Author Archives: Jennifer Kahnweiler

Are there introverts in Israel? “It’s complicated”

On the road to Masada with Bill and Yael

Prologue:

As I write this post, there is conflict on the borders of Israel. It is hard to divorce the tragedy of lost lives from the experiences of a vacation. It is also what makes a trip to Israel so different than any other visit. There are always eyes to be opened and questions to ask.   A country of 8.5 million people, the size of New Jersey survives in an atmosphere of both unrest and peace.  

My recent trip to Israel with husband Bill was a meaningful journey on so many levels. I never really understood what people meant when they returned, transformed and in love with the country and its people. Now I do. One theme song for our trip were the words, “It’s complicated.” That is true for a lot of what happens in Israel.

We were accompanied by our smart, warm and flexible guide, Yael who shared many heartfelt stories, history, and political insights that deepened our understanding and respect for a place we knew little about.

Because  I study introverts, when I travel, I naturally seek out examples of introversion. I have found that a culture can influence how introverts express themselves.  For instance, Asians value the introvert preference for quiet time and Australians love to extrovert and talk, talk and talk.

“On the surface, Israelis may often seem rude, pushy and inflexible” and “also be helpful in a time of crises.” said one website for expats.

Aside from generalities.  I wanted to discover the shades of Israeli personality myself.

I did find that many Israelis express a lively and highly extroverted vibe, but (like other dichotomies in Israel), people also manifest quiet strengths. I didn’t encounter rudeness.

Quiet Strengths 

What were some of the quiet strengths I observed? A few included conversations of depth, a reverence for writing, staying calm and being present.

  • Conversations of depth  – Quiet influencers and leaders build relationships and go deep in their discussions.  Israelis do this.  Small talk isn’t the norm but it is common to engage in intense discussions about security, sustainability, and the Jewish state, etc. In vibrant Tel Aviv, thousands of families and young people strolled and relaxed at cafes. It also seemed okay to hang out alone. We were taken with the young people. Whether foreign or native-born they genuinely seem to enjoy being with each other. Sure, they were on cell phones (Israel is the home of many tech startups) but we heard LOTS of live conversations as well.  Israelis have a mandatory 2 – 3- year military commitment after turning 18.  The leadership training and sense of purpose young people experience gives them a maturity beyond their years. They were poised, had excellent conversational skills and knew how to laugh.

 

  • A reverence for writing –. It is common for introverted leaders to figure out what they think and feel through writing, Theodore Herzl, referred to as the spiritual father of the Jewish state wrote his vision for Israel in order to understand what he believed. We also visited a beautiful area in the Negev desert called Mitzpe Ramon.    A memorial, at the Ramon Crater,  honors astronaut, Ilan Ramon who heroically died with 6 others in the 2003 Columbia Shuttle explosion.  His words live on.

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  • Staying calm  While there, we had some unexpected rain and several of the roads closed. Yael switched our plans after checking websites and conferring with colleagues. She calmly kept us updated. Fighting on the border meant we stayed away from some areas. Israelis are used to these everpresent changes and their calm demeanor is contagious. We felt safe and in good hands.  

 

  • Being present –  We drove miles through Israel’s desert and the vast expanse of open land interspersed with miles of breathtaking olive trees, date palms and vineyards were breathtaking.  We bounced around in jeep rides with guides in the Negev desert who love their land so deeply and were keen to share that passion with us. Keeping our eyes peeled for wild boar (which we found!) in the Golan Heights, we passed abandoned old Syrian bunkers, We heard stories of fear and bravery as we met with members of a Kibbutz who live each day to their fullest. They described surviving through nights of terror and their economic efforts to save their land and communities.

The people we met on our journey exhibited many qualities, and possess both introverted and extroverted traits.  I was grateful that I could absorb a beautiful array of people and sights that brought these quiet strengths into clearer view.

 

Walking near the Ramon Crater in the Negev

 

 

 

Introverted Women:Tap Into Your Quiet Strengths

 

Why I am a fan girl of techies

With “superwoman” Jennifer Ng Ain Kin, Project Manager, Abbott Vascular and a colleague at the IEEE Women’s Summit in California in 2015

In every performance review, I’m told I need to speak up, that I need to spend less time in my office with my door closed. My boss says I have to ‘sell’ my ideas with more enthusiasm. My co-workers say that I need to be more of a ‘team player’ and less of a ‘report generator.’ Believe me, I’ve tried. It seems that when I try to develop those skills, however, I’m just acting like someone else … How can I be me and still make a difference?

