by KJ McNamara
Thanksgiving is coming right up which will quickly be followed by the warmth and excitement of Christmas and Hanukah. The New Year is around the corner with promise of new beginnings and fun to come. The excitement of the presidential elections is still fresh and exciting in everyone’s mind. There is no wonder that this is truly many American’s favorite time of year.
Here at Phired Up, we love this season because it is the season of giving. It is the time of year where we put our selves, our agenda and our needs second to give back and thank all of the wonderful people in our lives. This is the time where we dedicate ourselves to a greater purpose and a greater cause. This is the time where we dedicate ourselves to the purest form of Generosity.
Generosity is one of the 4 pillars of Social Excellence , (as many of you know). But very rarely do we examine this pillar alone and how much the pure idea of being generous can change the world and start a movement.
We love seeing all of your facebook posts about what you are truly thankful for, what a generous way to thank the people around you. This form of generosity is a movement all on its own.
There are a lot of other ways people change the world during this time of year with their generosity. They buy gifts for complete strangers and needy families. They write a check to their favorite charity. They volunteer at their local food bank. All of these are powerful gestures, but keep in mind that the spirit of generosity can be simple and not cost much time or money too… Social Excellence teaches generosity as a way to BUILD CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE. Give first — make someone’s day — and trust that there is no more powerful lubricant for relationships than pure generosity. Simple acts — small momentary choices — can be powerful this time of year. Check out these ideas:
Another pillar of Social Excellence is AUTHENTICITY. This pillar, among other things, reminds us that within each person lies an authentic self that is made from the good stuff of life, as well as the tough stuff of life. We never know what another person is going through — especially this time of year. We never know how giving of ourselves, of our precious time and energy can literally make their day, their week, or their life better.
Mother Teresa once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.”
We hear so many people want to matter to this world. We hear professionals, students and mentors say over and over again that they deeply desire to make this world a better place. If you want to change to world… be kind, be nice, make people’s day better just because you were in it. Be generous. There is another quote by William J.H. Boetcker that says, “Your greatness is measured by your kindness.”
So we have a challenge for all of our best friends reading this. A dare. We dare you to be do three things each day that are purely GENEROUS. Make three people’s day. Whatever you choose, to do to accomplish that dare, WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT! Actually we want to see it! Send us a picture on Twitter (#BeThePerson #SocialExcellence). Upload a video toFacebook . We love seeing these videos they inspire us every day and we would be more then thrilled to see all of your faces doing the things that make us feel so warm and fuzzy!
It only takes one person to change the world… Are you going to be that one person who starts a movement of generosity? We will follow you, and so will so many others!
by Matt Mattson
This post was on my Facebook Newsfeed yesterday, and it made me smile. Social Excellence DARES us to engage with not only the people around us, but also the society around us. A line in the definition of Social Excellence reads, "The deepest level of societal participation and contribution."
So, at this vital juncture in our time as Americans, will you choose to engage? Will you choose to talk to your neighbors, representatives, family members, classmates, co-workers, and friends about the future of our society?
If you’re new to engaging with people about the important topics of our time, try some of these questions (you’ll note that none of them are, "So, who are you voting for?")
This election feels important, what issues are most important to you?
If you were in charge of the country for a day, what impression would you want to leave?
Who are the political leaders that you really admire?
How can we get more people in our [neighborhood, school, workplace, club, etc.] to vote?
We know it can be a bit scary to talk to people during election season — with all the sharp tones, accusatory mailers, incessant political phone calls, and attack ads, the tone of public discourse is not exactly pleasant — but that’s why Social Excellence matters right now. Will you talk to the people in your life about THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION? Our nation requests your service in this regard. It is what we’re founded upon. Just do it in a Socially Excellent manner.
Go talk to people. It is your civic duty.
by Matt Mattson
"I’m a part of an organization on campus that’s about networking and leadership . Part of our goal is to meet all of the highest performing students on campus. I’m trying to meet the best of the best people here. Who are 3-5 people that you think I should meet?"
That’s what I say to pretty much everyone I meet on a college campus when I’m recruiting for an organization. You should say it too.
by Matt Mattson
I am an introvert . I don’t thrive off of large groups. Spending time alone gives me fuel. Quiet solitude is where I find some of life’s greatest joys. My natural tendency is to separate from the crowd… or at least seek a very small group of people to spend time with. I am an introvert.
Also, I am a professional speaker, trainer and coach. I work with large groups of people nearly every day for a living. I teach people social skills, I urge social engagement, and I co-authored a book on SOCIAL EXCELLENCE . My work requires extraordinary amounts of social interaction, and I love my work.
It seems like those two preceding paragraphs couldn’t both be true about the same person. I promise they are though. 100%. That’s me.
I’m reading a book about introverts title, "Quiet " by Susan Cain (see her TED Talk here, and read a recent NY Times editorial that she wrote here). I’ll reserve my review of this book for another time, but I will share that it really got me thinking that there are probably a lot of "introverts" who hear our message of Social Excellence and assume it’s not for them. "I’m just not a people person," they might think. "I do my best work alone," they might even say.
