23685003Hi ladies.

I have a challenge to you. It’s a big one. The reason for us being here is to network and learn from one another. To grow and gain knowledge as well as give of ourselves and time. We sometimes get lost in our own little microcosm of the world and forget that others look to us for guidance and advice.

I’m asking everyone to sit down and take an inventory. Look around you and figure out who in your network needs help or may benefit from knowing someone you know. Make a list of people you can faciliate introductions to. Choose wisely. Think about the needs of the people within your inner circle and think about how someone else in your network can help them. It could be a job lead, recommendation of a client, help with a class, a volunteer opportunity, anything. The key is to facilitate the connection and let networking nature takes its course.

I also ask that you find a young woman, like a college student, and become her mentor. Take her under your wing and help her by giving her your time and insight into your expertise. In talking with my interns, they expressed that they (and other young ladies in their age group) want guidance, they want a mentor that will help them navigate through the corporate jungle. And I don’t blame them. We all send so much time with our head down and nose to the grindstone, we sometimes forget to extend a hand to our upcoming generation. It can be as simple as taking them out to lunch once per month and letting them pick your brain. Make yourself available via email and phone before or after work hours. To make things better for the next generation, we must help in grooming them to prepare for the world of business.

So tell me ladies, are you up to the challenge? Be sure to come back to the blog and give us an update.

Adrienne Graham

120X120Buck the system and circumvent the Glass Ceiling and the Ol’ Boys Network…without asking permission. Learn the ABCs of networking from the woman who personifies networking! Become the networker you were born to be and be fearless doing it.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) May 22, 2009 — Let’s face it, it’s all in WHO you know, but also the ACTION you take. The book Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking is a guide for women to elevate their networking game and be fearless about it. Networking is a team sport; and if you don’t get in the game, you’ll come up short on your career aspirations. Now you can learn how to network fearlessly at the in-demand live Fearless Networking Webinar on June 6th and June 9th.

Written by much sought after Recruitment Consultant and Networking Strategist Adrienne Graham, Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers is a practical guide that gives readers key tips and personal networking experiences designed to show that all women can become fearless networkers. Women find it difficult to make time to network because they don’t make the time to fit it in their hectic schedules, or they fear that it won’t benefit them. Most don’t know how to network effectively, so they feel it doesn’t work for them. But with the economy in shambles and jobs (and companies) being obliterated daily, networking allows people to build key relationships they can tap into in a pinch. “People are more willing to help people they know and have a relationship with,” says Graham. “This book inspires women to actively build relationships and take ‘who they know’ and turn it into a competitive advantage. The webinar allows them to immediately put what they learn to work for them”.

People are more willing to help people they know and have a relationship with
This book inspires women to actively build relationships and take ‘who they know’ and turn it into a competitive advantage. The webinar allows them to immediately put what they learn to work for them

If you are ready to become a Fearless Networker, reserve your space for the Fearless Networking Webinar on Saturday, June 6th at 9AM EST or Tuesday, June 9th at 6PM EST. Women can tune in to learn the strategies to become a powerful and empowered networker, followed by a Q & A session. Networking Strategy Coaching and a Fearless Networking Bootcamp are also available to individuals and groups who want to become better networkers. To get your copy of the book, learn about the author, or learn more about coaching and the Fearless Networking Webinar, visit www.goaheadtalktostrangers.com.

About The Author:

Adrienne Graham, the author of Go Ahead Talk to Strangers, is CEO of Hues Consulting & Management, Inc, a diversity recruitment consulting firm, and Founder of Empower Me! Corporation, a media, publishing and networking organization for women. She writes blogs on corporate recruiting, career management and professional development for women, and is the host of the Blog Talk Radio Show Views From the Top.