Sari sighed and shrugged her shoulders with more than a hint of frustration as she asked me this question during a leadership workshop I was running at her company. I’ve been asked a similar question many times, and I always feel a sense of sorrow in answering. The reality is that introverts—especially women who fall into this category—are continually asked to adapt to an extrovert-centric, male-dominated workplace that rewards being out there and on stage.

Many organizational cultures support those who talk about their accomplishments, who spend more time out and about networking instead of alone deep in thought, and who make sure they are the first to get their ideas heard. However, women like Sari are well prepared to shape the future of business for themselves and their organizations. I call them “Quiet Influencers.”

The problem is most organizations are not set up to leverage the many strengths those female introverts bring to the table – strengths that include reflection, preparation, listening, focused dialogue, writing and social media. On the contrary, most organizational cultures inadvertently put roadblocks in place that women like Sari face as they strive to move ahead.

In the time of #MeToo and #TimesUp it is important to understand some of the key roadblocks introverted working women typically face in the workplace so that so they can be addressed.

Lack of visibility
The numbers alone aren’t in women’s favor. Women represent just 14 percent of executive officers, 17 percent of board positions, and only 21 of the Fortune 500 CEOs. Women risk being overlooked in a sea of male colleagues. Add to that an introverted woman’s natural tendency to wait before speaking up — and their general resistance to self-promotion or “bragging” — and their talents and accomplishments often don’t see the light of day.

A discomfort with networking and schmoozing, which come more naturally to their more extroverted colleagues, also places quieter women at a disadvantage. As one manager of several introverts told me, “I don’t have the time to figure out who has achieved what. I give opportunities to those who tell me what they are doing without my having to ask.”

Negative Impressions
Introverted women spend time thinking and stay longer “in their heads” than their extroverted colleagues do. Sometimes, this habit comes off as not showing emotion. They end up being judged by men as cold and unfeeling and by women as “stuck up.” Both men and women may even question their intentions. One coaching client told me her team thought she was planning a nefarious plot with the boss simply because she had not spoken up at a meeting.

Bias
Being the first female engineer, scientist or systems manager can be hard enough, but it is especially difficult if you’re not a talkative, outgoing Type-A personality. Nina, a young chemical engineer, said her 50-something extroverted male customer, who refused to address her directly and, during negotiations, spoke only to her junior employee, challenged her. The truth is, introverted women face the frustration of putting up with male authority figures who don’t let them speak.

Avoiding Conflict
Few organizations teach women how to manage the healthy conflict that is natural and necessary to generate new ideas. That makes it particularly hard for introverts, who tend to keep their opinions to themselves, to contribute to conversations around big decisions. Girls are rewarded for being polite and cooperative throughout their schooling. Because they receive a lot of positive reinforcement for being naturally quiet, introverted girls grow up to be women who focus on pleasing others and fitting in. In the professional arena, they avoid addressing conflicts head-on. Their frustration builds up as they repress ideas that challenge the status quo.  Feeling stuck and unappreciated, they may even dial down their career goals. Their valuable input gets ignored and the organization loses out on their innovative ideas and contributions.

So, if you are an introverted woman, what can you do to face these roadblocks? How can you tap into the female version of your quiet strengths to lean in? Consider these  5 steps you can take to tap into your natural strengths. 

Take Quiet Time
You can use your preference for quiet time and calm reflection to become more self-aware and clearer about the positions and motivations of others. Being assertive and confident can be a mental game and you can replace negative thinking with positive thoughts. Remember: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Recall how you felt when you pushed past a challenge and succeeded. When you are tempted to doubt yourself and your competency, use breaks to recharge by taking a calming walk or writing in your journal.

Make Time For Face Time
Focused conversations are the best format for solving problems, working through conflicts and asking for what you need. Diversity experts tell us that a key way to overcome bias is to get to know someone different on a personal level. This means engaging in honest, open, and direct communication. Discussions that don’t happen in large groups but do but outside the conference room are more effectiveWhen you give and get feedback from your teammates or boss, you build trust and get results.

