BE ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Question 58: Do I really need a good academic background to make it in Hollywood?

Well, that’s what my parents told me… but that was so I’d have something “to fall back on.”
 
It depends on what classification you’re in and what kind of academic background you’re referring to. It helps for a writer to know spelling and grammar. Some below-the-line classifications like an art history or fine arts background. Directors may want a psychology degree to help them deal with the different personalities they’ll have to manage.
 
Overall, most classifications don’t need an academic background. What you do need is:
 

1.    Training in your craft/skill

2.    Marketing and sales training

3.    Business training


For more tips and articles by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight  Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Question 57: I just moved to LA. How do I make enough money to stay here while I try to get industry work?

Well, you broke many of my rules regarding relocation (see question 31, April 3rd).

That said, congratulations and welcome to LA! This questions varies depending on classification. Actors, specifically, generally need their days free for auditioning. If you are not an actor who auditions regularly, follow the guidelines I'm about to share.

I'm going to answer this question with the assumption that you're not moving out here with a large number of contacts who can hire you, back your projects, or represent you because you're an "it-guy/gal." Therefore, I always suggest getting a job in the business.  

I know, I know... you're thinking, "but that will take so much of my time and I want to devote all of my time to my career so it launches fast!"

CUT TO:
INT. RENTED APARTMENT - FIVE YEARS LATER - DAY  

YOU looking at your life realizing how quickly time has flown by and you are still living in a rented apartment, eating ramen noodles, and bar tending.


Could you be the exception to this scene? Possibly. But if you are one of the 98% who aren't the exception, it's going to be a long impoverished road, that can lead you into dark, desperate times.

Yes, you can wait tables, bar tend, work at Home Depot, but what if you didn't? What if you took a job working at a studio, production company, agency ,or PAd on sets? By doing this, you make "some money" (generally as much as a server in an average restaurant), the advantage though, are the connections and opportunities that you would never get in "side jobs."

If you use the tools that you learn from me during one year at an industry job, you can acquire:

1. Amazing mentors

2. Relationships with assistants; tomorrow's producers, agents, writers, directors, etc.

3. Skills that will give you an edge over future competition

4. An understanding of industry politics

5. Access to the "circles of influence"  

While working at an industry job, you can continue whatever you came out here to do: write, go to acting class, build your directing reel, produce projects, edit, shoot, design...

AND should you get your break while at this industry job--you quit. There are hundreds of people in line to fill your seat at the desk. You're just going to have to trust me that a year is not a long time to devote to building your business.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Question 56: How long does it realistically take to make it as a screenwriter?

First, let me re-phrase that question to add in any classification in the entertainment industry. Then let me give you the answer you may not want to hear, but it's the answer you need to hear.

There is no realistic time table, in fact there's no time table at all. I'll go even further to say there's barely a measure of someone who's "made-it." I work with Oscar and Emmy winners who are out of work. People who you view as successful, are scared of losing the ground they've gained. You've watched huge names like Travolta, Roberts, and Rourke go from huge to vanished to huge again...

Some people vanish and never make it back, some people make it, yet aren't a "household" name. So what's a person who needs more stability to do?

1. Define what "making it" means for you, so you'll know when you're there.

2. If you need a timetable, decide that. If you don't want to put a timetable on your success, plan for additional streams of income so that money is never forcing you to give up on your dream.

3. Treat the business like a business. No lame excuses for not knowing what to do. You have ME to tell you. Too many people "wish they'd met me when they first started pursuing their career." It's unfortunate I was a toddler then, but nonetheless, I'm here now and armed with information.

4. Invest in yourself and your career.

5. Surround yourself with experts.

To your success...

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Question 55: Can one get a steady job in the entertainment industry?

Is any job really steady this day and age? For the most part, positions in the entertainment industry are freelance. There are some studio and agency jobs that are contract jobs, but the reality is, nothing is truly stable in this industry. 

Some people are fortunate enough to get on a series that lasts for ten years. They, unfortunately,  have their own set of complaints.

If you were a teacher or a janitor and had tenure, your union would protect your job. In the entertainment industry, a union protects your contract and safety. An entertainment union can not guarantee/secure a job for you. Basically, you are a business owner, so the success of your business depends on you. 

