Story Upping!

Ever wonder why someone you just met all of a sudden loses interest in you right in the middle of a great story you’re telling them? You’re probably the victim of “Story Upping” and don’t even know it.

Log cabins have a sense of peace, security, hominess and, comfort attached to them and many times our stories become like a log cabin in our conversations—however, even log cabins (stories) can be crushed.

Watch the video below as I explain. If you can’t get the video running, I’ve included a general transcript below it for you to read instead. Enjoy!

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(Transcript of video)

I’m out here at Allardale Park in the Medina County Park District, Ohio. It’s a beautiful park complete with valleys, steps, trails, and stunning scenery.

As I’m walking along, I came across something I want to show you—mainly because it reminded me of a message I’d like to bring to you. Behind me is a collapsed log cabin, but as we get closer to it there’s actually a tree that has fallen on it, but it’s not what caused it to collapse-it came later. I’m not sure what the cabin was used for or why it’s in this condition. I saw it 2-3 years ago when I was out here walking.

What it has reminded me of is a discussion I had with one of my sisters, Terri, just a couple of days ago. As we got into the topic of networking, she said, “You know, one of the things that really bothers me when I meet someone new is how they react as I’m telling them a story about some event in my life. They react by trying to ‘one-up’ my story with another story.”

I actually call that ‘Story Upping’ and it is a real activity which happens in networking events.

Now, we know the value of a good story and its ability to draw you into the life of someone else. We teach it all the time in networking & marketing workshops. Stories help make things viable—they help you sell things. But, if you make a practice of ‘Story Upping,’ essentially using it as a club on another person, you’re using the power of story the wrong way. What happens is you literally kill the enthusiasm in the other person.  Or, as my sister said, “When some one does that, it takes all the wind out of my sails; in fact, I’m not even interested in talking any further with them.”

Here’s an alternative I’d suggest—instead of saying “You know what, I’ve got one worse than that…” or, “You should hear this one,” you should instead say, “You know, I’ve had similar experiences, so I’d be interested in hearing how you felt about what happened, or what really affected you in that story? I’d love to hear.”

Do you see what happened there? You just turned their opinion of you all the way around to a positive experience instead of a frustrating one. Now, you’re engaging with the person and becoming a part of their story with them. So, don’t kill their story by “Story Upping” it, instead engage with them in their story and connect with them on that level.

Don’t crush the cabin. People live in their stories & if you crush it you’re going to have a negative experience with your new friend (or old friend). Let’s keep our cabins (stories) impactful and a source of engagement with others.

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If “Story Upping” is something you do; recognize it, note when it’s happening and, turn it around. You will be surprised at how well your conversations go after this. In my private sessions with my mentoring clients, this has come up several times and I’ve found it interesting that people don’t usually know they are even doing it. Sometimes it takes another person who cares for you to point it out and help with suggestions on how to move forward in a positive light.

If you’re interested in turning your conversations around so they become more impactful, email me about becoming part of a group or individual networking mentoring session where I use a ‘results-oriented’ mindset to help you become more engaging and effective in your networking efforts. By the way, this stuff also helps you to make and close sales in your business.

Reach out to me HERE with the title of “Story Group” and I will forward you more information.

NOTE: “Story Upping” will be the topic of our Networking WOW workshop for the month of November 2016. Held at Rustic Hills Country Club in Medina, Ohio; Nov.16th, 7:30 am – 9:00 am. A discussion will be held as we look into this topic. You can GO HERE to register with the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce.

BONUS TIP: One great way to honor someone and get a relationship off to a great start is to engage in each others stories.

Hope to see you soon.

ONward, Bob Arnold

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If you’re not a member of “Bob’s Pencil Points” blog, click here to join. Periodic glimpses into the deeper world of networking. One new connection for you is worth more than you can imagine.

His book “The Uncanny Power of the Networking Pencil” is to be released soon.

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As an author, networker, and architect, Bob simply believes in and has seen networking make phenomenal changes in people’s lives and businesses. Check out Bob’s story.

Broken Trees & Masterminds

I realized that you, as you work in your business, look for places that are custom made for your growth. Well, I don’t want to hide this one from you–in fact, you are welcome to join in for a special Mastermind Discovery Session happening this Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 11 am – 3 pm in Medina, Ohio.

But, first listen up as I explain a little about what you can expect.

Reach out to me at TheNetworkingBob@gmail.com with the title of “Mastermind” and I will forward you more information.

Hope to see you soon.