Seek Out Other Introverts  Introverts don’t act like extroverts who shout to be heard above the noise and win people over to their point of view. Instead, they use their natural quiet strengths to challenge the status quo, provoke new thoughts, create change and challenge others. Seek out these quiet influencers and observe how their words and actions land with impact. They can serve as mentors who can help you navigate the waters of your company’s culture. They also can provide that needed push to keep learning and growing.

Manage Perceptions
Last year I coached Shira, a soft-spoken engineer who flew under the radar in her company. Her ideas were often ignored and she became aware of how her non-verbals spoke volumes. Shira wanted to change how others saw her so she decided to take a cue from stage performers and act “as if” she was confident. She slowed her breath down, raised her voice a level and increased her eye contact with others throughout the day. She still honored her temperament and her introverted needs, but these conscious steps altered the perceptions of her from an uninterested, non-assertive woman to a highly competent and strong contributor. Shira began to be asked her opinion more by her male colleagues and was included in discussions she had previously been excluded from.

Use Networking Smarts
Quiet influencers use both social networking and traditional face-to-face networking strategies to be effective. Social media is a great medium for quieter women. It allows them to control how and when they will engage with others. With an online presence, others can get to know as much about you as you care to share; it also helps you to achieve visibility that might be difficult to gain in person. Face to face networking is also important. You can schedule follow up phone calls with people you meet online. You can also do this at company women’s forums or other networking groups. I participated in two inspiring days at a pharmaceutical company conference where women from all levels and specialties had the space to discuss their concerns, applaud their achievements and gain ideas from each other, all with the strong support of senior leadership. You can use occasions like this to apply your natural ability for in-depth conversation and focused dialogue to learn and contribute to the conversation.

As quiet influencers, you have what it takes to overcome the roadblocks in your path and add true value to your teams and organizations. Tap into your natural strengths to make your own unique difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Match the Communication Medium to the Message

 I was so pleased to be asked to write a guest post for my friend Ryan Jenkin’s blog. I hope you enjoy it and check out his great work on helping companies get the best from millennials and Generation Z. 

Millennials and Generation Z often prefer texting. Boomers like to connect by phone  and engage in conversations. Just as different generations have communication preferences, so do different personality types.

So, what is the best method to use?

How to match the medium to the message

I am a champion and advocate for introverts in the workplace and I have been interested in the question of what the best way they can  communicate to be heard. Introverts are energized by solitude and quiet time. Extroverts draw their energy from people and tend to be the more vocal and visible.

Last year, our company conducted a survey to learn more about the preferences of introverted leaders.  How are they using different communication modes to be effective?

The results, based on responses from 40 introverted leaders from across different industries and job functions, were intriguing. Respondents indicated that matching the communication method with the information that needs to be delivered is essential and increases the likelihood that people will get the message.

Here is what we learned about how introverts view the vehicles of communication:

Email

Introverts often find this tool to be the most effective for delivering data, setting appointments, and dispensing other routine information. It’s also a great format for disseminating relevant content before meetings and outlining a business case for a project.

One survey respondent wrote: “Email allows me to get things off my plate (delegating, responding to my team) so that I can concentrate on my most important task at hand. It also cuts down on the need for conversations that could lead to chitchat.” Another observed: “I can write something and let it sit for a while, and then come back to it and make changes before I send it out.” Some said email helps them be better communicators. “If I were in a telephone-dependent work era, I would never have advanced very far. Email and social channels allow me to express myself in written form.”

Text Messages

Introverts use texting to get quick answers, to do on-the-spot logistical planning, and for check-ins. Group texting “conversations” are also a time-efficient way to gather different view- points. As with email, texting allows introverts to take the time they need to send the clearest message possible. One survey respondent said, “Texting is my greatest ally. It allows me to respond quickly and intelligently. The ability to edit before hitting send (or enter) reduces my risk of misused words, something that happens often on the phone and creates enormous amounts of frustration and miscommunication.”

