Quote of the Day

There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.

“There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” — Nigel Marsh, How to make work-life balance work

Are Networking Groups Too Persuasive?

Networking groups are successful because they use the six principles of persuasion.

  1. Reciprocity: One of the first rules of networking, in groups or otherwise, is to help first. Reciprocity is a fundamental principle of all networking.
  2. Scarcity: Many groups only allow one person to represent each occupation. Some have membership fees and some have other membership requirements. Membership is only available to those that qualify for the group.
  3. Authority: Group members are always vouching for each other. When the group allows only one representative of each occupation, that person is automatically group’s expert.
  4. Consistency: Members have to commit to showing up at meetings, to helping other members and to participating in the operation of the group.
  5. Liking: New members have to be accepted by the existing members. They meet regularly in a social context and, by joining the group, share the same values.
  6. Consensus: The actions and behaviours of the group are the reason for the group’s existence and the membership rules enforce those actions and behaviours.

The relationship in networking groups is profitable for members. Belonging is seductive because of the persuasion principles but open networking is more profitable because it leads to more opportunities and better options.

Networking groups that use the scarcity principle are too persuasive. It gives authority through membership and limits the network. The scarcity principle makes the group ripe for abuse by those who control the membership and the limitations on the network go against the principle of networking.

This Is More Than Just The Facts

Writing for the blog is getting easier. I now want the writing to get better.

I am used to business writing. I spend most of my day doing email, preparing slide shows and writing project documentation. I do this well.

Business correspondence is avoiding story telling and it is not conversational. It is stating facts, asking questions and confirming commitments. Short crisp sentences, often in the form of bullet points, is good writing. Ambiguity, long reads, words requiring a dictionary to understand are the enemies of corporate communication. It is all tell and if you want to show something, it needs to be a graphic in a presentation.

The blogs I like are fun to read. They tell stories and have humour. They are conversational and personal.

My almost daily posting is starting to pay off. It takes me less time to write a post.

I am now working on making the posts more enjoyable to read.

Opportunistic Questions

I am looking at an opportunity that requires me to move to Australia. The questions I am asking and the conditions I am applying to this opportunity is making me see the way I evaluate opportunities in a different light.

I know that I need to take a buyer’s attitude to opportunities. Knowing and doing is different. The size of the move required makes me truly have a buyer’s attitude. I am the requester yet I am asking to be sold on the opportunity.

I am asking: Tell me about the politics involved. Show that I am not coming into a confrontational situation. This is going to stretch my abilities and I will be in learning mode for the first few months. If I have to worry about backstabbing and constant battling for the position of alpha dog of the pack, this won’t work. Some politics is normal, however, jumping into an active dogfight is a recipe for failure even if this weren’t a stretch assignment on the other side of the world. I think this is the first time that I have actively looked at the political environment of a deal and I have realized I need to do this every time.

I am also applying tougher qualifications to the deal. I need to make sure that I can afford the move, afford the extra travel to Europe for family and other business, afford the time off for the extra travel and other considerations. This is not a new thought process. The importance of the conditions on this deal is one of the things affecting my attitude.

I do not think the deal in Australia will work. I do like what I learned from the process of evaluating the deal.