ONward, Bob Arnold

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If you’re not a member of “Bob’s Pencil Points” blog, click here to join. Periodic glimpses into the deeper world of networking. One new connection for you is worth more than you can imagine.

His book “The Uncanny Power of the Networking Pencil” is to be released soon.

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As an author, networker, and architect, Bob simply believes in and has seen networking make phenomenal changes in people’s lives and businesses. Check out Bob’s story.

Networking Distraction

 

It’s you! (I’m just going to say it right up front.)

You have it all set; your mindset to meet her, the focus on how to work the conversation, the intention to learn about her—not focus on you.

Then you walked through the door! Your heart is pounding! You’re looking around the room.

There she is! And, she’s not talking with anyone!

She’s the person you had found out from the host would be there, but had never met before. The person who could provide work opportunities for you, or help you connect with others who can.

“I’ve got this!” you said.

As you started walking over—there they were! The ones you always see at events like this, the ones you talk with all the time. They’re not your customers and they don’t send you any good connections—but you’re friends.

Distracted, you say “Hi!” You pause. You get in a conversation about something that’s going on in both of your worlds; the weather, workload, or some common interest.

Next thing you know the Host is asking everyone to sit down because the main part of the event is starting.

Your mind snaps! You did it again!

You look over, only to see the person you had planned to meet—sitting with your competitor.

You cringe!

You did it again—lost your focus—got distracted!

Why?

Because, you are the distraction!

Instead of staying in a comfort zone with someone you know very well, just say “Hi! I’ll get with you later.” and go on to that person you had intended to meet—your friend will understand.

Be a connector, not a distraction.

Meet someone new today.

 

Bonus Tip:  You might even introduce your friend to her–after you have had a conversation and know a little about each other! Otherwise, you may just be setting up another distraction–more on that later.

 

Of Note: I’m starting up another Mastermind Group, so if you’re interested in knowing more about its focus on taking your business to the next level, let me know & I will send you some information. Email me HERE. Use subject line: Mastermind. I’m running a Discovery Session in Medina, Ohio the last week of October for those interested in learning more. These change lives and businesses!

 

ONward, Bob Arnold

Onward_Logo

If you’re not a member of “Bob’s Pencil Points” blog, click here to join. Periodic glimpses into the deeper world of networking. One new connection for you is worth more than you can imagine.

His book “The Uncanny Power of the Networking Pencil” is to be released soon.

—————————————-
As an author, networker, and architect, Bob simply believes in and has seen networking make phenomenal changes in people’s lives and businesses. Check out Bob’s story.

 

12 Gather…After 38 Years!

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At first, I didn’t see anyone I knew—I walked around the tent and texted one of my past classmates who I knew would be there and stood waiting for the ribbon-cutting to happen.

I remember to this day, 42 years ago, when I first experienced Taylor Hall at Kent State University—the top floor of which was dedicated as a studio for the long hours we students of architecture would spend captured in its glass walls working on our projects.

…then Kath, one of my classmates of the 1978 graduating class walked up & we reintroduced ourselves and she escorted me to a seat in the reserved section of the ceremony.

We were there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly built building which will now house the Architecture School.

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  • It’s a beautiful design
  • It’s State of the Art
  • It provides the atmosphere needed to design
  • It’s prominent
  • It was commissioned well

As I toured the building, I started discussions with a few students and found myself remembering the excitement I felt those years I spent in such a space seeking inspiration for the next design project I was assigned. I smiled as I listened to their stories…

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There were 12 of us from our original graduating class who came to witness this event that gathered afterward around a meal and liquid refreshments—catching up on each others lives and the lives and adventures other classmates had experienced who were not present or who have departed from this world since graduation. It was good and sobering to hear and see what had become of so many of us. There were:

  • Dreams realized
  • Dreams shattered
  • Accomplishments made
  • Accomplishments dashed
  • Families built
  • Some retired
  • Some expired
  • Rumors revealed
  • Remembrances refreshed

Yet you’ll find us across the world executing our craft.

It’s humbling to not recognize someone from your own class, yet it brings a smile to my face to see some that I remember having certain characteristics, still exhibiting them and others who act a lot different than I remember. Many of those present I spent time studying architecture in Europe with for 12-14 weeks during our 4th year of architecture school.

The main Point here is that for each of us there are groups we remember and I want you to heed the fact that those people who share the journey with you will always be soul-mates of yours and, in the networking world, they are groups you can (or should) count on as you live your life.

Yet, too many of us move on and discard old friends and fellow travelers as irrelevant or of no importance. It’s sad, but it is also a part of life.

