Saturday, November 21, 2015

What if Your Organization Changed Customer Service to Enlightened Hospitality?

Dessert, Gramercy Tavern, October 2015
Danny Meyer, the prominent New York City restauranteur, first came to my attention when my daughter was at the Culinary Institute of America. She was so moved by Meyer and his philosophy, she sought to do her externship at Eleven Madison Park (EMP). Her experience at EMP had a huge impact on her. I saw first hand how Meyer's way of running restaurants attracted great staff and moved them to create great experiences for their guests. I wanted to understand Meyer's way of running his business as well as his leadership style reading Meyer's Setting the Table... 

Meyer shares stories from growing up to birthing his first restaurant (Union Square Cafe, New York City) to lessons learned in opening other restaurants now part of the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). He shares his adventures, mistakes and most of all, his vulnerability. Meyer touches the reader’s soul by sharing his soul. Meyer is different in a positively healthy, nurturing good way. If you are looking for a winning business philosophy, here it is!

For example, he treats solo guests as royalty rather than a problem as some other restaurants do. To him, the solo guest is paying his restaurant a compliment. He sees a positive attitude and attention to the solo guest as an investment in a long-term relationship. This is the key message of Setting the Table …create and nurture relationships, both internally and externally. Having won multiple awards and stars from Zagat, James Beard, The New York Times, Wine Spectator, and Michelin for his eleven restaurants as of this writing, his way of doing business has paid off.

Meyer has moved the bar from customer service to enlightened hospitality. He doesn’t call patrons of his restaurants customers, but guests. A whole different set of images and feelings come from being called a guest rather than a customer. Staff are referred to as hospitalitarians! This is not the typical “how to create and run a business” book. The reader comes across words like soul, goodwill, abundance, graciousness, elegance and art form. Setting the Table is on par with books, Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by The Disney Institute and Theodore Kinni and Fish: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Lundin, Paul and Christensen (Pike Place Fish Market, Seattle, WA.) The only disagreement I have with Meyer, and I know he means well, is when he calls hospitality a team sport (page 16). In sport there are winners and losers. In hospitality, there are no losers.

Enlightened hospitality asks the question, “Whoever wrote the rule…?” Enlightened hospitality is context and context is everything, according to Meyer. Enlightened hospitality lives by one size fits one! Enlightened hospitality nurtures and touches all parts of USHG including its nonnegotiable core values, goal setting, management philosophy, hiring and training hospitalitarians, the way it treats hospitalitarians who affect guests who affect community who affect suppliers and finally investors. Look at our attitude toward the financial industry, who put investors first! Enlightened hospitality speaks to handling mistakes and failures!

Meyer has made an art of correcting mistakes with guests in what he terms, “always write a great last chapter.” He and USHG not only own a mistake, even an unintentional one, but respond as quickly as possible with grace and add a heaping dose of generosity! That great last chapter approach creates guests for life! For-profit and non-profit businesses would do well to learn and embrace this behavior!

Could Setting the Table change your organization?
Notice the picture of the salt shaker on the front cover

of the book? There is a story behind the salt shaker. You need to know your “center,” your core values and principles. It’s the job of staff and guests to move your salt shaker off center. Your job is not to get upset, but to move the salt shaker back to center. Center is what you stand for and what you won’t stand for. Do not let others decide where your center is. Perhaps if Kodak, Blockbuster and Blackberry had known, understood and lived their core values and purpose, they would be vibrant businesses today.

“The 51 Percent Solution” is about emotional intelligence and it's importance in finding it in the hiring of people for USHG. Meyer points out technical performance of the hospitalitarian is 49 percent and emotional performance is 51 percent. “The only way a company can grow, stay true to its soul and remain constantly successful is to attract, hire and keep great people.” page 139. Hire people who have the 51 percent. Those who possess the 51 percent are agents who make good things happen for others. People with the 51 percent are aware of “golden moments” that offer the opportunity to “WOW” the guest. Choose people with a great attitude and weak skills over people with a poor attitude and great skills. Attitude is the convergence of strong emotional intelligence, living the Golden Rule and gratitude. While skills can be taught and learned, not so with attitude. Let’s face it, people with the 51 percent make management’s job much easier and rewarding. It’s a game changer!

