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How other people can help position us for opportunity
Extract from VCO Global – John Niland:
The majority of people find it difficult to “market” themselves. Shameless promotion is “just not their style”. So how do they position themselves for the next job or opportunity?
The sad reality is that many “contributors” fail to do so. They wait for that promotion, recognition or invitation to interview. They experience disappointment and resentment when others (“more politically savvy”) overtake them on the highway.
Yet there is a real alternative, even for the most introverted “contributor”. In a nutshell, this consists of allowing other people (or partners) to position us for opportunity. We do not have to carry our own message; indeed it’s more effective when others do so for us – from a “third point” in the triangle made up of A) us, B) the person who has the need and C) the person opening the door.
There are four solid reasons to consider these triangles. First, timing. It’s rare that we are present in the moment when opportunity (e.g. a job) is created. It’s more likely that others are; so they can be our eyes and ears. Second, credibility. Others can convincingly speak about our talents, usually more powerfully than we ever could. Third, anticipation of possible objections. The person with the need (B above) is unlikely to voice their concern about us to our face. They are more likely to discuss this with another (C above), who can counter-argue on our behalf.
But the most significant advantage of all is probably the fourth one: encouragement. In creating these triangles, we are already on our way long before opportunity happens. We have been discussing our situation with others, gaining clarity and insight about our talents, seeing options we could never see on our own. We are building key relationships for the future.
There is no limit to the number of “triangles” we can create. Sometimes, we already have them; we are just not too sure about how to use them. A very simple beginning might start with “I would like to ask your advice about the next step for my business/career… when would you have half-an-hour?”
Readers of The Courage to Ask will have spotted the catch: this request is the hardest part of the whole process. Without question, courage remains the single greatest challenge for “contributors”; even more than skill. It takes courage to create the triangles.
Not everyone thus approached will turn out to be a real supporter. Others have good intentions; they just cannot help. This is why we usually need to build a bigger network of partners than we initially imagine, and with people further afield. Maybe it will be the seventh or twelfth person approached: we just don’t know.
What we do know, however, is that they can often do for us what we could rarely do for ourselves.
© John Niland, March 2012
More … http://johnniland.com/
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