Category: Networking

How to Become Known As An EXPERT

By , July 25, 2013 11:23 am

iStock_000011959900XSmall“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.”

Denis Waitley

Experts make things look easy!

The journey to acquiring expertise often takes time, hard work, discipline, and persistence. It doesn’t just happen overnight.

Reading all the books in the world on a particular topic doesn’t make you an expert, though it will make you more knowledgeable about something. Expertise is not only the acquisition of knowledge, it’s also the ability to implement and use the information wisely.

For example, I know several ‘coaches’ who understand the principles and theory of coaching, but they have no coaching clients! They are so busy trying to gain their expertise from books, another qualification or attending one more workshop, instead of going out into the world and actually coaching people!

So it’s also the practical application of knowledge and understanding.

Expertise is developed over time and one of the essential ingredients is experience.

People become experts for many reasons. Here are a few of them:

  • To establish credibility
  • To become the Go To Person…Others will seek you out for your knowledge and experience
  • To leverage your marketability and increase your perceived value
  • To expand your horizons and see things from a different perspective
  • To increase your success
  • To gain the trust and buy-in of others
  • To become a leader and shine the light for others to follow

Here are seven ways to become known as an expert by getting good at what you do:

1. Be passionate – Expertise starts with knowing what you are passionate about. You have to be genuinely interested and naturally curious about your topic to become an expert in it. Have you ever tried to learn something that you’re not interested in?! You stop learning! Believe in your own ability to become an expert – You CAN do it!

2. Experience it – You get better at things by experiencing them. Get some real-life experience, keep up to date, read around the subject, and apply your learning to your every day life or work. For example, one of the best ways to learn how to be a coach is by being coached! Turn the theory into practice! Actively look for opportunities to practice what you are learning. Do things imperfectly and be open to making a few mistakes along the way.

3. Surround yourself with like-minded people – Become a member of an association or join a professional body in your field. Attend conferences and workshops to learn from those more experienced than you. Listen and learn from credible experts. Connect with online groups who talk about your subject and support each other (not groups where people just promote their shit all the time!). Network with others who are passionate about the topic. It’s okay if they know more about it than you as you can learn from them.

4. Leaders are readers – Read books and listen to audios. Watch videos and read articles. Sign up for eZines and weekly articles from credible sources and make time to read what they have to say. Be curious and look for knowledge about your subject. Remember to APPLY it into your life. Become a student of you and try things out. Get into the habit of regular reading each week and you’ll soon know more than most people around you. Continue your education around your subject.

5. Share what you learn – Share what you learn with others as you learn it. Be willing to share what you know. This will help to position your self as an expert over time. You will start to notice that you know more about the subject than those around you and you can offer help and support to them as you are working at a higher level than others. Most people haven’t taken time to read or explore the topic like you have. You may even create a presentation or workshop to help others.

6. Get writing! Write articles or blog posts about your stories and experiences and how you’ve applied your learning. Share your successes too. This way other people will get a feel for you and you will build your expertise. They see themselves in you. Writing a short ebook or a chapter in a book about something you are passionate about can really enhance your credibility. It can also be a catalyst for other opportunities such as consultancy opportunities, radio interviews and speaking engagements.

7. Give it timeBecoming an expert doesn’t happen over night. It takes time. Make a long-term commitment and build a foundation for success through commitment and persistence. You become an expert by taking your learning and growth seriously. Set goals and take consistent action. You’ll start to notice when others come to you for advice or give you feedback about your depth of understanding. Keep going and keep growing. There is ALWAYS more to learn. You are never done!

You become an expert by doing the groundwork by practicing what you are learning and through demonstrating your passion and expertise…

 

Networking Nausea – 5 common Networking Mistakes…

By , November 28, 2012 6:29 pm

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.”

~ Robert Kiyosaki

I’ve attended a few networking events recently and had the opportunity to observe how business people share information about themselves with each other.

Learning how to speak about what you do with clarity and confidence is an important skill for any leader.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “You only get one chance to make a first impression!”

You can infect or affect your audience with your energy and enthusiasm. The challenge is not to over-play your strengths.

Learning to network can feel uncomfortable to begin with. You feel like you’re in the spotlight as you’re trying to make a good impression, increase your visibility, build connections or introduce yourself to potential new clients.

Anxiety and discomfort creates nervous energy. If you allow this take over you push people away rather than engage them in a conversation.

Here are some of the common mistakes that new networkers make:

1. Over-Playing Your Strengths – Sometimes we are so passionate about our subject that we ‘overplay’ this strength. Especially if the other person seems slightly interested. Your enthusiasm becomes a turn off for the other person. Your passion is strength, but if it’s over-played you may come over as arrogant, evangelical or pushy and our Ego can take over to run the show

2. Fire Hosing the Other Person This is where you fire hose them with too much information about what you do or why you are good. You try and explain EVERYTHING about yourself (Usually at 900 mph!). The conversation becomes very one-sided because it’s ALL about YOU… Remember that a CONVERSATION involves TWO or more people! So be curious, give the other person some airtime. Be genuinely interested and bring them into the conversation

3. Giving Out Rather than Getting Through – You might have a great elevator pitch that you can reel off with precision.  Unfortunately everyone can feel the relief when you get to the end of the paragraph and you’ve remembered all your key words! You deliver this message in a way that just gives out information, rather than using the power of your voice to make it interesting and engaging. Slow down, use intention and energy in your voice rather than just reeling off the rehearsed paragraph – This makes the other person curious about what you do.

4. Looking for the Next Person to Talk To – Instead of being fully present for the person you are talking to, you’re looking over their shoulder to see whom you could talk to next.  One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is to listen to him or her fully. Make that person feel like they are the most important person in the room. Give them eye contact and your full attention. People feed off each other’s energy: If you feed me indifference, then I will mirror this back to you.

5. “I’ve Written a Book, Do You Want to Buy It?” This was an opening statement by a woman who I’d never met before. I had no idea what her book was about. We sometimes feel compelled that we have to ‘sell’ something to be successful in a networking conversation. This person feels pushy or grabby! Networking is about CONNECTING that’s all. It’s the art of conversation. You get a feel for each other, a bit like being on a first date. (You wouldn’t plan your wedding or how many kids you’re going to have on a first date right?!).

We judge other people by their actions, we judge ourselves by our intentions. Make sure you actions match your intentions and bring the other person into the conversation.

Here are a few tips:

Slow down, breathe and watch your brevity. Have an engaging conversation. How can you best serve the other person?

Control the conversation and involve the other person as an equal partner in the discussion. You both have equal value and gifts to share. It’s a combination of listening, giving and asking for information.

Empathy is so important if you want to connect and influence other people. If I perceive that you are interested and understand me, I’m more likely to relax, open up and share my thoughts with you. I might even ask you for your contact details so we can stay in touch.

Being aware of these mistakes can help you to avoid them in the future!

Happy networking!

 

 

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