Bottom line
If service is the right thing to do, then hospitality is the compassionate thing to do. What would happen to morale, turnover, productivity and the bottom line, if your organization moved from offering good customer service to gracious hospitality?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

We're Coming to Asheville. What Do You Recommend? (Updated 04/29/18)

Some of the Catawba Falls
We get phone calls and emails from friends, friends of friends, clients and blog readers who say, “We are coming to Asheville. What do you recommend?” We have so many choices and so little time! Click on Asheville for a link to a map of downtown Asheville

So let's begin ... by watching a short video about Asheville to get a flavor of this town and area!

Beer ... don't like beer? Then why are you coming to Asheville?

Asheville is Beer USA. We have more breweries per capita than any other place in the United States. The Asheville Brewers Alliance shows fifty-nine breweries in its membership.

Sierra Nevada in Mills River is worth visiting, touring, sampling their beers (even if you don’t like beer!) and eating in their taproom room. Incredible food that is from local farmers (as is the case with many of Asheville’s local restaurants). Check out my personal favorites, the sausage and sprouts and the smoked trout salad.

New Belgium Brewing opened in May, 2016. No food, but usually a good food truck outside their taproom. Plenty of room to throw a Frisbee. Excellent selection of beer! At least four IPA's on tap and usually another two or three special IPA brews! Try NB's Hemperor HPA made from hops and hemp. You toke it rather than drink it!
Lexington Avenue Brewery - creates some outstanding beers as well a nice menu.

Asheville Pizza and Brewing - combines great beers with good pub food.

Other great craft brewers on my list:

The Wedge - excellent Iron Rail IPA.

Catawba Brewing - hike to Catawba Falls and then you'll understand why the beer is so good! 

Green Man - great place to drink a tasty brew and catch a soccer game!

Get the Chocolate Liquid Truffle!
Hi Wire - around the corner from Asheville Pizza and Brewing.

Hillman Brewing opened in 2017. It is more of a pub. It has the feel of the old TV show, Cheers. Great selection of craft beers as well as the Rise Above Deli is connected to Hillman. They have an excellent Reuben sandwich to go along with your beer selection.

Coffee ... let's face it, the day isn't going to happen until there's coffee!

High Five Brewing -
Counter Culture coffee (IMHO...the best!) 

Filo - Counter Culture coffee and sweets

Liberty House Coffee and Cafe - great coffee and healthy food! I walk over from City Hall a couple times a month!

Breakfast ... don't skip breakfast!

Vortex Donuts - incredible donuts and incredible coffee from 1000 Faces Coffee -  (right next to Catawba Brewing on Bank Street - this could be a two-for-one-stop!)

Biscuit Head - wonderful comfort breakfast food that will knock your socks off!

Early Girl Eatery - you could also do lunch here and not be disappointed!

Sunny Point Cafe - they serve an attitude adjustment to get your day started right!

Lunch ... mid-day refuel!

12 Bones - even if you don’t care for President Obama, his taste for good 'Que cannot be denied! He’s been to 12 Bones every time he comes to town! Republicans have been known to eat here! Our foodie daughter requests a 12 Bones visit when she comes to town. Even if you are a vegetarian, the sides will make you want to come back! Note: 12 Bones is only open from 11 AM - 4 PM, M-F in the RAD and 11 AM - 4 PM, Tue-Sat, Arden. There will be a line no matter when you go. Be patient. It is worth it!

Pisgah Inn - food is good. The view (if it’s not foggy) is incredible. Pisgah Inn is up on the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Asheville.

Every town has some place that grills a great burger. In Asheville, go to The Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge!  Voted "best burger" in Asheville two years in a row via the Mountain Xpress! Montford Pullup, 231 Montford Rd recently got the People's Choice Award for best burger, but it's strictly carryout. 😞

Home Grown - the fried chicken … this ain’t KFC … this is good!

White Duck Taco Shop - If Trump were to eat just one of WDTS's 14 different tacos, he'd have an attitude adjustment on our neighbor to the south. Taste for yourself!

Before Dinner … another chance for attitude and altitude adjustment!

Sovereign Remedies - excellent craft cocktails in an interesting setting.

The Imperial - excellent craft cocktails on the 2nd floor above Table,  where you can have dinner.

The Top of the Monk - Think of a speakeasy in the 21st century! Members only, but it only costs $1 to join!

Sky Bar - an expanded fire escape on the side of the Flat Iron Building in downtown Asheville. Have a libation at sunset! Great view! 