BOOK SUMMARY:
Title: Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking
Author: Adrienne Graham
Publisher: Empower Me! Corporation
ISBN: 978-0-615-25666-5
Softcover, $19.95

###

<!– –>Post Comment:
Trackback URL: http://www.prweb.com/pingpr.php/WmV0YS1JbnNlLUhvcnItSGFsZi1IYWxmLUNvdXAtWmVybw==

Technorati Tags

Bookmark - Del.icio.us | Furl It | Technorati | Ask | MyWeb | Propeller | Live Bookmarks | Newsvine | TailRank | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Stumbleupon | Google Bookmarks | Sphere | Blink It | Spurl

AdriennesmallGo Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking

Let’s face it, this economy is on shaky ground. As witnessed by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s powerhouse companies like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, we never know when our cushy job is in jeopardy. If your company collapsed tomorrow, what would you do? Do you have a contingency plan like starting a business? Do you have a solid network of key decision makers who could help you in landing your next opportunity? Chances are if you haven’t taken the time to build a strong network, you don’t have many allies who can help you in a pinch. Go Ahead Talk, to Strangers, based on the book written by Adrienne Graham, gives you the foundations of becoming a fearless networker. In this session, some of what you will learn includes:

  • Branding yourself
  • Build, communicate with and tap into your network
  • Networking with top executives and key decision makers
  • Making a memorable impression on the people you meet
  • Positioning yourself as a subject matter expert and an asset
  • Being a fearless networker
  • Navigating and tapping into traditional and social networking
  • Using networking to advance your career or build your business

Don’t miss this dynamic session that prepares you to become a powerful and empowered networker. Your real networking experience begins at this seminar. Adrienne Graham gives attendees a look into her own networking journey, shares her experiences and best advice on building your own network from a position of confidence and strength, and gets the audience involved in interactive networking exercises.

Each registered attendee will receive a FREE copy of the book Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking, Companion Workbook AND a Networking Journal.

Space is limited and advanced registration is required. Drawing will be conducted for a $25 American Express Gift Check, and 1 free networking strategy session with Adrienne Graham.

Date: Saturday, June 6, 2009

Time: 9AM- 12Noon EST

OR

Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Time: 6PM – 9PM EST

Location: Webcast (internet & phone access required)

Cost: $89

Register today: http://www.goaheadtalktostrangers.com

blackpeopleHi ladies.

I haven’t been blogging much these days because I have a lot going on with new exciting projects that I’m bringing to all of you throughout this year. The past few Sundays I’ve been watching Tavis Smiley’s State of the Black Union on TV One. I always watch these with a conflicted heart because each year we have this State of the Union and there’s always a lot of encouraging speech, praise and calls to action. But it seems like after all the fanfare, the Black Community falls back to where they were. Then we do it all again the next year. That saddens me. We’ve got to do better.

Now don’t view this as me dismissing this event, because I’m not. I think it is vital that we keep these going, but it got me thinking.  What I’d like to see is the same people on the panels, not only put out a call to action, but DO SOMETHING to get things moving. Holding an event is not enough. We can talk about it all day long, but if there is no real effort being made outside of showing up on tv, nothing will ever get better. Now it’s not fair for me to put it on others. Doing better starts within each one of us. We have to take a long hard look at ourselves, individually, and do an assessment. Are we living up to our potential? Are we pushing our kids to live up to their potential? Are we encouraging ourselves to take action? If the answer to any of these is “no”, then we need to take action. People, Black Women in particular, can come up with a zillion reasons why we can’t make it or why we feel things are against us. I’m here to tell you life is rough. But just like they say “it’s not what you’re called but what you answer to”, it’s not your circumstance but how you react and move on from it to prosper that counts. If you don’t instill positive thoughts in your mind, you have no chance to succeed. If you don’t take positive actions to improve your life, you can’t succeed. If you don’t start moving yourself out of negative environments and circles, you cannot succeed.

Self accountability and hard work is the starting point. We cannot continue to blame others for our misfortunes. Education and knowledge is power. It starts with you. If you have children, you can’t even get their lives straight until you get yours straight first. Kids follow by example. If you’re not setting that example of excellence, they will have a harder road. Let them know and understand that being smart and focused is not a crime. Keep them interested in always learning. It breaks my heart to see some women say “I can’t. I’m stuck with no way out”. I don’t believe that in even the most extreme cases. Education and knowledge is the great equalizer. We have way too much access these days to have excuses to fall back on. The internet has a wealth of information, mostly for free. Pick up a book. Talk to people. If you can’t afford traditional education, get a non-traditional education. You can self-educate. Just because your education isn’t from a prestigious university doesn’t mean the education or knowledge is an less valuable. Look for programs, grants and scholarships and apply if you are determined to get a traditional education. There is money out there, you just have to look. Connect with successful people you admire. Surrounding yourself with successful people is sure to put you in a positive mindset. It can be as simple as sending an email or picking up the phone to reach out. Don’t think of people in terms of being untouchable. Everyone is accessible somehow, some way. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get.