Telephone

This is a great tool to reinforce emails or texts. Telephone conversations are also good for connecting when you want to develop working relationships and build credibility. Your voice and tone become part of the medium. I once received a voicemail from Jared, an introverted sales member of our team, requesting that I call him. During our phone conversation, he explained a sensitive client situation that I could have easily misunderstood if he had tried to describe it in an email. Because of his communication choice, my opinion of Jared—and his credibility—rose.

The theme of preparing for these telephone conversations as a way to stay present and focused also emerged in the survey. The most popular methods for doing this are to remove distractions and to prepare questions and talking points ahead of time. Almost 60 percent of survey respondents said that they rely on these prompts to refocus the conversation when it is getting off track.

Face-to-Face Communication

Delivering important news, launching a project, praising people, or working out issues and problems can be best handled in a face-to-face conversation. CEO Paul English says that as an introvert, it’s a temptation to sit in front of his computer all day. “But if that’s literally all I do, it’s sucking energy out of the room. People want to engage with me. It’s a lot easier to transmit energy face-to-face than to transmit it electronically.”

English also keeps his calendar open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. His explanation: “At the last minute, I can just grab a few people I haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes we have an agenda, but mostly it’s just socializing. Without that human connection, it goes at.”

Even though introverts know that one-on-one communication is important, it was the least favorite form of communication cited by introverted leaders on our survey. Telephone conversation and face-to-face communication were used by each respondent less than 7 percent of the time, compared to 67 percent for email use and 27 percent for texting.

And so, what have I learned? As a highly paid consultant once told me, “It depends.” When we consider what we are trying to achieve with our communication, we can select from the repertoire of available options and select the mode that fits the situation. There are times we each need to put aside our default, comfortable method  and try the method that will get results.

 

 

 

 

 

How does your team view introverts?

 

One of the ways to reduce bias and educate co-workers about introverts is to bring up the topic with your team. But how do you do this? Here are three suggestions based on my work with diverse organizations across the globe.

1) Take the MBTI- Suggest your team take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – This assessment is widely available and should be administered by a certified instructor. You can also get other versions online. The debrief and discussion will open up everyone’s eyes and strengthen working relationships.

2) Take a quiz – Suggest your team take one of our quizzes to get a view of how they use the strengths of introverted leaders, quiet influencers, and genius opposites. The quizzes can be taken on your phone or online and they deliver immediate results. They are designed to provoke awareness and discussion. Note: You don’t have to be introverted to take these assessments. Follow up with solutions and tools from the companion books, The Introverted Leader 2nd edition, Quiet Influence, and The Genius of Opposites.

3) Pose questions – On your next conference call or live staff meeting, pose a question from the list below. Allow time for discussion. If you make it a safe place, people will inevitably weigh in and you will learn a great deal about your team. You will also get ideas on how to make your workplace more introvert-friendly. This knowledge will strengthen your ability to work together.

a) How do you think introverted leadership is relevant to our company’s mission and vision?

b) What challenges do introverts face in our organization?

c) What best practices might we implement to bring out the best in all our team members?

With each of these steps, you are shining the light on introversion and taking it out of the dark recesses of misunderstanding and second-class citizenship. Valuing introverted qualities at work impacts the productivity and well-being of all associates. You can be a catalyst for that important change.

Bloggers resonate with different introverted leader themes

 

Bloggers resonate with different introverted leader themes

Bloggers are a crucial force in spreading new ideas. I have learned so much from the army of bloggers who have embraced The Introverted Leader 2nd edition. They have resonated with different themes and share their unique points of view, making for rich conversations both on and off the page.

Let me share four recent examples from these four creative bloggers and colleagues.

1.Bruce Rosenstein’s  Living in More Than One World post demonstrates his interest in the topic of introverted leadership. Bruce approaches the topic from his rich experience as a former librarian, leadership expert, journalist and currently as an editor and professor. Bruce is a Peter Drucker scholar, among his other talents, and has written two great books on this management guru, who is referenced in the book’s chapter on Managing Up.

He pulls together references about my collaborative work with Susan Cain, a video I made at the American Library Association and other books I wrote to provide a retrospective of my work over the last decade. Bruce wrote, “Now, her new second edition adds a considerable amount of fresh, updated material and it reflects the fact that we not only understand more about how and why introverts have solid leadership qualities, but also that introversion has become a hot topic inside and outside the workplace.” Bruce’s skills show through in this piece and he has done his research thoroughly and with care.