Speaking of great views, the new AC Hotel's Capella On 9 has a nearly 360 degree of view of Asheville. Worth a drink and a view!
Battery Park Book Exchange

Battery Park Book Exchange - have a glass of wine, a craft beer or latte and browse the used books! Also a great spot to gather with friends and play Scrabble among the books on a rainy afternoon!

Behind this door at 106 Lexington is The Crow and Quill. This contemporary-speak-easy-feeling-adult-libation spot has over 350 whiskey's on it's shelves behind it's bar! And if you don't drink whiskey or crafted cocktails, they have over 350 other adult beverages! Consider trying a Dark and Stormy Daniels! Do not judge the book by it's cover!

Dinner ... we are blessed to have sooo many incredible restaurants! These are just a few!

Table - just plain good old gourmet comfort food good! 

Are you looking for Italian? Check out Chiesa! Billed as food for the soul...your taste buds get their food first! Damn good lasagna (only on Wednesdays!) Finish your dinner with a slice of Limoncello Marscapone Cake!

Nashville, TN is the birthplace of hot chicken. I've had Nashville's Hattie B's Hot Chicken. It's good, BUT Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack here in Asheville beats Hattie B's! Eight levels of heat for your chicken from plain (no heat) to XX-Hot Mount St. Hell No!

Blue Dream Curry House - an international taste sensation. My favorite is the Cosmic Korma.

Smoky Park Supper Club -  Arrive by kayak, inner tube, on foot or car. This is a unique venue on the French Broad River in the RAD and is built from steel shipping containers! The crafted food and drinks match the unique construction!

bartaco- is a recent addition to AVL food scene. Bartaco is rated as one of the best tacos in America! Go taste for yourself!

en la calle is "Limones' little sister bar whose sole purpose is to put a smile on that beautiful face of yours!" And it does that and puts a smile on your taste buds, too! Lobster nachos are a must!
Plant - OK, I'm a carnivore, but this place could get me to become a vegan! EXCELLENT!

King Daddy's Chicken and Waffles - the name alone should give you a clue this ain't your momma's cooking! Try this. When your server comes up to take your order just say, "I've never been here before. Surprise me!

Vietnamese Crepe...a favorite!
The Admiral - we were just back at The Admiral recently with our classically-educated-chef daughter. She gives it four stars (and she should know as she is associated with the #1 best restaurant in the world, Eleven Madison Park, NYC) Note: Reservations recommended at least a month in advance. 

Nine Mile - wonderful Caribbean fare. There are two locations. We are partial to the Haywood Rd location.

Gan Shan Station - deliciously mystical! Sit at the bar and be entertained while being nourished!

Dessert ... save room!

French Broad Chocolate Lounge - A MUST DO!  It’s been known to change people’s lives! Note: October 25, 2015 - 10 Best: Chocolate As a Pure Art Form - French Broad Chocolate Lounge...#1!

How about a truly delicious homemade ice cream sandwich like none you've ever had? Go to Sunshine Sammies! It began as an ice cream cart in 2013 and has morphed into a storefront at 99 Lexington Ave. OMG good!

Beyond Food…so much to experience!

Navitat - do the Blue Ridge Experience - there is one zip-line over 3500 feet long and nearly 500 feet above the forest floor with an incredible view!


Craggy Gardens - hike with a view.

Catawba Falls - easy hike beside a beautiful stream and numerous water falls.
Coming through Nantahala Falls, class III/IV rapid

NOC - white water rafting! Rafting on the
Nantahala River begins in the late morning as the water from Fontana Reservoir is released. I've been down the Nantahala River several times. It never gets old! Dine on good food at the River's End afterwards.

Celebrating Terri's Birthday with 38 family and friends!
LaZoom - laugh and tour Asheville at the same time! Augusta Wind is my favorite tour guide! She makes me laugh tears! Try the Band and Beer tour! Visit two local craft brewers and listen to great live music as you travel from brewery to brewery.

The River Arts District (RAD) has 22 buildings with over 200 artists including glass blowers, jewelry designers, painters, sculptors and potters. You will also find the intimate Magnetic Theater in the RAD. Just saw the world premiere of Better Strangers directed by Callan White. Excellent!

We've got the regular big screen movie theaters, but we also have Grail Moviehouse. The viewing spaces are more like your home living room on steroids! Wonderful way to watch first run artsy movies! The Fine Arts Theater, a former porn theater back in the day, is also a good venue for independent movies.

