Women perform better than men in new companies
I recently came across from fascinating research from Harvard University by Professor Boris Groysberg. For years he has been studying the characteristics of high performers. In a new study her looked at what happened when you took a high performer from one organization and placed them in a new organization. What he found is that male high performers saw a dramatic decline in performance. Specifically 46% of top male performers saw a 20% decrease in performance. Incidentally this did not recover within the 5 year study period. The only exception to this was the female top performers, when they moved to another organization their performance stayed stable and tended to increase. Why?
Boris looked into this in more detail, what he found is that the females in the study were often denied access to internal peer groups in the male dominated industry. In a nut shell they were excluded from the "boys club". With few people to network with who did they form relationships with?
Their customers and suppliers!
The result was that while their internal network was weak their external network was incredibly strong. In comparison their male colleagues had a very strong internal network however their external network was lacking. Which network is portable? Internal or external? Of course the external ones! While the males said goodbye to their close co-workers, the females took their network to the next company.
In this time of rapid staff turn over which is the most valuable employee?
What are you doing about your external network and how portable is it??
Lets face it business is personal here's how to build rapport with clients!
Develop a database.
This sounds so simple it is almost an insult. Most people in their own business live and die by their database, however people in corporations rarely have a strategically set up database. Start to develop and update your database on a regular basis. Keep them front of mind.
Whenever you contact them don't just say calling to touch base. People are far too busy to have you just touch base with them. Only contact them if you are going to give them value. So keep your database front of mind, be on the look out for articles that might benefit them. If you find something new and interesting that may help them pass it on. Also be on the look out for opportunities you can pass onto your network, you may be able to pass on business opportunities to them, which they will love you for.
With our fast paced society people are losing the ability to focus on a single train of thought. Constant interruptions at work, blackberries, mobile phones and our addiction to multitasking has caused us to lose our ability to focus in conversations and be deeply engaged in conversation. The greatest compliment you can give another human being is your undivided attention. When you are truly present in a conversation you build rapport and develop relationships, alternatively when are disengaged and not present in a conversation we insult people and damage the relationship.
It's not all about you
Networking nights can be very painful and people rarely enjoy them. The main reason for this is that the people who go to networking events think it is all about them; how many people they can big note themselves to, how many business cards they can give out, etc. The real key to networking is to solve other people's problems. At the next networking event why not find out what people need and help them get it. Choose 3 people and spend the next month making their business a little easier. You will get more business and develop better relationships than puffing your chest out to people.