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There’s strategy involved in it. There’s purposefulness involved in it that isn’t simply about acquiring more people in your LinkedIn community or having more names that you can drop.
Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we help HR and business leaders embrace joy in the workplace. I’m Susan White, owner of Susan Tinder White Consulting, an HR consulting practice.
Today we want to talk about a new book called “JoyPowered® Networking” with my co-host JoDee Curtis and her co-author Christine Burrows, Purple Ink’s Vice President of Strategy. They recently published this book and it became, overnight, an Amazon number one best seller. As many of you know, JoDee is the author and co-author of a series of JoyPowered® books” “JoyPowered®,” “The JoyPowered® Family,” “The JoyPowered® Team,” of which I’m a co-author, “The JoyPowered® Organization,” and now “JoyPowered® Networking.” JoDee, remind me and our listeners, what do you mean by the term JoyPowered®?
Well, I… you know, when I explain it, obviously, I’ve talked a lot about it, written a lot of books on it, but yet, what I always explain to people is what is JoyPowered® for me may be very different than what is JoyPowered® for you. But it is in fact, where do we find joy? Where do we discover joy? What – What are we doing? What kind of an environment are we in when we feel that sense of fulfillment and excitement and energy – right? – to do it? So I think it’s… finding joy is very different from being happy, and a lot of times we hear those terms intermingled or used at the same time. I always use the example of saying if we’re in the workspace and our employer provides free pizza for lunch today, that makes us happy, but – at least for most of us, right? Most of us like pizza.
For me, for sure.
And it makes us happy, but it doesn’t necessarily – and actually not even that likely that it would bring us joy that would be longer term, that would be sustaining. We might eat the pizza, be happy, and then say “What’s for dessert?” and be disappointed that that’s all we got was pizza, right? But when we have joy, we find – especially joy in the workplace, that we’re looking forward to going to work or looking forward to working with our customers and our coworkers. It’s not perfect, right? We might not have it every minute of our day or even every day of our week. But do we feel that sense of I’m truly finding joy in what I’m doing and or with whom I’m with?
And what got you started writing?
Actually, I was heavily encouraged to write a book by our outside marketing consultant back in 2015 as a way to increase my ability to do more speaking. A lot of times when you apply to conferences or get invited to speak, they will ask if you have a book, right? And I – so it was bugging me that I had to say no. Although I also didn’t think that writing a book was going to be for me. I’m not really all that disciplined. I can have a difficult time sitting down to just write. But I really pushed myself on it, and once I found this topic… I mean, we coined the term JoyPowered® together with our marketing consultant, but then I got excited about it because I was talking to so many people at that time in my career who were telling me they didn’t like their jobs, they didn’t like the people they worked with, they weren’t feeling engaged at the end of their workday. And I kept asking them, why do you still work there? Why are you still doing what you’re doing? Not that my career had always been perfect, but I felt like I made hard decisions along the way when I was in a role that I wasn’t being fulfilled or challenged or excited to do, so I talked to so many people and that – when I wrote the first book I, if you remember, I actually interviewed and surveyed a lot of people about this topic to get more information on it. And that’s how book number one started.
Wow, that’s wonderful. So what’s driving you to keep writing? You know, how many books are in your future?
Yeah, I don’t know, I keep saying every time that is my last one, although we did just come out with the “JoyPowered® Networking,” and we already are well into our next book, which will be called “The JoyPowered® Leader.” But mostly, if you notice, except for my first book, all my other books, I’ve had co-authors. So now I’ve had people coming to me and saying, “Hey, I want to jump in on this JoyPowered® thing and here’s a way we can approach it, from this angle or from this message.” And every time I just get excited about getting back on the story again.
I think you’ve caught the writing bug.
Yeah. I think I found a way that works now. That’s for sure.
Did you write this book in a similar way to the way you wrote the previous books?
No. Of course, I wrote the first book on my own, but then with my co-authors for the next three, we divided up topics and chapters and had a lot of brainstorming and strategy around those, about what those chapters might look like, but then everyone went on their way and wrote their chapter and then we put it all together, and then we did a lot of editing and reviews on each other’s chapters to make sure we were sending the same message, but just attacking from different parts of the business or the team or whatever that might be. But this time with Christine and I, we started at a writing workshop that we went to by our friend Cathy Fyock and really hammered out the book overall pretty well, and then Christine started the book. So both of us wrote in every chapter. People who read the book who know us, they say they can tell the difference between our writing styles of who wrote which part, which was much easier to figure that out when we did it by chapters, right? But in this approach, it’s all together. So somebody actually just told me last week that they loved my writing style in this book, and I was thinking, like, I wonder, was that really my style or was that Christine’s style to do that?
