–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger at Wrought Iron Reads
Ninety percent of the time when I’m on the internet, I’m blasting shout-outs about the website and what we do here at Wrought Iron Reads, researching the market, and bending social media to my will. Usually, I’m doing all of the above while working on content creation or freelance writing, and that makes for a very cluttered head. Before you remind me I could get way more done by focusing on one task at a time, don’t bother. 🙂 I’m sure that’s the case, but the way my adult ADHD is set up, that’s just not going to happen.
At any rate, I know intimately what it’s like to be in the middle of a thousand important things at once when an inbox, email or DM comes in from some sweet soul looking to connect. Sometimes it’s a reader asking for a link to my book or blog. Sometimes it’s an author with a request or comment. And, sometimes it’s just someone who wants to shoot the breeze.
Unlike million-dollar writers who can ignore a message or two, I’m building my network, and I can’t afford to play diva or snub anyone.
So, here I’m delivering a handy escape from socializing while you’re working and don’t want to sever professional connections. You can do these even on a tight budget, even on a tight schedule, even at your wit’s end. You’re welcome. 🙂
- Be Attentive: But how? I’m swamped with work! You can do it by setting aside a time-frame specifically for communications so you can give your connect the attention they deserve. Networking is a key component of every profession, and rescheduling the conversation until you’re ready to talk eliminates brisk chats in favor of more meaningful interactions.
- Stay Cool: Don’t unload your stress and busy schedule on someone else. “I’m so busy right now. Can we talk later?” implies you’re too busy for the person trying to reach you, and it subtly indicates that person is a problem. Instead, try, “I don’t want to miss anything you’re saying right now. Let me clear my schedule so we can really talk.” The language prioritizes the person to whom you’re speaking and shows that you want to talk, and you’re willing to make time for them. Reply back during your set communication hours.
- “Read” the Interaction: If a request is time-sensitive, then putting it off until it’s convenient for you sends the wrong message. Pay attention to what’s said, and if you’re not sure about the nature of the interaction, just ask. Concise communication is the key to getting what you want while delivering what you need to deliver.
- Follow-up: Whenever you say you’ll get back to someone, do it. It builds trust and shows that no matter how busy you are, that person matters to you. And, really, that’s what networking is about.
Now, you try!