Knowing this, I suggest multiple streams of income.

for more tips and articles by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Question 54: What do you do when your family doesn't get/support what you do?

This is a tough scenario. I've coached a lot of husbands whose frustrated non-pro wives, give them ultimatums, young adults whose parents "give them a few years," and friends who joke "Are you still doing that (insert your talent here) thing?"

Creatives are very sensitive people for a number of reasons:

1. They constantly feel judged
2. Their work is an extension of themselves
3. They don't always get rewarded with money
4. They have a dream that not only seems like a fantasy to non-pro people, they also have a talent that tears them up inside if they can't share it
5. Insert your reason here: __________________________________ 

There is a solution-- a great one. You must share with your loved ones and friends only the bits they can understand. For the rest, you MUST seek out people who are beyond where you are now, who know what it takes to succeed, and most importantly, can see you BIGGER than you can see yourself. 

If your wealth is the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with... the sum of your success can also be measured by the 5 people you spend the most time with. In other words, if you spend a lot of time with people who see your great potential they will continue to lift you up. If you spend your time talking about your goals to people who don't get them, they will discourage you, not from a bad place, but because they want to protect you. Sheltered people don't soar... find people who will push you to your greatest heights!  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Question 53: Question: How do I stand out?

You already do, you just have to own it. Every person brings his/her uniqueness to what he/she does. Where you get stuck is when you’re in the presence of someone who can hire you, or who impresses you. All of a sudden “you” leave the room. You start trying to be someone you’re not. You start saying what you think people want to hear. Be yourself. You won’t click with everyone, but you will click with people who have likeminded sensibilities and that’s what great careers are built upon.
 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Question 52: Do you have to live in Hollywood to have a successful career in entertainment?

You don't HAVE to do anything. How successful do you want to be? If you wanted to be a ski instructor and you lived in Miami, Florida (snow ski, not water ski), how successful could you be? I don't recall the last time there was snow in Miami. 

If you're an actor, would you be satisfied doing community theater? If you're a producer or director, would you be satisfied making movies with your own camera using local non-union crew & talent? If you're a writer, would you be satisfied writing your heart out and not having access to the people who can buy your scripts? 

Are you getting the picture? When you are breaking into an industry, you want to be in the heart of it. Now, there are other 2nd, 3rd, 4th, place markets where a union member can make a decent living. So, it's up to you. How successful do you want to be? How committed are you to that success? What sacrifices are you willing to make? I grew up in NY, perceived as the #2 market. Two top agents told me to move to Los Angeles. I left everyone I knew and loved, and it's paid off.

The choice is yours for the making.

For more tips and articles by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Question 51: Is it difficult crossing over from television to film, or vice versa?

Back in the day, you were one or the other. In recent years, the business has changed and people go back and forth. Is it difficult? That depends. Do you have solid relationships with people who can hire you in both? Do you have individual marketing materials for each medium? Do you have a recognizable name? 

If you didn't answer yes, to any of the questions, it can certainly be a challenge. Now you know what's missing, and you can work to build in those areas to make the cross-over easier. 

For more tips and articles by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit: www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Question 50: I read your list of people to get referrals to on page 79 but how do you ask for them when people are so competitive?

This was a question from one of the people in my teleseminar series.  I addressed it on the call today and thought I'd share it with everyone.

Here are my suggestions for asking for referrals: 

1. Ask people you’re not in direct competition with. Who else knows the classification of people you're trying to meet?

2. Explain clearly, what you want to speak to their contacts about. Many times people aren't sure why you're asking for the referral, so they are resistant. Be sure to give them a reason they can say yes to.

3. Have an upbeat energy when you’re asking, a mindset of possibility. If you sound like you're apologizing for asking, or have any negativity in your tonality and/or physiology, people pick up on that. They want to help people who are confident and upbeat.

4. Be prepared (have a target list). Straight out of Jerry Maguire - help them to help you. 

5. Know your objections before and have an answer prepared. If people have said no in the past, know why and address those objections in the future either directly or change how you're asking for the referral.

For more tips and articles by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com

And to join the teleseminar series, visit www.thegreenlightcoach.com 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Question 49: How do I choose a mentor?

