explained that you want to maintain open body posture. This shows the other person you are open to conversation and non-threatening.

A simple way to demonstrate open body posture is to show your hands. Van Edwards says this is a primal survival mechanism showing that we are not carrying a weapon. Conversational stature often causes us to place our hands in our pockets or fold our arms. Subconsciously this communicates that we are closed off or even untrustworthy.

It can be hard to avoid folding your arms as this can be a natural tendency for many. However, if you need to, hold a glass or folder to keep yourself from placing your hands in your pockets.

Have a plan of action

You can usually decide early on in the conversation whether you will want to stay connected with the person you’ve been speaking with. If you do, you’ll want to have a practical way to follow up. But if you decide that you won’t want to stay connected, you need to have a natural exit strategy.

If you desire to stay in contact, provide them with your business card and tell them you’ll be following up with them. Depending upon the conversation, you may be able to offer to email them a helpful resource.

However, if you realize you won’t want to stay connected beyond the conversation, you need to have a way to remove yourself from the conversation. Simply asking to be excused in order to attend to needed business before the next session can be a honest, natural method. You can also watch for a natural break in the conversation and cordially thank them for their time and wish them the best of luck with the remainder of the year. While you want to show genuine interest in the other person, you need to value your own time as well.

Summary

Depending upon the length of the event or conference, you may have several conversations, but you’ll only have one or two memorable connections. Once the event is over focus on the conversation that you see providing the most direct benefit.

Today, it’s easy to make connections, but developing relationships can be difficult. Developing these relationships requires you analyze yourself and be proactive. While searching for connections, you need to be the person someone wants to network with. Keep these five tips in mind to make the most of the next networking event you attend.

Resources:

http://buildingastorybrand.com/episode-96/

http://buildingastorybrand.com/network-without-being-annoying/

Effective Ways to Close an Interview

You have made it to the final interview for your dream job and now the conversation is winding down. The interviewer asks you: “Do you have any questions for me?” Now is not the time to say “No”! This is your moment to interject your own personality, comments and leave a favorable impression.

So many candidates fail to take advantage of this opportunity. Some of the best-qualified candidates fall short of the interview finish line and therefore, lose the job. Even if your interview went very well, the way you end the interview can make or break your chances of landing the position.

To help you cross the interview finish line, here are some effective exit statements to close out your interview:

1) Express your enthusiasm and interest. “This is an exciting position and just the kind of challenge I’m looking for. I feel that I’m the right candidate for this opportunity.”

2) Summarize why you’re right for the job. Reiterate your strengths and how they tie into the critical skills the company is seeking. Include several reasons why you should have the job.

3) Ask about any hesitations: “From what you heard today, do you think there are any issues or reasons that would prevent us from moving to the next step?” Address any hesitation.

4) Thank the interviewer for their time. Let the person who interviewed you know how much you appreciate their time, interest and consideration. Also, mention that you appreciated meeting their staff along the way (if others were involved in your interview).

5) Ask the final question: “What is the timeline for filling this position and when can I expect to hear from you?”

Make sure the interviewer’s last impression of you is a good one. Closing out your interview with the right statements will significantly increase your chances of landing the job.

Digital Health: Hospitals must keep pace or be exposed to risk, experts say

By Jessica Davis posted on Healthcare IT News on May 22, 2018

As the healthcare sector continues to shift into value-based care and consumers become more involved in the care process, telemedicine and big data will continue to hold a crucial role in advancing patient care.

Telemedicine has developed from a “shiny new toy” to “the standard of doing care,” said Lisa Schmitz Mazur, a partner at McDermott Will and Emery, who co-authored the book The Law of Digital Health with Bernadette Broccolo, also a partner at the law firm.

“Telemedicine is really becoming a significant game-changer,” said Mazur.

Not only will providers use the tool to deliver care -- like telemedicine and tele-psychiatry, but patients are also demanding it and expecting it, said Mazur. “Providers are fueling the expansion.”

Doctors, too, are excited about where those opportunities lie and exploring areas where telemedicine can make an impact, she added. Particularly in the area of behavioral health and chronic disease, telemedicine can provide a method to better manage those conditions.

“It’s changing the standard of care,” Broccolo said, in agreement.

Mazur added that real opportunities exist and hospitals that ignore the possibilities may ultimately expose themselves to risk by not meeting standards of care.

For Broccolo, big data is the other dimension in digital health. While already prominent with EHRs and health information exchanges, big data can be wholly beneficial in the cancer space to accelerate the use of precision medicine and molecular profiling to predict the onset of disease.

“The cancer-side of big data is going to expand quickly,” said Broccolo. “The new applications will make data even more valuable than it was before.”

Coding and new algorithms will help add depth to the data, as well as collaborations around the development of the information, she explained. But a lack of standards around the data are hindering its use.