Speaking of art, Asheville has over 30 tattoo parlors and over 100 tattoo artists in the area. For the artistic pain, I recommend Danny Reed at Hot Stuff Tattoo! Danny has been named "Best of WNC" several times!

Asheville has more massage and pamper boutiques than any town our size. I give Sole Haven four stars! The atmosphere is pure joy. The foot soak followed by a foot reflexology is pure heaven! Your feet will say thank you. Your body will say AHHHHHH...

TOPS for Shoes - every kind of shoe for everyone!

The Screen Door - eclectic, unusual, whimsical, fun to explore … especially on a rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Mast General Store - remember penny candy? Mast has this and so much more! Think of it as a local LL Bean!

The Orange Peel - All kinds of music!

Drum Circle in Pritchard Park, downtown AVL
The Drum Circle - occurs Friday evenings beginning around 5 PM until 10 PM - weather permitting. Bring your drum, dance or just watch! 

Elaine’s Dueling Piano Bar - Great entertainment at the Grove Park Inn

Haywood Street Congregation - the one Christian fellowship where I believe Jesus would show up! On Wednesdays at 12:30 PM and Sunday afternoons at 3:15 PM! Incredible Welcome Table before worship where local restaurants serve over 300 people at three seatings.

When you've done all this and if you still have money ... visit the largest private 250-room home in America, the Biltmore.

Where to stay ...

Asheville has the normal hotel chains... Hampton Inn, Courtyard, Sheraton, Holiday Inn ... the upscale Indigo Inn and Grand Bohemian Hotel ... but if you want different, consider...

Albemarle Inn - bed and breakfast. We stayed at the Albemarle Inn in 2008. It's close to the Grove Park Inn. Excellent!

Sourwood Inn - bed and breakfast.  It's been open for 17 years. Susan and Jeff Curtis are the innkeepers. Wonderful hospitality! Setting is north of Asheville, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Have you ever stayed in a yurt? This is glamping! Check out Campfire Lodgings just north of Asheville with a beautiful view of the French Broad river valley. We stayed 2 nights in May 2015. Luxury in the woods ... seriously good! Click on glamping for more possibilities!  
Inside the yurt at Campfire Lodgings...fireplace, AC, bathroom...

We hear good things about Sweet Pea Hostel right in downtown Asheville. Friends have stayed there and gave it big thumbs up! It's on our radar to try! 

Friends recently stayed at Posh Boutique Hotel in the Biltmore Village. They gave it thumbs up.  

So to sum it up, take a look at these 17 postcards of Asheville! Got questions? Post a comment and I'll get back to you.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Aren’t You Suppose to be Happy?

Recently, I had a coaching client who took the EQ360 assessment on his emotional intelligence. The EQ360 assesses five behaviors including self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal composite, decision making and stress management based upon 133 responses to statements. From this assessment, the EQ360 has a “Well-Being Indicator” which shows the participant’s happiness scale.

The coaching client’s happiness was in the low range. This became a point of conversation.

The client challenged me, “What makes you happy?” I answered him with a question, “Who are the people you know who are happy?” I followed up with another question. “What is the source of their happiness?”

As he shared his thoughts on the source of happiness of these people he knew, he touched on what I have discovered about happiness and it’s sources.

Personally, I find the happiest people have several of these traits:

  • They know their purpose in life and are living it. They are not living a life of someone else’s expectations.
  • They love themselves just as they are. They realize they are not perfect and they will never be perfect and they are good with that. They aren’t worried about what others think of them.
  • They have low expectations of others. They seem to never be disappointed in others. They suspend judgement and accept people as they are including their imperfections, failures and scars. Yet, they support others and help where they can.
  • They seem to have a heaping dose of gratitude and practice living into gratitude daily.
  • They get more pleasure from giving than consuming.
  • They have reduced complexity in their lives and embrace simplicity.
  • They regularly take time for themselves. They have balance in their lives. They work some. They play some. They eat well. They get exercise. They get enough sleep. They make time to do nothing!

“The absence of disease is not health. Here's how we get to health: We need to reverse the formula for happiness and success. I found that most companies and schools follow a formula for success, which is this: If I work harder, I'll be more successful. And if I'm more successful, then I'll be happier. That under girds most of our parenting and managing styles, the way that we motivate our behavior.” Shawn Achor's TED Talk: The happy secret to better work

Do you view “work” as the opposite of happiness? If you see your job or work as a chore rather than a calling, how do you think it will impact your happiness? The two most important days of our lives are the day we are born and the day we discover why. If you haven’t discovered why or are not living your purpose, how do you think it will impact your happiness? Need inspiration to discover this? Listen to Krista Tippett's On Being interview with John Cary on Becoming a Father Restored my Creativity.

