Henry Weinman's Blog

How To Work A Room by Susan Roane

March 8, 2017
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CaptureI was at the Scarborough Civic Centre and had some time, so I dropped by the library.  Browsing the shelves, this book caught my eye.

In-person networking has been my most effective way in garnering new business.  I figured, if I can learn another tip or two by reading the book, then why not.

Susan’s book is a good refresher on the do’s and don’ts of networking.  Much of what she says is common sense and may act as a reminder to what you already know.

She reminded me that:

  1. I need to put myself out there on a regular basis.
  2. Most are not fully at ease in a networking environment.  If you approach someone on who is on their own, 90%+ will respond very favorably.  Over 90% consider themselves to be “shy”.
  3. Avoid using your cell at an event, dinner, party, or meetings.  I have heard corollaries of this many times; the idea that using a cell phone sends the message that you are not fully engaged and not fully in the present.  Step to the side or out in the hall if you really need to take a call.
  4. Attend events with positive energy and purpose.
  5. Eye contact, firm handshake and LISTEN actively.
  6. Have a few stories under your belt.
  7. Understand that networking is not selling.  You’re making connections and building rapport, not making deals.  Treat people as people, not prospects.

It was an enjoyable read.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

May 10, 2010
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Covey wrote this well known book in 1989 and it sold over 15 million copies.  The premise is that effectiveness is achieved by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he believes to be universal and timeless.  I found it to be very relevant for me today. 

The 7 habits are:

  1. Be Proactive
  2. Begin with the end in Mind
  3. Put First Things First
  4. Think Win/Win
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the Saw


The author also speaks of the abundance mentality which has become a popular concept now.  It is the idea that we can go through life thinking there is an abundance of resources, enough for us all.  This is in contrast to a scarcity outlook whereby the thinking is that I need to protect what I have as there is not enough for us all.  Many authors suggest that by living with an abundance mentality, you will actually attract more of the abundance (law of attraction).

What was quite poignant for me was Habit 7, Sharpening the Saw.   I liked the analogy of sawing wood and that I will be more effective by taking the time to keep my saw sharp and in the long run, cut more wood and have an easier time doing it.  There are many ways in which we can keep our saw sharp.  For me, it was keeping in top form physically.

So I made a one week commitment to get up early and go on a half our bike ride each day before opening for business.  I found that I began to have more energy in the morning and throughout the day.  My mind was sharper, I was more focussed and I felt that I accomplished more.  I have since renewed this weekly commitment twice.

Ask yourself the question, are you doing your work with a sharp saw?

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The Three Laws of Performance, Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan

March 23, 2010
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Zaffron and Logan suggest in their book that how we react to situations and perform arises from our perceptions and the language that we use.  I found this book an interesting read.  

The authors present 3 laws:

 1.      How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.

My actions relate to how I perceive the world, not the way it actually is.  There is value in recognizing that I see things through my own filters created from the sum total of my past experiences.

2.      How a situation occurs arises in language.

How a situation occurs to me comes from how I speak about it.  I need to be aware of my internal voice.  The authors describe how we have rackets which come with 4 elements:

  • A persistent complaint
  • A behaviour that comes with the complaint
  • A payoff that I get for complaining
  • A cost to me

When I recognize my rackets, I can begin to dismantle them.

3.      Future-based language transforms how situations occur to people.

Incidents from the past live on as a prediction, giving me my default future. To create a future, I need a blank canvas to work from; i.e. not cluttered with the past.  First, I must identify my default future.  See that it isn’t inevitable or necessary but a construction of my language.

 What kind of future would:

  • Inspire you to take action?
  • Fulfil any concerns you might have?
  • Be vibrant and compelling the moment you say it?

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Measures of Well-Being

December 17, 2009
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I came across an interesting article in U of T Magazine, Winter 2010 issue.  The cover has the question: Is Life Getting Better?  The article questions whether using GDP is a good measure of the well-being of society.  The article gives examples of limitations of using GDP; for example, doesn’t measure environmental consequences of say new industry or income distribution.  The author, Kurt Kliener speaks of other indicators that are used such as the Canadian Index of Well-Being (CIW) which measures indicators like living standards, health, environment, education, arts and recreation.

The article got me thinking as to what are my indicators of my well-being and happiness.  Do you know yours?

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December 15, 2009
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I had a choice to make last evening.  Attend my daughters recital at school or a networking opportunity.  I chose the recital.  My wife made the interesting point of asking me which will I be more likely to remember as the years go by.

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December 14, 2009
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I am taking a workshop of commitment; in particular the ones we make to ourselves.  What was highlighted was the importance of keeping them so that we are our word and that we believe in ourselves when we set future goals and targets.

I made a commitment to blog daily for 10 days and intend to keep my word. 

Imagine living a life where we consitently keep the commitments we make.

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Being in the Present

December 13, 2009
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My 22 month old son reminded me today about the utter joy on can feel about fully experiencing the moment

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Strategies for EMBA’s

December 12, 2009
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One of my executive MBA students asked me for some strategies to do well in their corporate finance course.  I suggested two things:

  1. Set aside time each week to keep up with the material.  Finance and accounting is not a course that you can cram at the last moment.  Percolation time is required.
  2. Make sure you understand the concepts as opposed to memorizing steps to get the answer.


I work with EMBA students to help them understand finance and accounting concepts who may not have a financial background.

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Who Knows You?

December 10, 2009
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In speaking with my coach Owen Williams the other day, he reminded me that my main job is to market myself.  As a consultant, it is important that I provide excellent service, but excellent service is of minimal value if few know about it. 

So I am committing to mingle more in the world of business, to meet more people and have more know who I am.

Are you spending enough time marketing yourself?

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The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

November 26, 2009
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The four agreements clocks in at 138 pages, is a quick read yet packs a strong message.  The message is based on ancient Toltec wisdom and suggests a way of being that can result in experiencing more freedom and joy.
The agreements are:
1.  Be Impeccable With Your Word:  For me, this means speaking my truth, doing what I say I will do and keeping committments.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally:  To me, this means that what others may say to me is a relection of where they are at.  To understand this means that I can be less effected, or as Don would say, immune to the opinions and actions of others
3. Don’t Make Assumptions:  Comunicate clearly to avoid misunderstanding and ask questions to get clarity.
4. Always Do Your Best:  This was powerful for me; the idea that as long as I’ve done my best, I will avoid self judgement and regret.  It is a great way to approach all what I do in life.
Imagine what it would be like living and doing business with these 4 agreements.

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