Upgrade your relationships. We all have different types of friends. The ones you go shopping with. The ones you can discuss world issues with. The ones you had from childhood. But all friendships aren’t meant to last forever. At some point we all experience a friend who is overly negative and adds nothing of value to your friendship. You dread having conversations with her because you know how they’ll turn out. These are the friends you prune from your inner circle. I know there is a lot to be said for loyalty and friendship. But you can’t allow negativity to invade your space. If you’re in a circle where you’re the smartest one, it’s time to find some smarter friends. If you’re in a circle where all they do is bitch about men and problems, it’s time to find happier friends. If you’re in a circle where all they do is cry over money woes or robs peter to pay paul with no plan to get out of the situation, it’s time to find savvier friends. You cannot allow others, no matter how long you’ve known them, to bring you down. Even the strongest of women will succomb to this negaitvity if exposed to it enough. Don’t be afraid to start over.

If you feel you cannot pull yourself up by yourself, get help. There are support groups and mentors out there willing to help. Now be careful though. If you join a support group, make sure it’s not a pity party but a group with goals on helping one another to succeed. Also be careful in choosing a mentor. Not everyone is meant to mentor people. Make sure there is good synergy between you and get at least two or three people to mentor you. Create an encouragement board. Some people call them vision boards. Cut out powerful words, affirmations, phrases and captions and put them on the board. You can also add images of what you wish to succeed. Keep it in a prominent place where you’ll constantly see it. Refer to it often, especially when you feel down.

Immerse yourself in things other than celebrity gossip or entertainment. Get politically active.  Get involved in empowering conversations. Get dialog going within your own household and talk to your kids. It has always bugged the hell out of me how women will blow up a conversation thread about Beyonce’s weave or last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, hair & makeup, or the Chris Brown/Rhianna saga. You’ll find threads online 40 pages deep. But throw out a conversation about goal setting, starting a business, helping one another, or anything work related, and it gets ignored. People, we’ve got to do better. I’m not saying entertainment doesn’t have it’s place. But have an opinion about something other than idle gossip! We need more intelligent dialog.

If you are a person who has achieved success, this blog is for you too. What have you done to uplift another person? Do you mentor or otherwise give your time? What are you willing to do, as your part, in helping our community? You cannot make the mistake so many have made. You cannot get into the upper echelon then cocoon yourself away from the world saying “not my problem”. I’m not saying you have to single-handedly save the entire world or Black Community. But don’t shut yourself off. The biggest complaint I hear from women, especially Black Women is that the sisters who made it turn their backs and are unwilling to reach back to help. Let’s work to dispel this notion. Get involved and give back. Remember, you once needed a hand. If someone gave it to you, consider it paying it forward. If nobody helped you, remember that feeling and work to help others as you wised someone would have helped you.

If you want something bad enough, go out and fight for it. Nothing is given in this life. You have to fight and sweat for it. Don’t let anyone or anything keep you from achieving it. If the election of President Obama has taught us anything, it’s that anything is possible. Say it with me again ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. It’s up to you to level the playing field. Not President Obama, Black “Leaders”, the government, your boss, nobody. Only YOU. Decide what you want to do and go for it with full force. Find out what you do best and work to refine those skills and create your brand. Be confident in what you do so others will believe in you. Remember, if you don’t believe in you nobody else will. What do you want to be synonymous with? What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want your message to the world to be?  Show up, be accountable, and start talking! Most importantly, start DOING.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

full_cover_smallYou know what? It IS all about “who you know”. Let’s face it, this economy is on shaky ground. As witnessed by the collapse of some of Wall Street’s powerhouse companies we never know when our job is in jeopardy. If your company collapsed tomorrow, what would you do? Do you have a solid network of key decision makers who could help you land your next job? Do you have a contingency plan like starting a business? Chances are if you haven’t taken the time to build a strong network, you don’t have many allies who can help you in a pinch.