2. Skip Prichard is an author and leadership expert whose new bestselling book, The Book of Mistakes is an impactful read with practical advice. He generously highlights other author ideas in his popular blog. In a post,  The Quiet Strength of Introverted Leaders, he asked questions about meetings that had me digging deep for answers.

One of Skip’s provocative questions concerned a woman who is always interrupted in meetings. What would I advise her? One tip I shared was, “Keep in mind that extroverts typically don’t mind being interrupted because that is often their speech pattern. Extroverts are also usually unaware that they are dominating the conversation until they are stopped.

4. Henna Inam, Forbes contributor, and Executive Coach asked for ideas to help her introverted clients. In her post, The Good News For Introverted Leaders, she begins with some of the common client concerns she hears like:

“He needs to speak up more, you know, make his presence felt in the room!”

“I have no idea what’s she’s thinking when I present to her. She needs to be more vocal!”

“I’m trying to get her promoted, but most of my peers don’t know her. She needs to be more social!”

I suggested that Henna tell her clients, ” Own who you are and leverage the strengths you naturally bring to your workplace. Stop trying to become an extrovert.” That is, by the way, a key theme in all of my books. 

I am very grateful that these bloggers have helped me to look at the topic of introverted leadership through different perspectives and challenge me to provide the best responses that I can.

I hope they will help do the same for you.

 

 

 

 

Have We Gone Too Far in Promoting Collaboration?

Have we gone too far in collaboration?Overuse of a strength becomes a weakness. I wrote about this in Quiet Influence, a book that emphasized the 6 key strengths of introverted influencers. For example, a strength like listening can be used to make a difference, but overused, opinions never get heard.

One area where we have overused an organizational strength IMHO, (or “in my humble opinion” like my spouse Bill often says), is teamwork. Teams are not always the best way to structure work. I have learned from introverts that there needs to be solitary work time if we are to get the best out of everyone. ALL of us benefit including Introverts, Ambiverts, and Extroverts.

I was invited to write a Viewpoint article for HR Magazine and jumped at the chance. This column takes a contrary view to the prevailing wisdom that teams are a given on just about any project.  The key points come from new research in The Introverted Leader, 2nd edition.

Here is an excerpt:

I was eating a sandwich in the break room of a company where I did some consulting work when I glanced up and saw it: a poster depicting a crew of young, energetic rowers paddling their boat across the water in perfect synchronicity. You probably know the one. The headline reads “There’s no ‘I’ in teamwork!” 

Well, maybe there should be—at least some of the time. Over the past 12 years, I have been studying and writing about introverts at work. Introverts, who get their energy from within, make up between 40 percent and 60 percent of our workforce. For them, time alone can be critical to recharging and contributing to the creative process. 

Don’t get me wrong. When employees collaborate to brainstorm and feed off each other’s energy, great things can happen. In fact, my research has found that teams of “genius opposites”—that is, those that balance introverts and extroverts—get exponentially more accomplished together than their individual members would alone.  Keep reading here.

You can download a free chapter here of The Introverted Leader 2nd edition to get a taste of these and other new learnings about introverted leadership.

Do you agree that we have gone too far in collaboration?

Introverted leaders share their wisdom

Many of you know that my latest book, The Introverted Leader, 2nd edition launched earlier this month. Writing the book gave me a chance to explore new insights about introverted leaders. Readers and audiences really were the ones who contributed the new content. Marketing the book has also been a cool journey. I have spoken to interviewers I admire and written for publications I truly respect.

Here are a few of those interviews you might enjoy. Check these out and consider subscribing to those that resonate with you.

  • Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution – book excerpt from the Leading and Participating in Meetings chapter
  • Berrett-Koehler’s blog post – Seeking the Next Wave of Introverted Leaders
  • Darcy Eikenberg’s Red Cape Revolution video interview
  • Beth Buelow’s The Introvert Entrepreneur podcast
  • Brandon Smith Show interview – Insight for The Introverted Leader (video) (audio)
  • Craig Price’s Reality Check podcast (episode 249)
  • Julie Winkle Giulioni’s blog post
  • Steve Glaviski’s podcast on Future2
  • My article in HR Magazine – Have We Gone Too Far in Promoting Collaboration?
  • My interview with Becky Robinson of Weaving Influence on The Seven Myths of Book Marketing

Buying a book and writing a short Amazon review would also be so appreciated!

