Monday, July 29, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Parking Tickets vs. Networking Events

Even the most diligent can run 15 minutes overtime at the parking meter. I am not the most diligent.

I have managed to keep my misdemeanors to fewer than 5 a year but that’s still the price of a great pair of pants or a few networking events… which got me thinking: why do I willingly pay parking tickets instead shelling out for networking events?
Takes time and money
Takes time and sometimes money
Lines the coffers of city hall
Lines the coffers of professional organizations
No visible reward or thank you
Potential gains and thanks
Can be annoying
Pesky unpaid tickets limit my ability to get a city parking pass or my driver’s license renewed
Without a network, I might not do as well in my career (or generate the cash to pay the parking tickets)
Can be done in private /solo
Can’t be done solo but can be a private one/one
Takes 10 minutes
Takes at least an hour
No transportation required if paying online or by mail
Can increase chances of getting a parking ticket if you drive to the event

I’m still a believer in building community and networking is a valuable tool. However, this week, I’ll probably just pay my parking ticket. J

Monday, July 22, 2013

Renovations & apologies

Renovations - as I've discovered - mean my internet connection is ripped out of the wall. Actually, for a few weeks, I had no walls. Then, when the walls went back, it took a few more weeks for the utilities people to be willing to step through the chaos, tools and debris to re-install the plugs.

In the meantime, my pre-arranged posts ran out.

My sincere apologies to all of you. I missed writing even more than I missed sleeping in my own bed. Renovating a house sucks. Blows. Is awful. Pick an an adverb.

Renovations seem to be the summer theme for many of us. Not everyone went as far as my little house with no walls, water or floors... but work, relationships/circles and careers seem to all be undergoing large change - some deliberate and some seasonal, some infrastructure (behind the walls) and some cosmetic.

I'm thinking through what change really means to me - how broadly to embrace it and how to find emotional space when change is very large and/or encompassing multiple fronts. Any and all ideas welcomed!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ice breakers - why they don't always work

Ice breakers at events and planning sessions generally get an eye roll when they are announced. Folks anticipate spending 10 - 20 minutes asking inane questions and feeling silly while doing it.

But ice breakers don't have be awkward; they can form an integral part of driving the agenda and helping the room share information faster.

1 - Ensure the ice breaker has a point (beyond "talk to people" or "be creative"). Why does the ice need to be broken and how will it drive the rest of the agenda?

2 - Ensure clear permission to participate is given (by the facilitator and the participants to themselves). Any ice breaker can work if folks understand the point of it and feel empowered to participate.

3 - Ensure the instructions don't take more time than the activity itself.

4 - Don't make it all a competition. Offering a prize to the person who collects the most names at a networking event doesn't mean the exercise or names collected are meaningful.

5 - The ice breaker does not always have to be the very first item on the agenda. Maybe you don't need folks to start talking until later in the program?

Ice breakers can be useful in group and one/one situations if they're thoughtful and relevant. Feel free to leave me your best ice breakers ideas /links below!