by Patricia Fripp,
1. Take advantage of every opportunity.
I started my career as a hairstylist. At conferences I am often asked how
I become a speaker, author, and executive speech coach? By noticing and
using every chance that turned up. Opportunity doesn't knock just once.
It knocks all the time, though you may not recognize the sound. One technique
is to learn from successful people by finding out how they achieved their
2. Start by asking questions.
Successful people will share their knowledge and experiences with you if
you ask good questions that stimulate their thinking and responses. The
quality of the information you receive depends on the quality of your questions.
The key to connecting with others is conversation, and the secret of conversation
is to ask the right questions. A conversation can lead to a relationship,
and a nurtured relationship can produce amazing results.
3. Dedicate yourself.
Two questions you should ask yourself on a fairly regular basis are,
"What can I do to contribute to my profession--to my employer and
my professional association?" and "How can I be professionally
accountable?" When you can do this, you'll get so much more than
4. Use stories.
Be inventive in selling yourself and your profession. Learn to network,
one on one, by using memorable stories. Sometimes, it's appropriate to
fade into the background. Most of us are shy in some situations. But,
to be professionally accountable, you must be able to stand out and speak
up. When you are in any situation where you're meeting the public, how
do you introduce yourself? When people ask what you do, can you tell them
in a way that will stick in their minds? I challenge you to come up with
a one-sentence way of presenting yourself and your profession so that
people will never forget. Create a vivid, visual picture of your job, its
challenges and triumphs. People will remember the picture you create in
their minds, rather than your words.
5. Develop your persuasive powers.
Being professionally accountable means knowing how to influence people.
President Dwight Eisenhower, said, "Leadership is the ability to
decide what has to be done and then getting people to want to do it."
How do you influence people? One of my clients is Horst Schulze, president
of the Ritz Carlton hotels. He advises prospective employees, "We
are all ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. Our guests
pay our prices to have an experience, and it is your job to be part of
that experience. You will never say, 'That is not in my job description,'
and you will never bring your own problems to work." Obviously, this
works at the Ritz Carlton. Do you have a similar motivator for yourself,
your colleagues, and your fellow professionals? Are you persuasive in representing
my company, department or association in public?
The future belongs to the competent. We need to be multifaceted in our
competence and become charismatic communicators with technical competence
and excellent people skills, especially in negotiating. This means developing
the habit of learning everywhere, every day.
Take the initiative. Go meet people who perhaps don't look like you
or think like you. I remember attending a five-day conference where most
of the audience members were ministers. As I walked into the coffee shop
for breakfast, I looked around to see which group was the most unlike
me. I sat down with two Mennonite families, and, over the course of the
conference, we became great friends. As I got to know them and enjoyed
their conversation, I asked if they would mind telling me what they believed
in and why. I realized that, as fascinated as I was to meet them, they
were equally fascinated to talk to me.
You inspire others, both personally and professionally, through your
actions and the environment you create. When you are professionally accountable,
people watch what you're doing as well as listening to what you're saying.
The world has become a complicated
place in which to live. A personal strategic plan can help you get
clarity and focus on your own preferred future. This article shows
you how to create your Personal Strategic Plan.
Line up Your Thoughts, Feelings and Energies in Order to Accomplish Your Goals
Why is it that some things come easily to us and other goals seem so hard to attain? Often it's because we're conflicted—our feelings are working against us instead of working together.
5 Small Steps That Lead to Great
Shifting Your Vision into Reality
How can you make the most of this year so that you can end it feeling just as high as at the
start? Get out paper and a pen, check out the tips below, and create your blue print for a year to remember.