This came to me in the comment section of question 47.  The answer: Not as carefully as you may think.

Remember, when I'm suggesting you pursue mentors, I'm referring to "business advice and guidance" mentors. Everyone who has reached some level of success can give you new information. You can even learn from unsuccessful people (though it's not the most strategic way to go). I love to watch the crowd swarm the guest who spoke at a Q&A and see all the mistakes people make. 

Therefore, if you can learn form the good and the bad, anyone can be a potential mentor.  That said, you'll get to where you want to be faster, if you're strategic in who you choose.  The mistake that most people make, is getting too caught up with choosing the perfect mentors. This is a waste of time. Set a goal to choose a specific number of mentors by a specific date and if by that date you're 2 people short, close your eyes, open a directory, and point out 2 names.

Helpful tips for choosing mentors (yes, I suggest you get MANY):

1. Choose people who have taken a path you'd like to emulate 

2. Choose people who know the types of people who hire you

3. Choose people who hire people who do what you do

4. Choose people you've seen do Q&As or volunteer somewhere (that means they like to give back)

5. It's okay to go after A-listers AND have some "safe-schools" (people who will likely say yes)

For more tips and articles by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com    

Monday, April 20, 2009

Question 48: How do I find representation?

Before spending valuable time on seeking representation,  do an honest evaluation of where you are in your career.

Are you making enough money to make you attractive to an agent and/or manager?
Are you so busy with work that you can't manage your own career?
Are you highly marketable (examples: just won an award, created buzz at a film festival)?

If you answered YES to any of those questions, then it may be time to seek representation- if they're not already coming for you. Here are some tips on seeking representation:

1. Do your research: choose 10 agents/managers that are a smart fit for you

2. Find out who else is represented by them, to see if you have a contact on the inside who can bring you in/refer you

3. Have contacts make calls on your behalf

Just as a note:
Agents get +10% because they do +10% of the work. YOU are 100% responsible for your career! Don't expect an agent to be the magic bullet who will propel your career. An agent is a great team member to have and a "stamp of approval" on your resume & reel. Keep doing your "business." 

For more tips and articles by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Question 47:It seems like every successful person took a different path to become successful. How do I know what the right path is?

Unfortunately, there is no "right path," no clear ladders to climb, no rule book. 

Fortunately, that means you can choose your own path, build your own ladder, make your own rules. 

My suggestions for doing this are:

1. Get mentors. Plural. Get advice from as many successful people as you possibly can

2. Compare their advice and decide what fits you best

3. Take action

4. See what works what doesn't work

5. Keep doing what's working and keep adding new tools to your tool belt

6. Invest in yourself

7. Create financial and emotional stability so you never have to give up on your dream

For more tips and articles by the Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Question 46: Will internships in the entertainment industry lead to anything after?

That question is impossible for me to answer without my Magic 8 Ball. So, let me re-phrase it as: Do internships in the entertainment industry have the POTENTIAL to lead to anything after? Now, I can give you a firm yes-- IF you treat the internship as a business opportunity, which means:

1. Know where you want to be 3 steps after the internship so you can take the steps to position yourself toward those milestones 

2. Create relationships with everyone you possibly can

3. Help the people you meet at your internship achieve their goals

4. Contact everyone you know, to tell them you're working, and what you plan to do when this job is done

5. Be the BEST at whatever you're assigned

6. Go above and beyond whenever possible 

7. Learn, LEARN, LEARN

Internships can be advantages stepping stones if you know where you want to step next.

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Question 45: How does going to a Union movie screening help me when I'm watching a movie?

This must be someone who attended one of my speaking engagements recently, where I suggested union screenings as a place to network. 

Here's how I see it. Going to the movies in a regular theater, you can be attending with anyone: students, plumbers, financial planners, stay-at-home-moms. When you attend a union screening, at least one out of two people have to be in the union (I say 1 of 2, because members can bring a guest). That means, one of the two people to your right and one of the two people to your left, are potential relationships, right? 

No more sitting quietly in your seat waiting for the movie to begin. Say hello to your neighbors. And while you're at it, come early and stay late. And no... NO networking during the movie (unless it's a thriller and you can't help but grab someone).

