Benefits of Face-to-face Networking: One-minute Methods – - Blog Name Change

December 17th, 2014

main.exclamation-point[1]One of the things I like to do in my spare time is investigate search results for keywords on my five websites.

And the results are leading me to change the name of this blog to “Benefits of Face-to-face Networking: One-minute Methods.” No fear, the content will have the same purpose: to share the advantages of in-person networking to start building relationships. I espouse face-to-face … and online … to maintain relationships.

Stay tuned. I will still keep the “methods” to one or two minutes … however, even more of you may “benefit” because you will find the tips more easily.

Happy Holidays!


Benefits of Face-to-face Networking from Revolutionary War General

December 8th, 2014

MP900387560[1]Are you curious? Do you have 10 minutes to find out?

In-person vs. online networking is a hot topic. Recently, I was privileged to be interviewed on the advantages of face-to-face networking. I thought you could benefit from this encapsulated podcast on why it is still best to start relationships when you can see the whites of someone’s eyes. Thanks to Jim Kendall for his
“Why ‘Real’ is Better than Virtual Networking.”

And on the same day Jim also included me in his Dec. 8, 2014 Daily Herald column, “Niche marketing: How many websites do you need?” It will be available later today at


Lillian Bjorseth Featured in “I Inspire” Magazine

November 24th, 2014

I am delighted to be included as a Chicago inspirational leader in, in the premier edition of I Inspire magazine

The brainchild of Ajay A. Madhani, a leading internist and driving force in the hospitalist movement, I Inspire features leaders in a variety of arenas in Chicago relating their stories and sharing the ideas and circumstances that inspired their success.

Publisher Candice Kuhnen said, “While the individuals we’ve focused on are all remarkable in their own realms, we also see similarities in the visions they’ve pursued to realize their dreams. We salute them and commend their examples to our readers.”

Madhani discovered in college that studying inspirational lives helped him find his own success. “It’s in how you process it. I realized that I have created a successful life, both personally and professionally, and that this grows from keeping my focus where it should be: living completely in the moment,” Madhani said. “I always expect the best of others. I desire to live with integrity, living a life to inspire people; such inspiration isn’t the intent of what I do, but can be a result.”

Madhani founded Vernon Hills based Advanced Inpatient Consultants, LLC, in 2006. His vision was to insure “same physician continuity of care” for inpatients in hospital settings and based on building uninterrupted professional relationships between physician and patient. His company’s hospitalists provide 24/7 coverage for hospitalized patients which includes regular communications with their primary care physicians for a seamless clinical continuity.


All Proceeds of New Book to Benefit Wounded Warriors

November 10th, 2014

wolfbookTomorrow is Veteran’s Day, and I want to share great news with you about my friend, Jeff Wolf. He is launching his latest Wiley-published business book “Seven Disciplines of a Leader,” and 100% of the proceeds will go to wounded warrior organizations across the country.

Jeff believes that true leadership is what we see given to us each day by the men and women on the front lines – our freedom.

I am sharing this info with you so that you might share with your own military friends and family and post to your social media/websites.

To pre-order the book visit

Remember, it’s for a great cause!


You’re Invited to “Fabulous Over 50” Conference and Expo

October 28th, 2014

I’m delighted to be part of the “Fabulous Over 50” conference and expo for boomer women! There’s something for everyone at the event that runs from 10 am – 7 pm Nov. 13, 2014 at Patrician Banquets, U.S. 30 in Schererville, IN.

More than 50 exhibits will focus on home, health, beauty, style, fun and wealth. Also included will be “pampering” and “business opportunity” areas as well as five speakers on personal and seven on business development tracks.

And then … you can rest and recuperate and network in earnest at the progressive power networking luncheon that I have the honor to lead. I’ll be sharing valuable networking information as well as guiding you through two table changes. Since networking is planting seeds (sales is harvesting, which you will do after the conference), you will be able to sow lots of them at three different tables full of dynamic women … and perhaps a few men.

After lunch, I’ll be around to answer questions and to sign my books.

From 5 – 7 pm you can “wine down” plus hear Bill Walsh speak about his “Vision to Wealth.”

To find out the details and to register for all or parts of the program, visit

The event is produced by Christine Neal, president of Target Promotions, Inc. a long-time special events producer and also publisher of “Fabulous Over 50” magazine.


Face-to-face Networking: 60-second Solutions – - Hints to Help You Start a Conversation, Part I

October 23rd, 2014

MP900385536[1]Starting a conversation can be one of life’s more difficult tasks. It helps if you are an extrovert and can think of what to say right off the cuff. Yet you, too, have ever-present challenges that are above and beyond the words you exchange.

A major one is image, a combination of appearance and behavior that communicates more than half of the message. Admit it. You look at the other person and form an opinion. You notice the person’s height and weight; clothing style, colors and fit; hair color and style; attractiveness by your standards; posture; eye contact; facial expression; gestures; and more.

And you do this while you’re are shaking hands (a major nonverbal communicator) and trying to say something meaningful or respond with words that are memorable.

Sometimes you are thrown even more of a curve … like the person is unkempt or dressed inappropriately for the occasion or has obviously been imbibing. This consumes more evaluation time making it more difficult to concentrate on words.

What are you to do? Stay tuned for helpful hints.


