Month: January 2020

Ever go to a social event and meet a person who just would not stop talking about themselves? You ask a friend about their vacation and before they get two sentences out this other person interrupts with their story of visiting that same place. Every time your friend tries to continue, the other guy interrupts with a bigger, better adventure. Or after asking you what you do for a living he goes on and on about his accomplishments with no prompting inquiry from you. Dominating the conversation, you’re stuck standing there nodding your head and mumbling “uh-huh” over and over. Bored to tears, you’re trying to figure out how to escape.

Does that person resemble you? In networking environments there is always the pressure to get your message out, but is that effective?  Only if by chance you randomly hit exactly on a pain point of the person you are conversing with. Otherwise you’ve been saddled with the description of a boor and have incentivized them to get away from you quickly. I’ve experienced that and been guilty of it.

As a very talkative person with strong convictions I must be very aware when I am dominating the conversation in not necessarily a good way. What I do now is ask questions; find out about them, their family, how long in the area, who do they work for, what is their position/department, use questions to show their potential as a prospect or influencer.  I’m looking for the potential of them being interested in what I have to offer.

Usually, once they have slowed down, they get around to asking me about me. Hopefully I’ve discovered enough to customize my delivery in a way that relates to something I’ve learned during my questioning phase. My goal is to use a related story about something we have done that relates to them. Once the conversation gets around to me, I usually dominate it. I’ll quite often get “Wow, I’ve experienced that same thing,” that opens additional conversation about potential solutions and away we go.

How do you handle networking conversations?  What techniques have you found helpful?

The last time you started a job you may have felt that your new boss said, “ You’re Hired. Now Figure Things Out.” That’s not far from the truth about how most American companies operate. You are hired to quite literally fill a position, a desk, in a box on an organizational chart. If they could find a monkey or automate the work, you would not even be needed to fill that space. At Valve Software, the organization chart in the employee handbook is a dig at traditional organizations.

Most of the employee handbook is a dig at most other businesses and that’s the way Valve likes to operate. They can pretty much do what they want because they are not bound to lenders or people who own their ideas. The business is fully self-­funded and Valve owns the ideas and patents for their gaming software unlike anyone else in the gaming and software development field – and that’s not all that makes them innovators in American business.

Hold on to your seats: Valve wants their employees to be innovators who are thinking about where they can best serve the organization.

That’s right. Valve hires free-thinking innovators and creates an environment in which they can flourish. Why your desk has wheels is because the team at Valve wants their employees to be thinking about their next move within the company.

Where can YOU best serve the organization? When were you EVER asked that in corporate America? You have more than likely never been asked unless you have worked at Valve.

Team members of Valve actually move their desks to be closer to the teammates with whom they are working. There are maps not only of where each person should be; there are maps of where each team member is currently located. Pretty amazing and shockingly logical: Allowing employees to make decisions about their work and schedule creates and maintains an environment where employees are highly productive.

Here’s the catch – Companies like Valve have a specifically non­-corporate environment and not everyone is going to flourish in this culture. How to identify prospective employees who fit the corporate culture is one of the ways  Viatech Global can help your business grow. Our value science tools help employers identify, engage and retain employees. We want your business to gain the greatest value from your biggest asset – your employees!