“Those challenges are being exacerbated by the fact the data is coming from a lot more sources and it’s often unstructured -- as opposed to EHR data,” said Broccolo. “And in particular, the data coming in through consumers … something you’re not as sure of the integrity.”

But despite these challenges, there are disruptors and innovators bringing together leading players that are creating these structured stores of data, explained Broccolo. They’re applying the tech to create a pretty robust data set.

At the end of the day, what will make the biggest impact on the industry is any solution that is patient facing, said Mazur.

“The engagement,” said Mazur. “It’s getting the patient to use the solution as part of their daily life. It needs to be something they build into their daily routines. A lack of engagement, slower user levels limit effectiveness: meaning, reams don’t have the info they need to see if a product works. We need that data in order to get that solution to the next level -- or just perform what it needs to do.”

6 Tips to Dealing with Workplace Stress

May 8, 2018

By Christy Fox, Director of Marketing

Stress in the workplace is extremely common and known to be a big challenge affecting employee engagement in many companies. Not only does stress impact engagement at work, but also productivity and overall health of employees. While a certain level of stress is expected with any job, it is important for you to pick up strategies to reduce stress and create a better working environment for yourself. After all, 1/3 of the average person’s life is spent at work. Everyone handles stress differently, but these six tips will help you lower your stress levels and feel less anxious at work.

Keep a positive mindset.  Instead of looking at stress from your own filtered view where you may tend to magnify the negative aspects of situations, blame yourself for conflict, or immediately assume the worst, view stress objectively to help minimize these types of negativity. Practice positive self-talk, and be open to learning from stressful situations instead of letting them bring you down.

Focus on others. Volunteering, lending a helping hand, or even complimenting others is proven to increase happiness. Positive actions towards others at work such as showing gratitude for help, giving compliments on a job well done, or mentoring can minimize negative impacts on your mental health.

Set yourself up for small wins. Oftentimes professionals find themselves buried with countless projects and it feels like the workload is too much. When the stress of work overload gets to you, try to find a small task or challenge that you can solve quickly and easily. This small success can act as a positive jump start to your day and get your mind ready to take on bigger challenges.

Take small breaks. When you are facing a stressful day at work, stop and take a couple of deep breaths to reset yourself. Other helpful tactics include a quick walk around the building, meditation, or mid-day yoga to help refresh your brain and lower stress levels.

Create a schedule. Poor time management often leads to stress at work. Plan your time wisely and structure your day to ensure that you’re prioritizing the right tasks and staying on top of deadlines. It is also important to eliminate as many interruptions as possible. This will help you relax knowing that you are completing your work in a timely manner.

Exercise, eat healthily and get plenty of sleep. These basics contribute to your stress levels and have a huge impact on your overall health. It is crucial to get some type of exercise during the week or every day if possible. Stress has a tendency to make us turn to unhealthy foods that can elevate blood pressure, raise cholesterol levels and more. It is important to choose healthy foods including plenty of fruits and vegetables with the right nutrients to boost your immune system and make you feel better in general. Lastly, reducing stress depends, in large part, to how much sleep you get. Make sure to get an adequate amount of rest each night to perform at your best during your workday.

We all deal with some type of stress at work. Take the necessary steps to positively impact your mental health and create a better work environment for yourself. What actions do you take to reduce your workplace stress levels?

5 Biggest Resume Mistakes

The quickest way to eliminate yourself from a job process is by having mistakes on your resume. Beyond the obvious grammatical and spelling mistakes to avoid, there are 5 other BIG mistakes to be aware of and stay away from:

1) Not including keywords that match the job. Your resume must show that you are qualified for the job so include keywords on your resume to refer to the specific position. You have very little time to grab a hiring manager’s attention so don’t send a generic resume. You will be lost in the pile.

2) Focusing on the wrong thing. Candidates often explain their responsibilities but forget to include results. Set yourself apart from the pack by highlighting specific accomplishments. The more quantitative, the better. In fact, numbers and metrics speak louder than words.

3) Being too modest. Don’t forget to include any awards or recognition you’ve received such as “President’s Club Member” for being over quota by 25%. Also, include any community service awards you received. Hiring managers look favorably upon people who not only work hard at the office but make a difference in the community as well.

4) Leaving unanswered red flags. Candidates usually wait until the first interview before addressing any gaps that may be on their resume, but this can prove to be a mistake. Most candidates won’t make it to a first interview if the issues are not explained on their resume, cover letter or even LinkedIn profile. So if you moved around a lot in your career, it would be to your benefit to explain the reasons for your movement.

5) Writing too much. When writing your resume be as succinct and concise as possible. Keep your resume to 1 or 2 pages max. Bullet points and short paragraphs enhance readability. Limit your resume to the last 10 – 15 years of work experience. You don’t need to include everything you ever did.