Fearless Networking, based on the book written by Adrienne Graham, gives you the foundations of becoming a fearless networker. In this session, you will learn:

* Branding yourself
* Build, communicate with and tap into your network
* Networking with top executives and key decision makers
* Making a memorable impression on the people you meet
* Positioning yourself as a subject matter expert and an asset
* Being a fearless networker
* Navigating and tapping into traditional and social networking
* Using networking to advance your career or build your business
* Building a proper Inner Circle (aligning yourself with power brokers)
* Networking ‘Seasons’
* Networking strategies

Don’t miss this dynamic session that prepares you to become a powerful and empowered networker. Your real networking experience begins at this seminar. Adrienne Graham gives attendees a look into her own networking journey, shares her experiences and best advice on building your own network from a position of confidence and strength, and gets the audience involved in interactive networking exercises.

Date: April 4, 2009
Time: 11 AM- 2 PM EST
Location: Online Webcast- must have internet and phone access
Cost: $69 (refer 2 friends who register & get $10 off your registration! Limit 2 referrals per person.)

Space is limited and advanced registration is required. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=4000183

Drawing will be conducted for a $25 American Express Gift Check, a copy of the book Go Ahead, Talk to Strangers, and 1 free networking coaching session with Adrienne Graham.

This isn’t my article. It was written by Nadira Hira of Fortune Magazine. It is  very timely piece and I recommend you read it.
nadira_hira202The Gig
With Nadira A. Hira

February 16, 2009, 11:03 am

Using your contacts without making them feel used

If there were ever a more important time to network, I can’t remember it. I’ve been to so many going-away parties in the last few weeks that I’m starting to wonder what I’m still doing here. People who thought they’d played it professionally safe — bankers, lawyers, significant others of bankers and lawyers — are suddenly finding themselves among the nation’s growing jobless. And even those who remain gainfully employed are hoarding their cash, certain they’ll be the next to go.

So we young people do what any sane person would do: We spin the old mental Rolodex. We note all the people who don’t hate us and might be of some use. And then we send messages that read something like this:

Hey, Person I Need!

Long time no talk! How are you?! Sorry I haven’t written you in 17 years — boy have I been busy — but here’s some contrived anecdote to show I’ve been thinking about you. Thought you’d like to hear these few random things that are going on with me, too. Oh, by the way, I was thinking you could hire me/refer me/help me in some other way I’ve been generous enough to dream up for you. And since I’m sure you’re dying to read my resume, it’s attached. Totally can’t wait to catch up!

Sincerely,

Most Transparent Jobseeker Ever

If that sounds extreme, believe me, it’s not. I have, in fact, received a number of notes not unlike these myself in recent weeks. And for the record, it isn’t that I wouldn’t be happy to help if I could. It’s just that the approach is so completely disingenuous that it’s actually detrimental to the person’s cause. (And we Yers tend to be more prone to it because of our sometime lack of social graces, the quick and familiar way we communicate, and the broad if not deep virtual networks we’re able to maintain.)

As understandable — and essential — as the urge to work one’s connections is in times like these, there’s still an art to doing it. It’s rooted in basic common sense and good manners, and it applies in every situation, whether you’re sending an e-mail, Facebook message, smoke signal, singing telegram, or (gasp) letter. So, in the interest of maintaining our networking dignity, here are a couple suggestions for reaching out the right way…

