Connecting effectively 121 in a virtual format
Connecting effectively 121 in a virtual format.
So we were quietly going about our business of networking and supporting each other in a face to face context and now all of the rules have changed so what now?
Lets start by taking a look at the way we are programmed, Maslow’s Hiresachy of needs is a great tool to use to evaluate what’s going on for people right now In order to better understand what motivates human beings, Maslow proposed that human needs can be organized into a hierarchy. This hierarchy ranges from more concrete needs such as food and water to abstract concepts such as self-fulfillment. According to Maslow, when a lower need is met, the next need on the hierarchy becomes our focus of attention.
So where are we right now?
There are many people whose Safety needs have been severely tested, government restrictions have meant that businesses are restricted or temporarily shut down through no fault of their own. As BNI members we can support each other to navigate much of this by really putting in the effort and committing to do 121’s right now that make a difference. Our goal in every virtual 121 should be to have helped the other person in a tangible way
Our BNI family will be critical to many of us in meeting many of our needs in the “Love and Belonging” and “Esteem” sectors. Through our 121 meetings we can really take the time to listen to, affirm and support each other as we all navigate through this difficult period and find new ways of doing business. When people’s esteem needs are met, they feel confident and see their contributions and achievements as valuable and important.
All that said the most powerful aspect of a 121 that is done well is creating opportunities for each other to fulfil those self-actualisation needs. Essentially, self-actualisation means feeling that we are doing what we believe we are meant to do. In order to be able to do this we have to look up from what is right in front of us and start to look forward to the horizon and beyond.
But what does this look like and how do I even do that in a virtual format in a way that really connects.
10 powerful questions you can ask but you have to also be prepared to answer them.
What are you most scared of right now?
The reality is we are all scared of something and right now the ground under our feet seems a little shaky, acknowledging and verbalising our fears allows us to see them for what they are and to remove the emotional attachment. From there we can actually start navigating ways to solve the issues giving rise to those fears. By being open with your fellow members about what your fears are you allow them to see you as not just a business colleague but a human struggling with the same things they are.
If your main obstacle didn’t exist what would your life look like?
By main obstacle we don’t mean the government restrictions, remember we said look forward. What is missing from your business toolkit, what do you need for success. If you woke up tomorrow and your business was ticking all the boxes for you what would that look like? Right now you can choose to be a victim of circumstance or you can re-imagine your entire life and be the author of it.
What do you need most right now?
Many times, people fail to look at what is most important first. Asking the question, “What do you need most right now?” is powerful because it helps the person to prioritise what is most important and needs immediate attention. It also helps you work out what networks and resources you have at your disposal to help each other.
On the other side of this what will things look like after you have been successful?
The future state question does two things: It helps you define what you really want out of a situation and it tricks your brain into feeling you have achieved your goal. The act of imagining how you feel after having done it brings it into being, you begin to feel that the task is easy to do and start bending your will towards achieving it.
What are the best ways to support yourself right now and how can I help?
By asking this question you are helping each other access your subconscious at a deeper level, in counselling we use this as a tool to support our clients in uncovering the answers they already have within them when fear isn’t in the way.
Who will you ask for help along the way? What else will you need?
Now we are identifying an action orientated road map to achieving the outcomes you want on the other side of all this. What resources do you need, what things do you need to put in place? Where are the gaps?
What is one key thing you want to achieve at this moment?
This is a short term win and the advantage of a virtual 121 is that you can easily go through your address books and make some calls or send some emails to help each other.
Tell me about the resources that would be helpful? How or where might you acquire those?
This could be introductions or acquiring new skills, maybe you are trying to set up an online store or sort out a new calendar system.
When you achieve your goal, what will you gain? What will be the impact on your friends and family?
This gives people insight into the motivating factors behind your goals and makes them less transactional and more relational.
What are the patterns or habits that you need to put in place right now to ensure your success?
It is definitely time for review but now is not the time to focus on the negative – rather it is time to programme in and cement the positive.
Actions speak louder than words.
You could keep on going the way that you have or you can choose to try something a little different.
In our region starting on Monday April 20th I am encouraging all of our members to commit to a daily working lunch. What does that mean? It’s pretty simple really;
- Block out an hour for lunch a day for 10 working days.
- Book a Zoom 121 with a fellow member every day over lunch.
- Ask some powerful questions
- Be vulnerable and talk about what’s really important to you and to them
- Take action and help in some way. Make an introduction, pick up the phone, invite a connection to experience a virtual BNI meeting.
Watch just how much more amazing your world is in 2 weeks time, and if it’s become a habit then why not keep doing it? A very wise man once told me to never lunch alone and now I am putting his theory to the ultimate test.
In closing, connected relationships are central to the social creatures we are. People who are flourishing have meaningful, positive, loving and supportive relationships with others. Those relationships take work, like all things worth having and now is not the time to be a passenger in someone else’s life. Now is the time to be the hero in their story or at least a shining light in the paragraph that you are in.