For more tips and articles by the Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Question 44: when you are at the top of your profession on the technical side, how do you break through into management?

Great question! And for those of you who are not interested in management, simply insert any job or genre that you are interested in transitioning to. Because, that's what this question boils down to: How do you transition from one area to another.

Let me start by saying that if you consider yourself "at the top of your game," that's a huge plus. The confidence that supports that statement will back up the "perception strategy" you have to create. What's a perception strategy, you wonder? Here it is:

1. Know what the objections to hiring you in the new position are. In other words, why is there a challenge for you to break into a new area?

2. Have a counter argument prepared for each possible objection.

3. Tie your counter arguments into your pitch before the interviewer can even bring them up.

Here's an example:
The person asking the question wants to move from a technical position to a managerial position.

The interview may object because he/she thinks that technicians don't know how to "manage."

The technician starts the interview by saying, "Thank you for meeting with me. I know many people who aren't informed about what I do think that people in my position don't know how to "manage." I'm glad to see that you have the insight to know that a technician at my level, manages people on a regular basis (you'd mention how many and whom, and if you don't "officially" manage people, you point out how you "unofficially" manage people without bringing attention to the fact that it's not part of your job description) and even has an advantage over typical managers who have no technical background. With me you get the best of both worlds and I'm glad that you see that."

Get referrals to people who can hire you in the new position, create solid relationships with them, and then go for the job by being the best candidate, despite any preconceived notions. 

It's all perception.   

for more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Question 43: how do you avoid getting pigeon-holed?

Personally, I wouldn't advise you to avoid it. Get pigeon-holed. Be an expert at something. Build a reputation. Then, when you are ready and you have the right relationships, you can transition to something new. 

The chameleon strategy is a hard one. People don't know where to put you. It's kind of like being a Jack of all trades, master of none.  

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachblog.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Question 42: how do you market and sell yourself without seeming fake?

This question is too easy. Answer: DON'T BE FAKE.

Obvious isn't it? Yet, so complicated, and trust me I'm not being sarcastic. I'm sure the person who asked this question is dead serious as were the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of people who've asked me before in seminars, groups, and one-on-one.  This question is a huge concern. So, let me put your mind at ease...

If you are not being fake, you will not be perceived that way. If you are being fake, what exactly are you faking? That you're talented? That you're hirable? That you're worthy of their time, work, and money? If you don't believe these to be true about yourself, you need to work on your confidence not your ability to "act" fake.    

I think that most people who ask this question, need to work on their marketing plan, so they have the confidence to back up what they're selling. The fact that you're even worried about appearing fake, convinces me that you are most likely not coming off that way. Most fake people could care less about being fake.

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Question 41: How should I prepare for an informational meeting with someone I've been referred to?

Preparing for an informational meeting with a referral is similar to preparing for a job interview. The differences being:

1. The person is meeting with you because of your connection to the person who referred you
2. It's not for a specific job

Therefore, in your preparation, you want to:

1. Know your objective(s) for the meeting
2. Research the person you're meeting with (seems obvious, but SO many people don't)
3. Design at least 5 questions that you really want to know the answers to
4. Compile a package that shows you in your best light 

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Question 40: Should you “settle” for work that may not be exactly what you want to pursue?

Never settle- Always strategize!

If you are going to take a job that is not ideal, strategically it should fall into one of the following categories:

1. It pays a tremendous amount of money (or the money that you need to survive)

2. There are new people you can meet, who can potentially hire/refer you to jobs you want, and/or people you want to meet

3. There are new "toys to play with" aka an opportunity to learn new equipment or sharpen your skills 

4. There's an opportunity to get a piece of footage that is necessary for or missing from your reel 

When a job is offered to you that is not "what you want", consider the possibilities of how you can use your business skills to turn it into an opportunity that will lead to jobs you DO want.   

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Question 39: Why is it important to BCC my mass emails?

Ah, GREAT question!!! And no doubt in response to my latest Facebook post. 

Let me start by explaining BCC (Blind CC) for those of you whom are unfamiliar with it. In an email that you are sending to more than one person, you have 3 choices of how to send it:

1. To: specifically to whom you're sending your email 
2. Cc: carbon copy- others whom it may relate to, so you feel they should read it
3: Bcc: blind carbon copy- NO ONE you send it to sees who else you sent it to. 