I enjoyed myself as we all shared memories and laughs and I count it a privilege to call them all friends.

My world wouldn’t be the same without them and neither would yours, after all we have designed many of the buildings that you frequent or spend much of your time in & some of us will continue to do so.

Bonus Tip:  This is especially for those of you who are in college right now—the people around you, your professors and other college students, are members of your influence group. You will find that as time goes on, those you met while schooling, in a Fraternity or Sorority, will be ones you will take a call from anytime they call. You will find they will help at the drop of a hat. Make sure you build a strong network while you’re there! YOUR CAREER DEPENDS ON IT!

 

Reminder: I’m starting up another Mastermind Group, so if you’re interested in knowing more about its focus on turning your business into a ‘Results-Oriented’ networking entity that produces prospects during your networking efforts, let me know & I will send you the key information you need to become involved. Email me HERE. Use subject line: Mastermind. I’m running a Discovery Session in Medina, Ohio on October 12th for those interested in learning more. These mastermind groups change lives and businesses! Don’t underestimate the height you can climb to—check it out today.

 

ONward, Bob Arnold

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If you’re not a member of “Bob’s Pencil Points” blog, click here to join. Periodic glimpses into the deeper world of networking. One new connection for you is worth more than you can imagine.

His book “The Uncanny Power of the Networking Pencil” is to be released soon.

—————————————-
As an author, networker, and architect, Bob simply believes in and has seen networking make phenomenal changes in people’s lives and businesses. Check out Bob’s story.

 

Bob’s Mountain?

Valuable lesson in this post—I got surprised this week, pleasantly, that is!

I was just reading a post from another blogger friend (Michael Port, Founder of Book Yourself Solid® Worldwide) and he commented on how his assistant turned his attention to a place online where Doctoral candidates post their dissertation titles. One caveat though—they are required to turn their title into a single sentence anyone would understand! Oh-Oh; that could be quite a task I thought.

The title of one was: Studies on an Arabidopsis thaliana MYB Transcription Factor Involved in Heat and Salt Tolerance

It got posted as: Plants will die if you put them in the oven.

Well now, I don’t know about you, but I certainly understood the second rendition a lot quicker than I did the first! (Actually, I still don’t understand the first one.)

His post caught my eye because of something that happened to me this week. I hosted a couple of networking events on Thursday (National Coffee Day) at coffee shops and had planned to debut my new diagram representing 10 networking tips—in fact, I had titled it: 10 Results-Oriented Tips for Networking Success. No Kidding—that’s what I called it! I thought it was succinct enough.

During the week, Donna, my talented go-to graphic artist at 2d3d Group here in Medina, Ohio, sent me a prototype to look over & simply said “Take a look at Bob’s Mountain inside.” Simple comment that knocked me off my seat—before I even took a look at what she sent me. The graphic was even more spectacular—I love it when someone “gets it” from a simple diagram & explanation I give of what’s in my head.

But, back to the title—she captured the image in two words: Bob’s Mountain.

Here’s the lesson: Quit trying to be so succinct and descriptive of what you’re putting out there for someone else to read—most of it is boring. The main point of a title is to draw someone into your paper, book, or picture. Keep it simple, and memorable!

I see the same thing going on with networking introductions. Someone feels like they have to give me all the intricate details of how they do the job they do, with disclaimers and all, when all I’d really like to know is an easy way to remember them later. Those long dissertations lose people—Keep it short; keep it memorable; keep it on-point; and, you will capture someone’s imagination with your product or service.

By the way, the two networking events went great and we all got to know each other and learn some valuable nuggets about how to get results from our networking.

You’ll be hearing more about Bob’s Mountain!

Bonus Tip:  2-7 words are all it takes to capture an imagination, preferably 2-3!

 

Oh, By-the-way: I’m starting up another Mastermind Group, so if you’re interested in knowing more about its focus on taking your business to the next level, let me know & I will send you some information. Email me HERE. Use subject line: Mastermind. I’m running a Discovery Session in Medina, Ohio on October 12th for those interested in learning more. These change lives and businesses!

 

ONward, Bob Arnold

If you’re not a member of “Bob’s Pencil Points” blog, click here to join. Periodic glimpses into the deeper world of networking. One new connection for you is worth more than you can imagine.

His book “The Uncanny Power of the Networking Pencil” is to be released soon.

—————————————-
As an author, networker, and architect, Bob simply believes in and has seen networking make phenomenal changes in people’s lives and businesses. Check out Bob’s story.