That’s funny. Well, let’s introduce Christine to the conversation. Christine is the Vice President of Strategy for Purple Ink. JoDee, how did you meet Christine, and how long has she been working with you at Purple Ink?
We tell the story in the book of how we met, but we were – looking back, we didn’t really call it networking at the time, but we actually ended up on a kickball team at our kids’ high school, and it was the moms of the cross country team formed a kickball team, and we played, and Christine, I don’t even know that we had all that much interaction that day – I mean, the outside of the game itself, but we connected and realized we wanted to stay connected, and had a very dear mutual friend as well, too. But, you know, that part of the book is thinking about, we were networking that day, right? We were… we knew some people on the team, but we were meeting new people. And who would ever think that now we’ve had this long-time friendship and have worked together almost three years now.
Wow, that’s beautiful. Christine, what makes you both experts on the subject of networking?
So in addition to having a long story of friendship and mutual interest in one another, you know, JoDee and I have these Gallup strengths, the StrengthsFinder strengths that lend themselves well to being good networkers. You know, I’m a person vested in Connectedness and Communication and Woo, and JoDee has Positivity and Maximizer and is looking for the benefits of relationships. So we brought those first of all to each other. And then we were able to tell the story of how we’ve used those same skills in building our own businesses and our personal communities. And now we just have this passion for helping other people be better at it in a meaningful way. And I think that’s kind of why I think we are good and should be writing this book is because we are not only natural at networking, but we believe that networking has some goodness to share not only in growing people’s businesses and but in making the world a better place, if you will, that it’s like pulling the thread of human connection among each other. And I just think it’s almost like a calling that we both have answered.
Wow, I just I love that. JoDee, how about you? Why did you want to write the book, and who was it for?
It’s a follow up on what Christine said, right? Anybody can network regardless of what their CliftonStrengths are, right? But there are certainly some which Christine and I have that maybe tend to make it more natural or easier for us to do so. And we feel like there’s so many people we talk to or meet, or family members who are uncomfortable with the idea of networking, that we thought, how can we share information with people to help them understand that they can do it in a way that works for them, which might be different than the way that Christine and I do it? So it’s not a book about saying, here’s how you should network. Right? It’s about, as we talked about what JoyPowered® means, how can you find joy in the process of networking? And for some people, that’s going to be easier to do one-on-one or on Zoom calls or on social media, and not in large groups of people, like Christine and I were maybe more suited for or more comfortable doing. So I think it’s for anyone, even if they think that networking is not important for them, you know, they might think, well, in my role I… I write software programs, I don’t need to network with anybody else, right? Well, they probably are doing it already in some way. And we also talk about the importance of networking and how you might not feel like you need it today, but you might need it tomorrow. You might need it tomorrow to get assistance on a project or learn about research, or you are searching for a new position or searching for people to work with you. Right? There’s so many different angles around why you might network.
JoDee, I wanted to add something there. Just yesterday, I had a woman who I’d shared the book with reach out to me and say, “Hey, I’m reading your book,” which I was grateful to hear. Don’t you love hearing that?
And she said, and she would say, I’m a person who – the word networking actually has, like, a negative, sick feeling for her. She said, “I’m reading your book, and all right, I want your help.” Like, I’m coming over, can you give me some guidance on how to leverage some of what you said in the book? You know, it was really rewarding for me to hear somebody sort of turn the page on their perception of networking from something that gave them anxiety and a negative taste in their mouth to the hopefulness that if you do it well, maybe you can use a skill set to find the next career opportunity or just prepare yourself for whatever comes next.
I love that. So Christine, what do you think is unique about JoyPowered® networking?
Well, I’m going to start with a negative example here. And I hate to use it, but I’ve given it in some of our talks, and it always energizes me to tell the story of this guy that I met in a networking call, one-on-one networking call that came through LinkedIn. And when he picked up the phone, or you know, the connection was made on video, I said, “Hey, how are you doing today?” and he said, and I’m quoting him, “I’m winning. I win, win, win, win win. I win all the time.” And I really had no idea what to say. I kind of smiled and I said, “Oh, well, tell me, you know, what does winning constitute?” And he kind of was taken aback and really, like, didn’t know how to answer my question. And I think that example is the counter example to JoyPowered®. It’s a moment of bravado that says “I’m going to position myself in such a way that somebody is going to want to do business with me or want to buy whatever I’m selling,” and that was the very last thing I was looking for on the call. I was looking for, you know, learning, first and foremost, about his work, and then also sharing what we are doing, and that neither… neither of those things happened. All I really learned was about his ability to excite himself and, you know, feel some bravado and pumped up. So I think of JoyPowered® networking as a little more even, positive, sharing. There’s some learning involved in it. There’s mutuality. It’s about relationship building. There’s strategy involved in it. There’s purposefulness involved in it that isn’t simply about acquiring more people in your LinkedIn community or having more names that you can drop or even having more business closed. It’s about meaningful relationship building in a professional way.