What happens if you send to more than one person via "To" or "Cc?" Everyone receiving that email now has all of the email addresses of your colleagues.   

In business, this has the potential to create privacy issues. If you violate someone's privacy they may become very ANGRY with you. This may cost you:

1. a relationship
2. jobs
3. money 

Be aware of proper email etiquette. Beware you "Reply-all" people. Bcc!!! I don't need everyone in the internet ether knowing my email addresses. Neither do your valued clients, business relationships, mentors, and friends. 

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

Question 38: How do I deal with finding work in such a bad economy?

Finding work is always about one thing- relationships.  Now is the best possible time to be focusing on relationships because people who are generally hard to reach are more accessible. Instead of focusing on the economy, focus on relationships.   

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Question 37: Should I get on Facebook for work reasons?

I think Facebook is a great way to maintain relationships and create new ones. People get to see your work updates (which you should post) and personal updates (that you should post with care). Put pictures up of your family, hobbies, and pets, so people who have commonalities will relate to you. Post your reel and clips from your work. 

Be aware of the "first 3-month addiction," that you will undoubtably get sucked into when friends from the old neighborhood, K-12, college, camp, old jobs, frat/sorority, etc., find you and want to catch up. 

Have fun and post strategically.

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com  

Question 36: What do you do when someone is stealing the conversation? Part 2

I think I'm going to stick with yesterday's answer... TRIP.

Perhaps tomorrow's question should address long hours.  18 hour day today. Back on track tomorrow.  Thanks for hanging in!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Question 35: What do you do when someone is stealing the conversation? Part 1

This is a question that came up in my seminar tonight. 

#1 answer: TRIP... out of no where, accidentally trip on your own foot. I even demonstrated.

Sorry for the short blog. I had a full day and I am waking up at 6 am to drive roundtrip to Vegas. I'll elaborate in part 2 tomorrow...

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Question 34: Should I go to film school?

First, let me say that this person gave me no history, so I have no idea where he/she is coming from. Having coached as many people as I have, I know this could be:

A: someone who isn't in the industry yet, and wants to be

B: someone in the industry who is not a head of a department, and wants to be

C: neither of the above 

I will not be addressing "C," unless the person is neither A nor B, and writes to give me the specifics.  

Let's be realistic, I can't answer this question because you have to answer it for yourself.  I can advise you on what to ask yourself in order to make your decision. So, here goes...

On numerous occasions I've had clients come to me and say, "I want to move up and no one's giving me the chance.  Should I go to film school?" I ask them how they see that as a solution. Here are some of the responses I get:

1. I would be forced to build up a reel (and variations that don't include force)

2. I could create relationships with other students and teachers

3. I could get mentors

4. I would hone my skills & perfect my craft

These are all good reasons to go to film school.  However, you can do all of those things without film school.  My old boss, a Producer, and at the time, head of the producer program at a prestigious film school, once said to me that the students could take all the money they spend on school and make a film.  It would teach them everything and more.

On the other hand, when I was working with clients who made the decision to go to film school and we created a 2-3 year business plan, they had outstanding results. 

For those of you not in the industry and interested, it's the same question: what do you want to get out of film school that you can't get from real world experience? If your answer is worth the time and investment, go to film school.  

If you do choose to go to film school, my advice is to make the most out of it. Film school can be so much more than what you learn in class.

For more tips and articles by the Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

       

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Question 33: What do I do if my boss won't move me up?

There are many reasons why a boss or head of a department won't move you up.  I could list some of the reasons, but really, you'll never know the true answer unless your boss tells you.

The bottom line is, if you don't have a boss willing to move you up, you have to:

1. Build up your credits, in the "next-level" position, outside of your workplace/crew

2. Create relationships with people as your "new-position" so that's how they perceive you

My sister is in a completely different field, advertising sales.  She started as an assistant in a large company that didn't promote assistants.  She had to leave her company to get a sales job for another company. After that, she was able to return to her original company as a sales person. 

It happens all over, not just in the entertainment industry.  

for more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Question 32: Should I re-rate?

