Everyone needs a little expert advice now and then.

So the nerd household and I have just had two weeks staycation. Typically, the British weather took hold and it rained and rained. I was desperate to go to the beach but the nerds-in-training in the house just kept quoting Star Wars: “I hate sand”.

Life’s a beach …

Anyway, I wanted to go to a beach that was as quiet as possible and drivable (Cambridge is not near the coast!). Rather than chance wrecking my one good day of weather- I sought advice. This local friend always seems to be popping to the coast and successfully. So expert viewpoint obtained, we managed to have two great days at the beach without hoards of people!

Are you making the most of the experts in your life?

One of this week’s coaching clients has a very vague brief – “I want to apply for a job”. Now I can certainly help them but given their university has paid for a 45-minute session we could have been much more focused if they had done some of the spade work beforehand. What type of roles, where are they going to be based and why do they want to move? Instead we will discuss these things in the session.

Value their time and yours

So I have three simple rules to make the most of and show you respect the ‘experts’ in your life. These might be LinkedIn connections you need information from, a boss who could give you opportunities or even a friend you are asking to help you proof read an application.

  1. Be prepared. Yep Like the Boy Scouts. Find out what you can beforehand. Clarify your thinking as far as possible.
  2. Be exact. Be clear what you are asking for. People can be very helpful if they are given a clear brief. Could you introduce me to your connection, X? I am looking to develop my leadership skills, what is the best way to do this here at Y?
  3. Be thankful. Always thank everyone for everything. People loved being thanked. This could be a simple note, email or a recommendation / testimonial if appropriate.

If you don’t ask you already have your ‘no’

My clients are often reluctant to ask for help from their network. Honestly I have found people are pleasantly surprised – oh that is a British phrase! – at how helpful people are when they do. But just wailing “pleeeeease give me a job” isn’t the way to do it! Follow the three rules and let me know what help you get!

This useful Forbes article has more tips for making the most of your network. If you are looking for my ‘expert advice – click here

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