JoDee, you specifically write about internal networking. What do you mean by that, and why is it important?
Yeah, so I just have so many examples of people that we’ve met with over the years in different points in their career, right? So again, if I see someone who’s looking for a new role, and maybe… it could be a position in their own company, right, it doesn’t have to be that they’re looking outside of their company, too, but even knowing what else is going on in my organization, what other opportunities are there, what… what are… how are other people excelling at work in this organization? So I think just knowing what’s happening in your own company can be good, certainly, for many listeners who are HR professionals to… to know who your people are, right? Who are your cheerleaders? Who are the go-to people, the people you might look to to refer other people to or to use as change leaders when the organization is going through change, which is pretty much constant, right? But also knowing if you’re looking outside of your organization who – you might not always be able to give a reference of your own boss if they don’t know you’re looking for a new position, but who are other people in the organization that you could go to for references or support or assistance or referrals to different places, too? So just knowing people in your own internal environment, like – course, you know, just even building those relationships, again, and getting introductions to other people to outside of the workspace, as well.
There’s clearly value to networking, and for people who say “I just don’t do it.” I think there’s real reason to do it. And clearly, I think they’d be smart to buy your book. But in the meantime, Christine, are there some tactical pieces of advice that you have for those who are saying, “Okay, I get it, I need to network, right? How do I get started?”
Right, Susan, our book would be really just entertainment if somebody just read our stories, which are great. We do provide some tactical best practices and things people can do. Some of those are drawn from our friend, Vern Schellenger, who owns a business called Contacts Count and knows and understands deeply the value of networking and really the best practices for doing that. So we learned some from him, we made some of those our own, and we do outline eight different best practices. A few of those, you know, like, my favorite is know yourself, be yourself. You know, the worst feeling is when you feel like someone’s just uncomfortable in their skin or just can’t kind of know who they are or what their business is, can’t articulate it clearly. So I mean, I know that’s, like, a big philosophical thing to know yourself, but enough to know your style and know your business and be able to articulate that clearly. Because nobody really wants to waste time listening to somebody who’s just meandering and doesn’t know what they want to say. I’d also say, you know, practice makes perfect. Everything we do in a professional environment, we should practice at home with someone we are comfortable with, so that when we go out, we are… we know what we’re doing. We can do it digitally. We’re not ill-informed. We have a little bit of an agenda behind it, but we’re also flexible and we have to practice those things.
I think people so many times are scared about networking because they think “I don’t know what to say,” or “I don’t know how to start the conversation,” or “I don’t know how to get engaged,” is thinking about asking good questions. Generally people like to talk about themselves, and generally, when you ask them a question they’ll return with, “How about you?”. Right? So asking people, you know, how did they get to this event? Or why did they attend this event? Or had they attended before? Or even… specific to the event can be a start. But also just, of course, you know, what do you do? Or what do you do for fun? Or what do you do for work? So having a list of three or four or five questions that you might ask people to start the conversation can be very comforting for some.
You know, JoDee, I was going to add to that – that’s a perfect one – is that it also… it’s not bad to be the one to go first, if you will. Be the one to initiate the questions. It actually takes some pressure off of you if you put the ball in their court by asking them some good, comfortable questions that they can answer and that gives… gives you a little bit of time to be a listener and kind of get your balance, if you will, before you start speaking.
I love that. I have found, when I’m networking, that when I start the conversation – because I am curious about people. So often, if I go up to someone who no one’s talking to, they are so grateful that somebody is talking to them. You know what, I’ve lifted the mood for that person and always lifts my mood, too.
And, Susan, you had some great advice right there in your question, of being curious. Right? Just be curious about people.
I am. I love to know what makes people tick. Before we wrap up, any other insights about creating joy at work with networking that you want to add?
JoDee, can I go first? Because I was thinking when you were talking earlier about internal networking, and it made me think about some of our upcoming talks and webinars about healthy organizations, or how solid networking is a key to it. And I think there’s something to when you think about work, you know, know the people you work with, whether you’re on a team of 10 or 10,000. I think making the effort to do some JoyPowered® networking and knowing the people, their contributions, their associations with the mission, their own personal goals, whether or not they can be, you know, an ally for you when there’s change, all those things. It makes the organization healthier and makes you more joyful, to be a part of an organization that has that connectedness.