The question actually read, "Should I re-rate to DP?" But, because my readers are in different classifications, I'll give the standard answer which applies to any classification.

My answer is a list of questions: 

1.Do you know enough people who WILL hire you in the new classification?

2. Do you have the marketing materials to back up your experience in the new classification (ex: reel, credits)

If you answered, "No," to 1 & 2 and still want to re-rate:
 
3. Do you have enough money saved to last you 2-5 years? 

That is not an arbitrary time period that I have chosen.  In my experience of coaching over 1000 people one-on-one, that's the average time it takes to move up in classification without proven experience and A LOT of contacts who are willing to hire you. However, all it takes is one person to give you a break, and that can change everything. I just wanted to give you an answer based on the average that I've seen. 

Being the exception to the rule is possible, being prepared for the realities of the entertainment industry is practical.  

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com  

Friday, April 3, 2009

Question 31: I live in a small town and want to move to LA. What should I do?

Here's the advice I've given to people who have successfully made the move to Los Angeles:

1. Save enough money to survive for a year with no work/or be willing to get a survival job

2. Create relationships with people who live in LA, before moving out here 

3. Have a strategy plan that includes the kind of work you want and how you plan to generate it

4. Research the "business side of the business" so you aren't shocked when you're not "discovered" within 30 days (or 30 months) 

5. Choose a support team of friends & family, so during times of doubt, they can boost you back up

Because there are so many people who are interested in moving and survival jobs in LA, check out 2 of my Greenlight 101 Series books:  

101 Tips on Moving to Los Angeles from a Small Town, by author, Jefferson Loftfield 

and


for more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Question 30: Is creating rapport manipulative and phony?

The actual comment question read, "Isn't this manipulative? I mean, if you're thinking and intentionally copying someone, that seems phony."

Therefore my response to "anonymous" is, "What is your intention?"

The definition of manipulation is: exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage.

Please recall my definition of rapport in Question 28: the presence of harmony, trust, and cooperation in a relationship. 

Anything that I write about, either as the Greenlight Coach or as myself, comes from complete integrity.  I make the assumption that all tools, strategies, and actions I share are used, by my readers, ethically and with the intention of creating win/win results.

Rapport is an excellent tool/skill to have in order to deepen a connection with someone quickly. Therefore be aware of these 2 techniques when going into rapport with someone:

1. Don't imitate them in an obvious way- instead pick up their gestures and phrases, and re-create them in a smaller way, using them subtly.  It's not Simon Sez.  

2. Don't be so focused on creating rapport that you're not engaged in the conversation- instead, pick one thing to mirror (like their posture, or their energy level) and then participate fully in the conversation.

If your intention is pure, you will build rapport.  If your intention is to scam, it will be a transparent plan.  That's my attempt at a rhyme, and now I'm out of time...

For more tips and articles by The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Question 29: What is rapport? Part 2

Yesterday, I talked about why rapport is important.  Today, I'm going to tell you how to create rapport. It's actually quite simple- rapport is established by matching and mirroring. 

Matching is doing *something* the other person is doing, but in reverse image.

Mirroring is being the "mirror image" of someone. Like when a Yoga teacher in the front of the room, tells the class to stretch to the right.  The teacher, stretches to the left, so they are all going in the same direction. 

What is the *something* you would match or mirror? Here are some examples:

1. Physiology (55%): Posture, facial expressions, and gestures (you can go as subtle as matching their blinking and breathing patterns)

2. Tonality (38%): Voice, pitch, speed, and volume

3. Words (7%): Key words, phrases, common experiences, and associations

When you read about it, rapport may seem unnatural, forced. It's actually something you do all the time unconsciously.  Don't you and your friends use the same "lingo?" Did you ever notice when you're sitting in a group of people, that most people's legs are mirroring or matching? Look next time. You'll probably see 9 out of 10 people in a row with their legs crossed one way or the other if they are in rapport.  When you converse with a friend, whose energy is way up, and he/she is talking a mile a minute, don't you get caught up in it and talk fast too? 

In friendships it happens naturally. Like attracts like. People like to be around people who are like them. 

When you meet new people, consciously (and subtly) going into rapport with them, will connect you faster!

Give it a try...

For more tips and articles by the Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com