I’ve been a longtime fan (ok stalker) of Adam Grant. I was so excited to see he was one of the headliners this year. I have had the privilege of seeing him speak several times in the past but many others were just hearing his name and hearing him speak for the first time. Grant has had two New York Times bestselling books including Give and Take and his latest, Originals. He is currently the top rated professor at Wharton. At this year’s conference, Grant gave one of the opening keynotes and also held a morning breakout session. Here are some takeaways!

1. Be a strategic giver. In his first book Give and Take Grant explores how helping others drives our success. He talks about three giving styles which include givers, takers and matchers. Matchers are the most common style. These are people who seek an even balance of give and take. But as it turns out givers are overrepresented at both extremes as far as those with the greatest and the least success. The key is to give strategically so you don’t become burned out and are not a failed giver. You can do a test to determine your giving style at adamgrant.net.

2. Five Minute Favor. Grant urges people to give in a way that aligns with their values, interests and skills. Make sure giving has a high impact and a low cost (and give in a visible way). One of my favorite teachings of Grant is his Five Minute Favor. You should be willing to do a five minute favor for anyone that is not time consuming for you but has high value to the other person. Examples would include emailing an article of interest, making an introduction or writing a testimonial. Be willing to ask for help. Most giving is in reaction to a request for help. But most people never ask for help!

3. Seek out disagreeable givers. In Originals Grant explores how individuals champion new ideas and leaders fight groupthink. He discusses the importance of having disagreeable givers in the room to challenge the status quo. Agreeable people will not challenge things. Work on sincerity screening to weed out agreeable takers. Just because someone is nice to you does not mean they actually care about you. Be careful who you let on your team and into your life.

4. Repetition is key to getting your ideas heard. It takes 10-20 exposures to an idea for someone to appreciate it. Additionally, you must make the unfamiliar familiar. Add familiarity to your pitch. An example Grant gave: “Warby Parker is Netflix for eyewear.” Also make clear how your idea is going to help the team and the organization.

5. New reward systems. Make sure your company or organization does not just measure individual successes. Change your reward system to one that recognizes collaboration. Don’t be an organization that says you value collaboration if you continue to only recognize and reward employees individually.

And check out:

-Grant gave a TED talk this year (as well as a prior TEDx talk). Both can be viewed on his website.

-Grant is working on a new book with Sheryl Sandberg called Option B that focuses on building resilience and finding meaning in the face of adversity. Watch for its release soon!

-Grant works with Make a Wish Foundation and integrates this charitable work into his teachings with his students at Wharton. So far they have raised $325,000 through experiential learning activities!
Jennifer Lynn Robinson is a litigator turned entrepreneur following a life changing near death accident. She conducts speaking engagements and workshops for companies, non-profits, groups and conferences on topics surrounding networking and relationship-building. Jennifer also hosts a local weekly TV show called Main Line Connect. She lives outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband and three rescue dogs. @AreYouNetworked purposefulnetworking.com



If you attend a networking event and follow up with people afterwards I applaud you. Most people don’t. You get extra credit if you simply reach out to someone on your own through social media (LinkedIn most likely) and connect on your own sans event. But it is important to be mindful of how you connect if you want that person to engage, reply, or build a relationship. Here’s 3 things NOT to do:

1. Don’t send an automated message. Here’s an example I received:

“I’ve been using Connected to keep in touch with my connections. Check it out! Download it here: http://lnkd.in/connected-invite-stl

Is this someone I am going to want to engage with? I think not.

2. Don’t connect and then automatically respond with a sales pitch. Here’s an example I received:

“I am reaching out to you because I can help you and your business become great. I am an (removed business name for confidentiality)  Chair and my calling is to transform both the business and personal lives of CEO’s, executives and business owners. You were recommended as a possible member candidate. I would love to tell you more about it.”

Wow, I feel warm and fuzzy about how personal my first interaction with my new connection was, don’t you? Maybe if they bothered to look at my profile or business they would realize I do much of the same in my own work.

3. Don’t ask for a favor from a new connection unless they offer it. Often times people connect with me and then ask if I can make introductions for them, if they can use my name, or if I can push something out to my network for them. I am happy to do these type of things when I KNOW and TRUST people. A lot of times with new connections I have people in mind to connect them with and will initiate intros and other assistance. But if I don’t do it on my own, then don’t ask me to do it till I know you better-or at all.

Have you experienced anything similar? Please comment below.

As always, feel free to connect with me on Twitter at @AreYouNetworked and at my website purposefulnetworking.com.









Note: Sorry for the longer lag time between posts! Please bear with me as I recover from several surgeries and some complications.

Whenever I speak to individual clients or groups about Networking, the biggest concern seems to be time. How much time do I need to spend on networking? How do I fit it into my day?
So here are 5 things you can do that take 15 minutes or less to help build your network everyday:

1. Schedule a phone one on one: Follow up with someone you met with a 15 minute exploratory phone call to learn more about each other and your businesses. If there is a lot of synergy, you can always set up a one on one for coffee or lunch but it is a great first step to help you prioritize new contacts. You can’t meet with everyone! After the call if you have promised to do something like make an introduction-do it right away. Networking is about following up as well as following through.

2. Write a recommendation or testimonial for someone in your network: Don’t wait to be asked. If someone has helped you with your business, provided great service or helped you out in some way write an unsolicited testimonial. You can do this through LinkedIn recommendations or a lot of people also have a testimonial page on their websites and you can write something for them there.

3. Make an introduction: Look through your Linkedn contacts and think about some people who might benefit from knowing each other. The connection could be based on similar industries or interests or could be people that could be good strategic partners for each other. But it could be even more simple than that. Maybe you have a friend that is going to Hong Kong and someone else in your network mentions they are going there for the first time. You could connect them to discuss everything they should see/do when they visit. Recently I connected my husband with a corporate attorney I met through one of my talks when I learned he was an avid tennis player looking for people to play with. My husband is always looking for strong players as well so I thought this was a great reason to connect them. The connection does not necessarily have to be for a business-related purpose. Remember, people do business with those they like and trust (and the same goes for who they refer to other people). Building strong relationships is always of value.

4. Complete/Update your membership profiles: A lot of us join membership based industry and other networking organizations. Start going through one site per day to see if you have a profile that is complete with a picture, all your social media links, and a few lines about your work. If you meet other members at events you want them to be able to find you easily to connect. Additionally, lots of people try to refer or use people in their organization. They will look at the member directory to see who is a florist, plumber, photographer etc. Make sure that info is readily available and easy to navigate. If the website also has an online member event calendar take a few minutes to post any events or promotions with your business as well.

5. Utilize Twitter: Take a few minutes to follow people and retweet to help build followers and community on Twitter. You can view the most popular hashtags on the homepage and add one of those hashtags to your tweet to join the conversation and gain more exposure for your tweet. You can also search for Twitter chats on various topics of interest to get to know new people and share your expertise. Here is a link to a great article on Twitter Chats which includes a list of some of those that are already out there. Feel free to start your own as well. http://socialfresh.com/twitter-chat-how-to/

Please tweet me at @AreYouNetworked to tell me what you do to build your own network!