I would offer, however, that the way we interact socially with the people around us is a) a choice, and b) the determining factor in our level of influence on the world around us. While I might do my best work when I’m alone, I can’t share that work, those thoughts, those insights, with the outside world while I’m in my introverted bubble. No matter the life path, I must eventually engage socially for my work to mean anything. Are there exceptions to this? Probably. But most of us, if we want to change people’s minds, sell our wares, recruit new donors or members, influence others, or BE A LEADER, we must do so through other human beings . We are social animals living in a SOCIETY. Our interactions with each other are the conduit through which that society flows.
I might be an introvert, but I make a choice to be Socially Excellent. Do I take breaks, go quiet, disappear into the safety and warmth of alone time occasionally? Yep. And I’m proud of it. In fact, I would recommend that to everyone who values a little quiet space. But I also deeply understand that the more hands I choose to shake, conversations I choose to have, and relationships I choose to build, the greater my potential to learn from others, be exposed to new ideas and experiences, have more people to support me when I need them, and influence others.
I might be an introvert, but I also want to matter to the world when it’s all said and done. I know that the best way for me to do that, the best way for me to make a big impact, the best way for me to create the change I wish to see in the world is through my relationships with others.
Plus, once I started to choose Social Excellence as a lifestyle, I had better stories, more fun, and more success.
Yes, introverts can be Socially Excellent.
by Matt Mattson
Want to multiply your influence x 150 today?
Want to give yourself a 150% better chance to change minds?
Want to learn 150 x more about the world immediately?
Want to have a chance to fund raise from, sell to, learn about, or recruit 150% more people into your group right now?!
Well, here’s the secret. Here’s how it is done. Here’s how you, yes YOU, can multiply your influence x 150 (or more) right now!
Shake one hand. Have a conversation. Build a relationship. With one person… Just one will do it.
See, for every hand you shake that turns into a relationship, your level of influence is multiplied by around 150!
Dr. Robin Dunbar has done research for at least 20 years on the size of social networks. His research has suggested that the upper limit of close relationships someone can have is around 150 . This is called "Dunbar’s Number." While that mostly refers to the maximum number of close friends one can likely have, our suggestion is that a person’s circle of influence goes beyond their closest friends. In fact, in today’s digitally connected world, we have much wider circles of influence than ever before since so many of us broadcast to an audience of followers (Twitter) and friends (Facebook) amongst others.
In fact, your average friend on Facebook probably has around 359 "friends" according to this article from BBC News (that article also contains this fascinating little tidbit that encourages Social Excellence , "A study of 10,000 US students over a period of 35 years suggests the wealthiest people are those that had the most friends at school. Each extra school friend added 2% to the salar y").
For our college student readers, because of your proximity to one another, and the likelihood that if you’re reading our blog you’re connected to organized student groups who all congregate and interact with one another, it is likely that your social multiplier is even higher.
Here’s the point: Every time you choose to shake a hand, have a conversation, build a relationship (be Socially Excellent), you are expanding your potential circle of influence by a factor of nearly 150! That stranger walking by isn’t just one stranger — that’s 150 people that you could be connected with, that you could influence, that you could recruit, that you could learn from, that you could gather together around your cause.
So, choose to shake some hands today…
by Matt Mattson
It’s college football season. For many, the most wonderful time of the year. College football captures our collective attention, and if you’re looking to be Socially Excellent , it provides a nearly universally accepted topic of conversation.
"Big game this weekend, eh?" "Where do you like to tailgate?" "What games are you watching this weekend?" "Any idea if I can still get tickets?" "Our quarterback looks strong this year." "Hey, screw the [rival mascot], am I right?"
Set up a table on campus.
Wear your best college team gear.
Hold up a big poster board with three columns on it titled as follows: 1) Name & Phone #, 2) A picture of your school’s football helmet, 3) A picture of the other school’s football helmet.
Write the following rules on the bottom of the poster board: "The person picking the closest final score to this weekend’s big game will win an awesome package of [your school] fan gear. Ties will broken by drawing from a hat. We’ll call or text you if you won. Come back and play every week!"
Shake hands. Talk about football. Ask everyone who walks past to guess the score. Make friends. ADD ALL THESE NAMES TO YOUR NAMES LIST!
Repeat every week there’s a game. (Then start again during basketball season).
Happy Football Season!
by Matt Mattson
"By the way, do you like football? Every Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. a bunch of people get together on the IM fields to play pick up football. We’re trying to get as many students out there as possible. Give me your phone number so I can text you what field we’ll be using this week."
When I recruit, this is one of my favorite techniques. Here are 5 reasons I like asking this question.
1. It isn’t a recruitment event. It is just people playing football. Low pressure, high fun.
2. I can say that line to literally every human being I encounter on a college campus. In line at Subway, next to people in class, after a one-on-one meeting, as I’m walking through dorms, during a service event, after worship, at 1:30 a.m. at a house party — the question works everywhere, all the time.
3. I get a phone number (because I offer something of value).
4. It is always happening, always planned. Every Tuesday and Thursday. All semester. Year round.
5. If no potential members show up, and it is a huge bust, the worst case scenario is… I get to play football with the other members of my group that are there. Or, better yet, I join in on someone else’s pick-up football game.