 

 

Marketing Books Like The Introverted Leader In A New Era

 

Last week,  I had a lively, fun chat with book marketing guru Becky Robinson, Founder of Weaving Influence. Becky’s 6-year-old company just launched their 100th book and her team helped me with the successful launch of The Genius of Opposites two years ago. You can watch our interview here. 

I talked about book marketing myths that I drew from a blog post I wrote, Do You Buy Into These Book Marketing Myths?  We also discussed some of the changes in marketing today as I launch  The Introverted Leader, 2nd Edition coming out on March 6th ( and shameless plug: available for pre-order now.:)

It was quite different back in 2008.  We wrote press releases and pitched to print media by phone.  The practice of excerpting key ideas and “hooks” still stands, though today, we contact the press via email and through social media channels like Twitter.

Now we have bloggers and “influencers.” These people have large communities who follow them and are interested in their recommendations. Getting my book covered on an influencer’s  blog or podcast can be a big visibility win.

There is another great opportunity today that didn’t exist in 2008. I can have a dialogue with my readers and people who are interested in the topic of introverts at work. Social media allows me to engage with people about the ideas in the book and even get discovered by potential readers and clients who hire me to speak and coach.

Today, it is not necessary to hire pricey PR firms to run your campaign. Much of the info on how to plan for and launch a book campaign can be obtained online. Becky’s new Book Marketing Action Guide, for example,  provides a comprehensive and affordable do it yourself roadmap for getting your book in the hands of readers.

And isn’t that why you wrote it in the first place?

Do you buy into these book marketing myths?

If you are an author or aspiring author you probably know that marketing your book is as important, if not more important than writing the book itself.

Last month, Stephan Dietrich, Managing Director of my German publisher Junfermann asked me to share some ideas about book marketing at their first book marketing workshop for authors.  I drew from my own experiences  to highlight what I titled the “7 Myths of Book Marketing.” 

A write-up is below. There is also a video of the talk that is translated into German.

Do you have any other myths to add?

It was 2011 and I was scanning my inbox when my eyes stopped. An email from Richar Ruiz, former director of a university leadership program in Asuncion, Paraguay caught my eye. He had seen a video on YouTube discussing my book The Introverted Leader and based on that clip was inviting me to visit his country and speak about the topic of introverted leadership.

My next click was to do a Google search to find out exactly where Paraguay was! And my journey to South America began. The experience later that year, speaking at their commencement exercises, running a seminar for business leaders and visiting school children was one I will never forget and could never have imagined during the long process of birthing my first book.

Since then I have been fortunate to have left my home in Atlanta, GA to speak in a number of countries in addition to Paraguay including Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and Canada about the topic of introverts and extroverts in the workplace. I did hope to reach more people globally when I embarked on writing books. These trips have changed my life and I hope I have also impacted people.

In order to reach my goal of speaking internationally, I had to learn more about what sells books. Fortunately, I had some knowledge to build upon. I learned about the value of marketing and public relations in building my coaching and training businesses over the years. You can also draw upon your past marketing experiences to successfully get your book out there.

Here are the 7 Myths about marketing your book with ideas about how to challenge them.

 Myth # 1 – Start marketing when your book launches.

Actually, you should start marketing your book as you are writing it. Why? Readers will be invested in your book before it is even published.  If you are doing research for your book, reach out to your community with surveys and ask for interviews and stories.

You can also take content from the manuscript and divide it up into blog posts in order to raise interest. Social media can be a great tool to share content and mention the book (more about that later). Use your talks and workshops to “float” ideas and see what themes resonate with audiences. At my publisher Berrett-Koehler, we poll people to get their ideas on book titles and cover designs.

Finally, have a plan to directly reach out to your contacts with updates about your progress on writing the book and how they can start to spread the word. You can prepare sample Facebook and Twitter posts to make it easy for your fans to spread the word. By the time of your book launch, people will be waiting and excited to buy the book as well as share it with others!

Myth #2 – See other authors as competitors.