Are you on the “hamster wheel” of when I get a raise, a better job, a vacation, a _______ then I will be happy? What are you grateful for right now? Could you be grateful for the simple, ordinary, daily things like turning on the faucet for a glass of cool, clear, safe-to-drink water? Could you be grateful for failure?

Mistakes are feedback! - Billie Jean King

Failures don’t feel good, but they are learning opportunities. Could you be grateful for a headache? Headaches are not pleasant but they can be a realization of how often you are free of headaches and take good health for granted.

Do you make a difference in someone’s life? 

Who are your the five people you are closest in your life? We are the five people we hang with. Are those five people happy? Do you need to make a trade or two among these five? Suggestion. Look and build relationships that inspire and challenge you to be a better person. Look and build relationships that make you laugh.

How complicated is your life? Graham Hill explains how when he simplified his life, owned less, he gained more happiness! I can identify with this. We cut our carbon footprint significantly when we moved to North Carolina. That bumper sticker, “Own less. Live more.” is true!  Watch Hill’s TED Talk, Less Stuff, more happiness to learn more.

Do you want explore happiness? Check out Adam Grant’s, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

My apologies to all those motivational speakers who promote, "Choose happiness!" We don't choose happiness. Happiness is the result of what we do and how we are with others. What behaviors, what thoughts do you need to change to evoke happiness?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What Is the Most Important Part of Any Job Description?

“I remember it perfectly,” says Marc Cuspinera of his first day in 1989. “I couldn’t believe they were making me clean rocks. I’m a cook. I didn’t expect to be doing this. It’s not so great. But I get it. It’s true that all these details add up.”’  The Sorcerer’s Apprentices by Lisa Abend, pages 28-29.

Do you have a job description? Does it spell out to whom you report? Does it have a list of responsibilities and expectations? Does it have a final sentence, one last bullet point…
“Other duties as assigned?”

“Other duties as assigned” maybe the most important part of a job description and it maybe the least understood.

As the job interviewer, this is an important point to discuss with a job seeker. Be clear on expectations with the job seeker. Invite others who maybe be part of the interview process to explore this point with the applicant.
“Other duties as assigned” conversations give clues to how well the job seeker works with others.

With so many organizations from for-profit to not-for-profit to government running lean, working outside the job description is the norm, rather than the exception.

As a job seeker, give this point some critical thinking. Be clear on expectations. Be aware of your pride and how it might get you into trouble if asked to do
“Other duties as assigned.”  If asked to do “Other duties as assigned” and you respond: “That’s not my area.” “I don’t do ________.”  “I didn’t sign-up for this.” “That is beneath my education level.” This could begin your exit from the organization. Remember, the customer is anyone who relies on your work including your boss, your cohorts and those dealing with your organization. How you respond and treat your internal customers has significant impact on how your treat your external customer who actually contributes to your income!

As a job seeker, you may need to redefine and expand your definition of work. You may need to check reality with your perception. You may need to get out of your comfort zone. Flexibility, cohesiveness and collaboration are essential work-life behaviors organizations are looking for in those they hire. It is not productive to try to argue that
“Other duties as assigned” are not in one's job description.

Stretch your contentment. While contentment is in the here and now, self-discipline needs to trump contentment. Delay contentment for a greater good and better long-range possibilities. Most of all, its about looking beyond me to we. “Other duties as assigned” is about me to we. It takes a team to succeed and move forward, not an individual. As good as LeBron James was in the 2015 NBA finals, it was a team who won the title.
If you do have heartburn over a specific
“Other duties as assigned,” then have the courage to talk with your superior about this. Do not go triangulate, complain or gripe with your cohorts about your “Other duties as assigned.” This is not healthy for either you or your organization. Learn when to roll with “Other duties as assigned”  and when to push back. Discover the benefits for you and the organization to perform “Other duties as assigned.” Finally, learn to laugh at the unusual, unexpected “Other duties as assigned.”