Yeah, great advice. I think too, whether you’re JoyPowered® at work, or JoyPowered® in a networking situation, it’s about understanding what do I do best and how can I do more of it? Right? So if walking into a ballroom of a hundreds of people is very awkward and uncomfortable for you… we can give you some advice around that one, too, but find a different way to network. Find – maybe it’s one-on-one conversations for you in that ballroom at 300 people or inviting someone to coffee or over a Zoom call, and then do more of it. Instead of trying to feel like I have to network like Susan does or like Christine and JoDee do, What do I do well? Where am I most comfortable? Where am I most fulfilling my curiosity or my purpose for being there? And just keep doing it.
Great advice from both of you. So how could our listeners reach out to you if they want to know more about networking, and where and how can they buy your book?
Listeners can reach out to us on LinkedIn, and we’ll have the connections for that in our show notes so people can find those. Or they can also find us both on our Purple Ink website, which is purple I-N-K L-L-C dot com. At the top, you can click on the word JoyPowered and it will take you to our shop where you can buy the book, as well. It is on Amazon, but if you buy it directly from our website, we will send you a signed copy. That’s the benefit.
Love it. Well, thank you both so much. I really wish you much continued success.
The following question came from one of our listeners in October. We welcome questions from any of our listeners anytime. JoDee, how does a small business begin implementing all of the laws they qualify for? What is the process start to finish?
Yeah, so I wish I had an easy answer for that question. Right? Or I wish I had a manual that said here’s what you do when you hire one person and 10 people and 20 people. But I will tell you, I was teaching a class for SHRM recently and had a lot of new HR people in my class. And they, although their question was a little bit different, one of them specifically articulated this, how do we begin to follow the laws? And it is a process, right? I mean, there are laws to follow the day you hire that first person about having them complete an I-9 form and determining are they an employee or are they a contractor… So I don’t have a simple answer except to say start with your state’s Secretary of State’s office, and there’s a lot of information out there. At least I know – I’m in Indiana, but I have looked at this for other states as well, about just getting started. So some of the very basics can be found out there. You may find you need to talk to an HR consultant or your attorney. But if you outsource payroll, which a lot of companies do, even with just a handful of employees, they can certainly help with some of that basic employment law as well, too. But I wish there was a site I could go to or a Google to tell you, how do I do this exactly? But I will say the more employees you hire, the more the rules get added on to it. So Susan, do you have some better advice for that?
No, I believe that to be very true. The only add-on I might add is no matter the size of the organization, when you start having employees, I would have an employee handbook. And I know shrm.org, if you’re a member, they have a template of a handbook that’s really good. And it will cause you to think about all the things you need to think about, like each of your work classifications and how you’re going to handle time off and how… on and on. It will be a great place for that startup HR person to figure out what are all the things I should be considering. It won’t help you make all your decisions. But that’s where you’ve got your leadership, you have your attorney, your HR consultant. But I think it’s just a really good place, if you want to make sure you’re compliant, start with a good employee handbook that will make sure that you’re knocking out the right processes and policies to try to stay compliant.
Yeah, that’s great advice, and knowing to join SHRM is less than $300. Right? So it can be well worth it to get the process going. And then even if you have to call an attorney, you at least start to know what are some of the questions I need answered.
Yes, I agree. It’s time for in the news. Preply surveyed Americans working full-time jobs across the country to find out what experiences we all share. Here are the key findings. First of all these words, “busy,” “exhausting,” and “boring,” are the most common words employees use to describe their day to day work life. Oh, that’s so sad.
It doesn’t seem very JoyPowered®, does it?
It does not.
The number one word Americans use to describe bad bosses is “incompetent.”
And then finally, Americans making $100,000 – $149,999 annually are most likely to describe their typical workday as – wait for it – “annoying.” A lot of six figure employees out there that are annoyed.
I know, I did have to laugh at that one. I’m not sure I would have come to that word on my own without that.
Me either. I think that we need more people to listen to The JoyPowered® Workspace. We’ve got to stop some of this vocabulary.
I think so too. So thanks for listening today and make it a JoyPowered® day.
Thank you. If you would like SHRM recertification credit for listening to this podcast, please visit getjoypowered.com/shrm. You’ll find an evaluation of the podcast and once you complete the evaluation, you will see the SHRM recertification credit code and a link to a proof of participation certificate. Again, that’s getjoypowered.com/shrm Thank you for listening and thanks for your dedication to the HR profession.
If you liked the show, please tell a few friends about us and let us know what you thought by leaving us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts. You can find more information on our podcast, our books, our blogs, and more at getjoypowered.com We’re @JoyPowered on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and you can send us an email at email@example.com. Make it a JoyPowered® day.