Does it have to be football? Nope. Every Tuesday and Thursday you can:
See you out there.
by Matt Geik
The gym where I work out regularly had "MEMBER APPRECIATION DAY" recently. Here’s the thing, "Member Appreciation Day" is secret code in the fitness industry for "RECRUITMENT EVENT." It’s really a savvy sales technique that many gyms use at the end of their month to woo potential new gym members who have tried out the facility earlier in the month to come back and sign up.
Often these recruitment events are lavish — the salespeople at the gym are typically RUSHING to meet their monthly goals. So, they pull out all the stops.
Unfortunately, for my gym, the things that they do during Member Appreciation Days aren’t congruent with what they say the gym is providing for its members. Maybe that’s why they’ve continually struggled with growing their membership since they opened?
See at this member appreciation day, my gym had a bunch of other business vendors in to promote their businesses and provide free stuff for the members and potential members. The only thing is that the businesses that were there included Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys, B.D’s Mongolian BBQ and a local bank. (For proof, check out the photo I took that day from behind the stair mill and you can see the guy on the far right working a table and wearing the shirt that says “We Do It On A Grill”.) I don’t know about you, but wings, burgers and BBQ don’t exactly make me think of a healthy lifestyle and certainly don’t have any place in my gym.
All I could think about was how funny a conversation with one of the sales people must sound and look like during that day. You know, with the potential new member scarfing down some blazin’ wings while talking about his fitness goals and how the gym could help him achieve those. All I was waiting for was Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler to walk in and start doing their bit from Saturday Night Live….REALLY?! I mean, are we a fitness facility promoting health and wellness or are we a training ground building the next contestants on “The Biggest Loser”? REALLY?!
Unfortunately, for many college student organizations (especially fraternities and sororities), as we get ready to head back to our campuses and embark on a new semester of recruitment, we will do the same thing. We’ll hold outlandish parties and big events so that we attract a lot of people and make them think that we’re the cool organization on campus. And while they’re at our events, we’ll feed them wings, and BBQ and in some cases alcohol to make sure they’re having a good time. We’ll hold silly themed events with black lights and hi-liters, or foam, or togas, or even make it seem like there are constantly balloons, glitter, perfect cupcakes, and nothing but fun songs and skits the whole time you’re a member. And then we’ll tell everyone that we’re the premier destination on campus for the highest caliber ladies or gentlemen, and we’re scholars and leaders who do world-changing service and philanthropy work because we’re a values-based organization of top performers. REALLY?! Really?
by Matt Mattson
First year students are arriving soon. College student organization leaders are giddy. It’s time to get to work recruiting these freshmen into the organizations that will shape their college career. Let’s go get ‘em!!!!
…Whoa, tiger. Wait a minute before you charge out the door on the hunt for fresh-meat — I mean freshmen. Take a moment, before you give them your smooth pitch, your cool promotional items, and your well practiced handshake/wink combo move. Do you remember when you were in their shoes?
You were nervous.
You were trying to figure out what the new "cool" was.
You were scared.
You were clueless about how the new social scene worked.
You were secretly trying to impress the people who impressed you.
You were really missing that small group of close friends you had back in high school.
You had no idea what organizations like the one you ended up in were really about.
You were overwhelmed by all the colorful t-shirts, sidewalk chalk, banners and posters, but never really read them.
You were only really interested in the groups that had people in them that you already knew — or the groups that your friends were joining.
You barely knew how to navigate campus, much less navigate the process of joining a life-changing student organization.
You just wanted to be listened to.
You just wanted to feel included.
You just wanted to feel important.
You just wanted to be cared about and loved.
Put yourself in their shoes… Strategize accordingly.
by Shira Tober
How many times have you heard the comment: “I’m a really good recruiter, I could talk to a brick wall!”
But what really makes a GOOD recruiter? Is it someone who can talk to a brick wall? Is it the most social member? Is it someone who can fill 15, 30 or 45 minute recruitment rounds, events, or activities with meaningless babble? Is it someone who can impress others with their knowledge of stuff? Is it someone who can discuss the latest sporting event or episodes of Real Housewives because the potential member mentions it in passing? Or is it someone who can listen? Is it someone who can learn about the prospect, not only for the what (logistical information) but also the why (the reasons someone is the way they are)?
Someone who is a good recruiter doesn’t dominate the conversation talking, but rather opens their ears and learns about the person they are talking to. Listen to learn, not to respond. Listen to care, not to impress. When were are first getting to know prospective members of our organization we want to make sure they are comfortable and we want to make sure they feel like we are genuinely interested in what they are saying — and the only way we can make them feel that way is by actually being genuinely interested in what they are saying.
People join people. More specifically, people join people who they trust, feel a connection with, and respect. People respect, connect with, and trust people that listen to, value, and care about them. Simple.
To prep your members to be GREAT recruiters, have a lot of conversation practice. Not canned conversations with role playing of the “shy” prospect, the “partier” prospect, or the “brainiac” prospect, but real, genuine conversations. Practice listening. Practice caring.