Do You Have Circles of Connection? ©
By Terri L. Norvell, Business Coach & Consultant

The trend of tele-commuting and a home-based work force continues to rise. Whether you are currently an employee in a corporate environment or you are already working as an independent contractor, you will be impacted by the shift this trend is having on our workforce. The largest shift is the lost camaraderie and connectivity of the traditional "hallway news" along with the availability to quickly brainstorm with an office colleague. Individuals and independent co-workers now need to find new forms of staying connected and informed of timely information. With the prevalence of change all around us, everyone, at all levels, can benefit from heightening their connections.

Is National Networking For You?
While the Internet greatly increases your capacity to connect and learn from a wide variety of sources, the human interaction is again absent. To gain the human-factor…welcome to tele-conference forums. Access to this community is by an ordinary telephone from the convenience of your office or home. These "SuccessForums" provide instant opportunities for global distant learning. They also provide a very low cost way to work and learn with peers and other professionals in a non-competitive environment. NewsTrack and TrainingNet have reported great success with this format. Fast Company, Inc., and the Journal of Property Management are currently exploring this flexible service.

Action Application
How can you benefit from connecting with your industry counterparts across the countries? Seek out SuccessForums within your industry and across industries. This is a brand new trend for connecting with world-class presenters, organizations and peers. Interested in hearing more about SuccessForum? Send an e-mail to tnorvell@norvellassoc.com.

Local Knowledge is Plentiful
To connect on a local level, many professionals are now meeting with their industry peers and competitors to learn and share knowledge. Your Industry Connections Group is an excellent way to support one another, so everyone achieves more. Or, you may choose to join a Success Team which crosses industries to discuss marketing, management and operation strategies and tactics. For more information on either of these groups, send an e-mail.

Action Application
While you will not need to divulge confidential company information with your competitors, there is more to be gained than lost by honest sharing with one another. If a group does not exist at your local level or within your industry…start one. Decide to join or start a local Industry Connection or Success Team as one of your goals in 1998! The ideas and camaraderie will help to position you and your business for the year 2000 and beyond.

A "Personal Board of Directors"
Just as a company has a Board of Directors, consider forming a Personal Board Of Directors for yourself. This is a team of friends and colleagues who are available to assist and support you in your personal and professional life. Think of them as your "inner circle" with relationships that develop from working together, during good times and bad. Your Board might be comprised of people with varying expertise to provide resources in finance, tax, legal, marketing, sales, spirituality, etc…

Action Application
What do you want to accomplish with a Personal Board Of Directors? Once you determine how this team can assist and support your success, you will want to strategically select people to participate. Determining how you will work together, how you will communicate and if compensation will be provided are important considerations. The impact of this group can be powerful, as they will be a rich resource for you throughout the years.

Now is the time to create your Connections for Success. Want some help?


Terri Norvell is a national business coach and consultant
for fast growing and entrepreneurial businesses.

More information about Terri Norvell - including an article list!


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