Let’s face it. Other authors do write about our topics and it is natural to feel competitive. But instead of seeing this as a race where you are trying to get ahead look at it as a relay race where you helping each other to cross the finish line. You each can sell many books this way. How can you collaborate? With this mindset, your competitors can become your best allies.

A colleague told me about Susan Cain, who was writing a book about introversion called Quiet(which became a huge bestseller) and he made an introduction to her. We had several stimulating discussions; she gave me a cover endorsement for my book Quiet Influence and invited me to write for her blog. I promoted her work on my social channels and continue to do so. We both realized that our books supported each other in different ways. We have both benefited with press coverage, book sales and work opportunities. It has been a win-win solution. If you do this your readers will see you as a person who is more committed to your topic than promoting yourself.

Myth #3 – The website exists to list your offerings.

Your website is a credibility builder, not simply a sales brochure. You can feature excerpts from your book.   It is also an important place to capture names and build your mailing list.

Your website is the place that prospective and current clients visit as well as the press. Therefore, your offerings should be clearly listed and easy to find. Your website should be dynamic and reflect your brand. If you have some euros to invest, pay for a good website design.

Consider putting your blog on your website so that your information is constantly changing and you are relevant to your readers. Your blog should be updated at least weekly. This will also help your search rankings.

Myth #4 – Social media and public relations is a waste of time and money.   

It can be if you are not smart.

Social media is a key part of your book marketing strategy. A recent survey said that 89% of journalists turn to blogs when researching stories. 65% turn to social networking sites and 52% use Twitter as a resource (from Mastering the New Media Landscape, p. 58 (Berrett-Koehler, 2016) Barbara Cave Henricks and Rusty Shelton) your content and be sure to share others postings (this is the key to getting more followers and fans). See which sites your community prefers and focus on those sites.

Many people hire PR firms to help them with book promotion and they are very disappointed that this doesn’t lead to their book becoming a bestseller. The truth is that the key to becoming a bestseller is illusive but you increase your chances of book visibility by getting good PR.

Work with PR consultants as partners to plan and share your ideas about the best media targets and pitches for your book. Then ask for regular reports so they are held

accountable. Also remember that journalists can help sell your books. Be prepared for your media interviews and offer quality content. The media will return to you for quotes on stories in the future as well, keeping your book’s title alive well after the launch date.

Myth #5 – Speaking for free doesn’t sell my book – 

Speaking for free gets you visibility and gives you practice so you learn how to talk about your book. Think of these as marketing opportunities. Be open to taking every chance you can to practice speaking. That is how you will improve and make yourself an in-demand speaker.

When you present talks about your book you also hear what aspects of your book are most intriguing to people to include in future speeches. Always try to sell your books at these talks. Book clubs, special interest groups at companies and professional and community groups welcome the chance to have an author visit so think creatively about which groups would be most interested in your topic.

Myth #6 – Giving away books doesn’t sell books.

The expression “Quid pro quo” refers to “something for something.” People feel obligated to give something back to someone who has given them something. When you offer a free-signed book to a person who shows interest in your work, that person will inevitably mention the book to others. This is called “Pass Along Sales.” You can request that these people write a review of the book on Amazon if they liked it. This is very positive for your book’s rankings. Also don’t underestimate the impact of people noticing your book’s cover as your giftee reads their copy in your local coffee shop or on the airplane.

Myth #7 –  Books won’t make you money.

Your royalty check might buy you a nice dinner but it won’t pay the mortgage. However, if your book is aligned with your business you have an excellent chance of securing business and developing long term client relationships. People looking for a coach, trainer or speaker will often contact a book’s author to ask about their services.  Your book gives you instant credibility and offers the proof that is needed to demonstrate your expertise. Many authors have been surprised at what an excellent lead generator their book becomes. Johanna Vondeling, Vice-President Berrett-Koehler publishers refers to it as a “gold-plated business card”.

 So congratulations! You have accomplished what millions talk about but rarely accomplish. You have published a book to be proud of and you have done it with Junfermann, a great publisher (Stephan did not pay me to say that!)

I spent an unforgettable week in Germany; a trip I never could have envisioned when writing my first book. It is now the time to bear the fruits of YOUR labor and make a difference with YOUR book. Start by challenging these marketing myths and you are on your way to achieving results you could never have imagined.”