Face-to-face Networking: 60-second Solutions: Your Stance Excludes or Includes Others in Conversations

October 16th, 2014

In your book, Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last, you talk about how your stance can exclude or include others in conversations. I loved that piece of advice. Can you reprint that information here so I can share with my associates?
A follower in Vermont

Have you ever attended a meeting, conference or networking event and felt as if people were unfriendly or snobbish and hard to engage in conversation? Are you aware you might be sending the same message when you are talking with another person … simply through your stance?

By the way you stand, you either exclude or include others. Unfortunately, you may be unaware of the vibes you are sending about you or your organization.

When you and another person are facing each other and forming a rectangle,  you send the message that you have “closed off” your space and do not wish to be interrupted. Usually, you do not consciously set out to do this, rather your bodies “close up the space” as you become more and more involved in your conversation.

When you are the person trying to join two people who have assumed that stance, you set yourself up for rejection if they are not yet ready to “break the box” and let you in.

I’ve tested the principle and once stood next to two people for five minutes before they invited me in.

It can also be difficult for you to break out of the rectangle if you are ready to move on and the other person is not yet finished “monopolizing” your time.

I stopped by a funeral home to pay my regards to a friend when her father died. She had left to run an errand so I met and spoke with her sister. We moved into a rectangle position, and I tried to break it because I needed to leave for an appointment. She kept rotating with me to keep the box intact. It was apparent she was not yet ready to break off the conversation.

Finally, a priest approached us and as she saw him out of her peripheral vision, she opened our “box.” I excused myself shortly after I was introduced to the priest.

On the other hand, when you and another person have your feet pointed outward like two sides of an incomplete triangle, you are inviting others into the conversation. It is easy for someone walking past or standing nearby to make eye contact. That person will feel welcome to join you, particularly if one of you extends an invitation through a smile, nod or a pause in your conversation.

Knowing these two simple “stance” facts can save you from feeling rejected or ignored or making others feel that way vs. welcomed and comfortable.


Face-to-face Networking: 60-second Solutions — Beware of the Controller Handshake

October 1st, 2014

A reader writes:

Someone I met recently grabbed my hand firmly and then, with force, turned our hands until his was on top. I’ve been wondering if he was sending me a message. I am interested in your opinion.

Hurting in Philadelphia

Thanks for asking. Yes, he was definitely sending a message! I call that handshake “The Controller” for obvious reasons.

When people insist on turning your hand so that theirs is on the top, they want you to know, in no uncertain terms, that they are in control and will dictate the conversation that follows.
Next time it happens to you, immediately register what the person is telling you. You then have the option of trying to match the person’s ego verbally, letting her/him control and/or ending the conversation as soon as you tire of being “controlled.”

Physically, extricate your hand as quickly as possible. If you were to try to turn your hands into an equal position, you will likely meet resistance.

And stay positive. Controllers comprise a small percent of hand shakers … and people!


Face-to-face Networking: 60-second Solutions – - Small Talk is Huge, Part II

August 21st, 2014

As promised last time, here are seven tips to help you make your small talk huge!

    1. Fill your small talk arsenal. Get up-to-date on current news through whatever vehicle you use and then form an opinion so you can discuss it. It’s fine if you have a divergent opinion so long as you listen to others’ and remain congenial.
    2. Prepare a few questions based on the time of the year.

      a. Current business news
      b. Unusual weather
      c. College/pro basketball/football/baseball/hockey games and standings
      d. Movies and TV shows/ Oscar or Emmy nominees
      e. Questions and comments about the sponsoring organization

    It is generally advisable to steer clear of politics and religion.

    3. Practice by yourself. Talk to yourself in the mirror and watch your expressions and gestures. Are they appropriate? Do they need honing? Don’t imitate the president who raised three fingers when he was discussing two items.
    4. Practice with others. Try starting conversations with family, friends, clerks, neighbors, co-workers, wait staff, people in doctors’ waiting rooms, etc. Mentally record if you get the conversation started and if it goes in the direction you want.
    5. Listen better. Use your two ears (and two eyes in person) and one mouth to your advantage. Remind yourself of the proportion as you glance in a mirror at an event … in fact, every time you look in a mirror.
    6. Look confident. You automatically appear to be more knowledgeable and someone others want to get to know.

      a. Plant your feet.
      b. Hold your head high.
      c. Keep your shoulders back.
      d. Put your chest out.
      e. Hold your stomach in.
      f. Make direct eye contact.

    7. Observe and listen before joining a conversation in progress. Prepare your remarks and wait for an opening.


Face-to-face Networking: 60-second Solutions – - Small Talk is Huge, Part I

August 8th, 2014

099 0043The content can be current chitchat; the role small talk plays, however, is far from minor. It’s an enormously important conversation starter and often determines if you want to keep talking – hence the opportunity to build a relationship – or make a quick escape.

Because the content may seem unimportant (let’s get right to the “what do you?” and “what can you do for me”), you may think it unnecessary to prepare … and wing it. That works for the few people who can think succinctly on their feet and then articulate their thoughts fluently and effortlessly.

Gender differences in communication can also be small talk hazards. Men have three main topics in their small talk repertoire: sports, current events, business/jobs. Women have hundreds and since they disclose more about their personal lives they may run into a blank stare when they start with children and spouses.

Next week I’ll share seven tips to help you use small talk to get huge results.