“Other duties as assigned” reveals your willingness to sacrifice and become significant. As the father of a U.S. Marine, sacrifice is a given. A Marine recruit knows full well before they step off the bus onto the yellow steps at boot camp “Other duties as assigned” and sacrifice will be a lifestyle. “Other duties as assigned” may not lead to success, but it will lead to significance. Significance is the impact we have on other people’s lives, hopefully positive. 

Recognize that you can also do “Other duties as assigned” on your own without being asked. This form of “Other duties as assigned” might be a random act of kindness or an act of going the extra mile. Watch Netflix's Reed Hasting's encounter of “Other duties as assigned” and the impact it made on him.

Lean into
“Other duties as assigned.” It could impact your future beyond your imagination and expectation!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How Are You at “Networking”?

Networking is not what you know, its who you know. Who you know is key to creating a brighter future.

“The key to networking is to stop networking.” Nobody wants to have a ‘networking conversation.’ They are hungry for real conversations and real relationships. It just has to be authentic, genuine and sincere.” Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

What networkers don’t tell you, is that networking is like your smart phone - a source of  distractions! You have to know what to avoid and focus on what is truly essential.

Your overall goal in networking is to be significant to those you meet. What value do you bring to the conversation? What is the value of knowing you? Your title, your status, your success are about you and do nothing for those you meet.

Here are seven fundamental rules to effective networking.

First rule - dress so as not to draw attention to your appearance, but to the conversation you wish to have with others. This also means fresh breathe, a warm smile, eye contact and good handshake!

Second rule - when you enter the gathering space, don’t wait to be found, go find! This maybe a challenge for some introverts!

Third rule - have a crisp, professionally printed business card on high quality thick card stock with your key contact information and some tag line that summarizes your purpose and hints at the value you may bring to your card’s recipient. Your business card is your one-of-a-kind miniature billboard. It helps create that positive first impression. It needs to be simple, clean and easy to read. If you can’t get this info on one side of a business card, get help! The only thing I have printed on the back of my business card is a QR code for my website. There is lot’s of white space for my contact to jot down information.

Fourth rule - have plenty of business cards ready to handout at all times. I always have cards in the chest pocket of my sport coat or suit. Extra business cards are in my business card case in my sport coat pocket as well as my billfold and briefcase...even more in the glove compartment of my car! Be prepared.

Fifth rule - First, if you have a drink, keep the drink in your left hand so your right hand is ready to shake hands ( as well as not cold and wet!) Networking is not about telling, its all about asking and truly listening with good follow-up questions. This is at the heart of a real conversation and the beginning of a relationship. It is about being interested rather than interesting. People you come in contact with don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Great networkers ask great questions. The questions can be more important than the answers!

If someone shares something, refrain from telling your story on top of theirs. AND make sure you don’t try to one-up or compete with their story! Be secure in yourself. Ask another question about what they have just shared. And by all means, make sure your body language is in sync with your questions! There is nothing worse than asking a question as your eyes stray across the room!

A few of my favorite networking questions are:

- What has surprised or intrigued you about this gathering? Followed up with, ‘That’s interesting! Tell me more!’
- What are you expecting from being at this gathering? (This maybe an opportunity to help make this happen!) Followed up with, ‘That’s interesting! Tell me more!’
- Who would you like to connect with here at this gathering? (You maybe their connection and can help them out!) Followed up with, ‘That’s interesting! Tell me more!’
- What are you looking forward to doing or seeing? (Another opportunity for you to help make this happen!) Followed up with, ‘That’s interesting! Tell me more!’
- What has your interest and attention on the Internet or what you are reading? Followed up with, ‘That’s interesting! Tell me more!’

Notice that none of these questions are:
- What do you do for a living?
- How long have you been at __________?
- How long have you lived in __________?
- Do you know _________? He/she works in HR at your company.
- “I’m looking to ______________. Who do you know that I should be talking to?”

If the "What do you do for a living?" question pops out of your mouth (after all, we are creatures of habit!) follow it up with, "Wow, that sounds interesting!" or "Wow, that sounds hard!" or "Wow, that sounds amazing!" or Wow, that sounds awesome!" or "Wow, that sounds edgy!" This response shows you are interested and can get the person sharing more.

Sixth rule - ask for a business card. Jot down the date and key words about this connection.

Seventh rule - follow up with those you meet at the gathering, immediately. I recommend a handwritten, snail mail note with your business card telling the person you’d like to continue the conversation over coffee or tea. Then follow up with a phone call or email to make an appointment roughly 4 to 5 business days later.

Are there other networking behaviors you would add and recommend?