Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 13th 2014 Contents BG12 COMMENTARY
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 2014 • WEEK TWO
Make networking less
Networking doesn t always come naturally.
But finding the right type of gathering that
suits your strengths and interests will make
networking much more successful and enjoy-
Don t force yourself to attend every event
for the sake of "networking." Make sure the
environment works for you. If you don t like
crowded, noisy functions, steer clear of boozy
harbour cruises and after-parties. If you can t
find a suitable event, create your own. Bring
together different "interest groups" of col-
leagues that work in your field or that you
meet at conferences.
And make sure to commit when you re at
your best. If you re not a morning person,
don t sign up for a 500-person networking
breakfast. Subject every event to a cost-benefit
analysis. Ask yourself who s likely to attend,
if they re your target audience and whether
you ll actually get to connect with them.
(Adapted from "Networking for Introverts"
by Dorie Clark)
Tell your team you're all in
We re hard-wired to want to work together.
Research shows that the feeling of working
together can lead to greater motivation, engage-
ment and performance. But ironically, while
we have team goals and are judged by team
performance, few of us actually do our work
Yes, the projects we complete are done in
teams, but most of the work we do today still
gets done alone. But there s a powerful way
of making employees feel like they re working
as a team, even when they technically aren t:
Simply say the word "together." It s a powerful
social cue to the brain that signals you belong,
you re connected and there are others you can
trust. Managers should make use of this word
with far greater frequency. By repeating that
you and your employees are working toward
something together, they ll know they aren t
alone and will be motivated to do their best.
(Adapted from "Managers Can Motivate
Employees With One Word" by Heidi Grant
Optimise your office space
for better productivity
More companies are using workspace to
encourage innovation and collaboration. To
design your offices to improve organisational
culture, workflows and employee satisfaction,
think more directly about how to meet people s
needs. Start by:
• Going straight to the source. Use your
company s intranet or another internal com-
munication tool as a way for all employees to
ask tough questions or offer opinions about
your office environment.
• Generating more data. Gauge peak work-
load times and think about how your space
can encourage more departmental cross-pol-
lination during down time. Optimise the most
popular spaces and reform conference room
duds. Coffee bars, communal tables and quiet
rooms can be more productive uses of space
than underutilised meeting rooms.
• Incorporating technology. Conference
room technologies can let employees know
when rooms are free. They can also keep track
of reservations and meeting agendas, making
it easier for people to get together.
(Adapted from "Design Offices to Be More
Like Neighborhoods" by Max Chopovsky)
Turn your boring Q&A
A lot of Q&As fall flat. Not all speakers are
good at handling questions, not everyone par-
ticipates and not all questions are relevant.
Luckily, there are ways to make these sessions
• Do an inverse Q&A. The speaker poses
a question to the audience, letting people dis-
cuss it with their neighbours.
• Ask for reactions, not just questions. Invite
people to share observations.
• Have people vet questions in groups. Ask
people to think of good, relevant questions in
small groups. Then ask for some examples.
• Tell a final story after the Q&A. Stop the
Q&A session a few minutes before the end to
share one final example. That way, even if it
falls flat, you can still end your session with
a bang instead of a fizzle.
(Adapted from "4 Ways to Fix the Q&A Ses-
sion" by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg)
Get multiple parties in
sync during a negotiation
Many negotiations involve more than two
parties, and all of them need to agree on a
solution. But more people being involved means
more interests to meet, more options to sort
though and more alternatives to consider, so
getting everyone to commit takes longer. You
can accelerate the process by clarifying roles
and making sure everyone focuses on only
one draft of an agreement.
First, list out the decisions to be made, and
then identify the decision-makers in the room
- the other people present are either advisers
or those who must simply be informed about
Next, choose a drafter to be responsible for
drafting and editing the agreement. Have the
drafter elicit interests from all parties and
create a rough draft. Then people can offer
critiques and suggestions, and the drafter can
revise. After a few rounds, you should have
something concrete to present.
(Adapted from the "HBR Guide to Negoti-
@2014 Harvard Business School Publishing
Corp. Distributed by the New York Times
TIPS & TALKING POINTS
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