  1. Be honest — no, really. It’s important that any networking note we write contains the usual niceties (a “hope you’re doing well,” and some punctuation, for example), but don’t overdo it. When we try too hard to be all “great”s and giggles — especially in an attempt to obscure the fact that we want something — it usually has just the opposite effect. Not only does it draw attention to our self-serving motives, it can also be fairly insulting to the intelligence of the recipient. Why not, instead, try telling the truth? “I know it’s been a long time,” you might say, “but I recently started looking for a new job and, since you’re one of the people who’s offered help in that arena over the years, I thought I’d check in.” (And if the person’s a legitimate friend, a light-hearted nod to the awkwardness often diffuses any tension: “I’m so sorry you’re only hearing from me now, when I need you, but I hope you won’t hold it against me forever.”) It’s nothing revolutionary, but with trust in short supply these days, a little sincerity goes a very long way.
  2. Ask for advice, not a gig. It’s never really proper to ask for a job outright unless you’re in an actual interview. But with the job market in the state it is, and everyone worried about their own job, it’s particularly poor form right now. Some people may not even respond to you if they feel pressured to produce a possible job or broker an introduction, so focus your energy on seeking out good advice, insights, and resources. If, for instance, there’s a job you’re interested in at an acquaintance’s company, write to ask what s/he thinks of the department, not to look for the hookup. This tack is flattering — after all, who doesn’t like the idea that their perspective might be valuable? — and it puts you in the positive light of a potential protégé or close colleague, someone that your contact may think of (fondly, and maybe even first) should a job prospect arise. This way, if they have a post or person to share with you, they can do so on their own terms. And if all they have to give you is a few words of wisdom, at least they know that’s worthwhile to you, too.
  3. Do not attach your resume. And for that matter, don’t attach any other representations of your wonderfulness that are likely to lock up people’s inboxes, even if you’re sure they like you. Not only can it seem presumptuous, it also looks a bit desperate. Even if you’re posting to a group of friends about your job search, it’s much more effective (not to mention safer) to just include a few sentences about what you’re looking for and what you’ve done, rather than giving them your entire work history, which they’re not likely to read anyway. As a rule, re-establish contact first, then ply with documents.
  4. Facebook doesn’t change anything. In our age of social networking, it can be tempting to use the relaxed attitude of tools like Facebook to take the work out of networking. It’s so easy now to just “friend” a person you haven’t talked to in years — without so much as a, “Remember me from high school?” — then hit them with the old, “I really love your company, so…” But take it from me, that isn’t going to be received any better by a Facebook friend than it would be by anyone else. Even on the Web, people know when they’re being used, and they don’t like it. So apply the same amount of courtesy and concern there as you would everywhere else.
  5. Show a little gratitude. Remember that everyone, from the C-suite all the way down, is under pressure right now. So thank them for their time, and if they make an effort to respond, even if they don’t say much, realize it means something — and say so. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it fosters a continuing relationship. We’re so connected, and it’s so easy to maintain those connections in today’s world, that there really is no excuse not to build and nurture as many substantive relationships as you can. (And just to be clear, by substantive, I don’t mean poking and gifting, but actual communication, like with words.) That may seem like a big investment of time for not very much immediate return — and goodness knows many of us really need the return at the moment — but trust me, you just never know.

wp_logo1Hello everyone! Well, I didn’t make it to the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit in Orlando, FL this year. I am so upset. I caught the flu so I couldn’t go. I had it all planned out. I would stay at my Mom’s (free room & board!), meet some of the ladies outside of the Summit for drinks or dinner, and network my butt off! I had the sessions I wanted to attend highlighted and was ready with my business cards. I even ordered some extra copies of my book- just in case. Needless to say, I was disappointed when I realized I would not be attending. *sigh* Yes, I’m whining.

Well, a lovely friend of mine, Michelle Greene, a Director of Business Infrastructure, who I met at last year’s Summit, called me and told me to get well and stay in bed. We both wished we could get together and turn that event out, but I was too sick to make it. Michelle did something that was even better than me being there. This dear woman talked me up to anyone who would listen. You see, I advised Michelle to get some Resume Cards a few weeks ago as part of her self marketing efforts. She had some made and bought them with her to the Summit. Everyone she gave them to complimented her on a genius idea. She promptly told them that I was the one who advised her to get them AND she told them about my book. Amongst them was B. E. Editorial Director Sonia Allyene- I’m really sorry I missed her!

And as if that wasn’t enough, Michelle stood in line after a session with Carla Harris- a managing director in global capital markets at Morgan Stanley- to get an autographed copy of her new book Expect to Win: Proven Strategies for Success from a Wall Street Vet just for me. When she called me to say she had a surprise for me, I had no idea. I am so touched that she did that for me. The power of networking! I am going to be sure to send Ms. Harris a note of thanks, and I owe Michelle a dinner or something for looking out for me like she did. I am truly blessed.

Another example of my brand transcending myself is I received a call from a woman who is doing research for an article on women entrepreneurs. She left a voice message for me and in it she stated that in talking with other women, my name came up quite a few times as a person to know. She took that as her hint to look me up! I have no voice right now, but I will call her back as soon as I can speak again. I don’t know which women spoke so highly of me but I am so grateful to them for respecting me and thinking so highly enough of me to make the referral.

So see, your brand really does represent you when you aren’t there. It is important that you continue to represent yourself in the highest integrity and respect. People talk, and you want them to always speak well of you. It’s the highest form of flattery and confirmation when people share your name. Don’t disappoint them.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.