Friday, August 8, 2014

How to (Non-Awkwardly) Reach Out to Old Contacts

According to a recent Inc. article, the most valuable people in your network are your “dormant ties,” defined as people you used to know but don’t currently keep in touch with. And while that may be true, I’d argue it’s only the first piece of the puzzle. How you reach out is just as critical as to whom.

Think about it: When an old associate contacts you out of the blue, you’re either pleased or perplexed to hear from him or her. If a former employee reaches out thoughtfully—perhaps with an article of interest, a compliment on a recent achievement, or a succinct ask—you’re much more likely to respond than if he or she feigns being your long lost best friend (it happens, and it’s not pretty).

To make sure you’re communicating the right way, here are three different methods you can use to reach out to former contacts.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

3 Times You Shouldn't Delegate (and 3 You Really Should)

“Non-delegator” sounds so much nicer than “control freak” or “know-it-all,” but truth be told, that’s just semantics. Delegating can be scary—especially if you’ve been burned before and if you know exactly how you like things done—but I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s a crucial part of moving up the ladder.

That said, that instinct to hold some projects close to the vest isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes you really should keep a project on your own plate. The trick is knowing when you should pass a task along (hint: the correct answers go way beyond when you’re too swamped to care how it’s done) and to whom.

So, take a deep breath, have faith that your colleagues and employees are capable of doing a great job, too, and use the guide below to discern if you’re keeping a project because it’s the sensible (rather than territorial) choice.

See the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Continue the Conversation After Someone Writes You Back on LinkedIn

When LinkedIn sends you a note that your InMail was accepted and a new contact wrote you back, it’s hard not to get a little excited. You knocked your initial outreach out of the park (need tips for that? We’ve got ’em), and now you’ve started a dialogue with someone new.

However, don’t get too cocky: One response doesn’t mean the hard part is over. Writing a killer (in either sense of the word) follow-up will dictate the rest of your interaction.

So, what should you do? Follow these four rules of continued correspondence over LinkedIn.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Respond to Cryptic Emails

At its best, email is one of the most efficient forms of communication—it can be short, sweet, and sent on the go to get your questions answered or your message across.

That said, your inbox can cause more problems than it solves when in lieu of a no-nonsense, abridged response, you receive a one-sentence reply that essentially means nothing. Unlike a phone call—where you can use the ebb and flow of conversation to continue asking the same question in new ways—it can be hard to press for new information over email.

The good news is, cryptic emails usually fall into one of two categories, and there is a strategy for responding to each type. Read on for the common offenders and the best approach for each one.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

5 Must-Dos for First-Time Intern Managers

I’ll admit it: I wasn’t a natural when it came to managing interns. They were my first-ever direct reports, and I made all of the rookie mistakes. I assigned too much work and too little work; I over-explained, I under-explained; and so on and so forth.

The good news is, managing interns—anyone, really—is a skill at which you can vastly improve with practice. But that’s no reason to start at the bottom. Learn from my experience, and read on for five ways to be a successful intern manager.

Read the rest of my latest Daily Muse post here.