You're Having Coffee with the Wrong People (Breakthroughs Live in the Blind Spot) by Cynthia Greenawalt

You’re Having Coffee With the Wrong People (Breakthroughs Live in the Blind Spot)

{4:08 minutes to read} My life’s work is to empower people to access breakthrough results. I’ve been studying brain science, quantum physics, and peak performance strategies for close to 2 decades. Why? I’m passionate (perhaps even a bit obsessed) about people tapping into their greatness and living a life that matches their full power.

Which is why I love the sandbox in which I play professionally: social capital development (aka, networking, relationship marketing, referral generation). A human being’s network of relationships is a non-linear phenomenon. Linear thinking applied to networking will only produce mediocre results. Non-linear, breakthrough thinking is demanded of us if indeed we want to mine the gold of our multi-dimensional “social capital portfolio.”

One of the most reliable ways to create breakthrough results is to go to work on the area of our thinking known as “the blind spot.” Going outside what we already know. That’s why peak performers work with coaches and plug into mastermind groups. We can’t see our own blind spots!

One of the biggest blind spots in networking that I encounter in working with my clients is where they spend their time networking. My promise to those I train and/or coach is this:

I will take the 10-20 hours you spend each week networking (which includes all activities that nurture the alliance relationships that you’re building) and double the return from those efforts. Doubling referrals is my business, and it’s the easiest job in town. Why? For one, you’re having coffee with the wrong people!

One coffee meeting is about 3 hours of your 10-20 hours of weekly networking – 90 minutes with the person and 90 minutes traveling (this includes packing and unpacking your things). Often, on the ride to the coffee meeting, it hits you: “What the heck was I thinking meeting with this person?” Before you ever agree to another coffee meeting, consider these steps:

1. Determine if someone is coffee-worthy.

a) If possible, only have coffee with people who have been pre-vetted. Only say “yes” when the person has “auditioned” for the coffee time, or when you experience immediate “networking chemistry” the first time you encounter each other at an event.

b) Schedule a “virtual coffee” first. Take some time for a phone call to see if you feel the sparks flying such that it warrants time for an in-person coffee.

2. Learn how to say “no.”

a) If you are introduced to someone by one of your VIPs who has properly done the pre-vetting for you – you can say “yes” to that coffee.

b) If you’ve just met or been lightly introduced to someone, yet can’t quite tell if meeting in person is the right action, your job is to redirect the person’s request for coffee to something else – like attending an event together. This allows you to stay connected and audition for each other, to see if you both want to continue toward a coffee meeting.

So how does someone audition to become your coffee partner? While some people prefer utilizing the “virtual coffee,” here’s my favorite way: invite them to an event that you’re already attending and that you think might be of interest to them. Not only are you leveraging an event already in your calendar, you are harnessing an effective way for both of you to uncover potential synergy and alignment. You’ll also discover their good or bad habits around keeping their word or running late, etc. If you determine there is a connection, then you can set up a coffee meeting.

Letting people audition for your coffee time gives you a new appreciation for when you are the one auditioning for someone else’s coffee time, which I covered in my previous blog article, Are You Coffee-Worthy?” If you’re really good at what you do, have a great attitude about life, and exude a positive vibe, you’re like the hot babe walking into a singles event: everyone wants to ask you out…for coffee that is!

Cynthia Greenawalt

Cynthia Greenawalt

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