April 2011

Visit the Business Coaching Blog

I am pleased to announce that my Business Coaching Blog is up and running.

Recent topics include:

  • You Have Reached Your Destination
  • New Year’s Resolution For 2011: Live In The Present
  • Trust, the Antidote to Feeling Insecure
  • Is Your Culture a Communication Asset or a Liability?
  • Your Mind Defines Your Life.

Participate in the conversation by visiting www.thebusinesscoachingblog.com

Equilibrium Mentoring Programme for Czech Women

Did you know?

  • Gender equality in the labor force could boost the Eurozone’s gross domestic product by as much as 13%.
  • The most effective boards are those that have a wide range of skills, experience and perspectives, so that the decision-making process is more robust.

On February 24, 2011, the British Chamber of Commerce launched the Equilibrium mentoring programme in the Czech Parliament with the goal of supporting the talented women of this country.

The purpose of the programme is to help increase the number of women on boards of directors and in top management roles through tailored, individual mentoring for high-potential women likely to fill these positions in the coming years.

Of the 100 women interested in participating in the program, 16 mentor/mentee pairs have been selected. The list of mentors involved in Equilibrium includes Alexis George, CEO of ING Czech Republic and Slovakia and a BCCCR board member; Eva Williams, Corporate and Legal Affairs Director of TESCO Czech Republic and Slovakia; Olga Girstlova, 1999 Monaco World Entrepreneur; and international business coach Karin Genton-L’ Epée.

Equilibrium is supported by general partner Česká spořitelna, a. s. and media partner MF DNES.

For more information, visit www.britishchamber.cz.

Mentoring Tips

During the coming months, you can look forward to reading some of the mentoring tips resulting from my relationship with my mentee.

Tip 1

The first meeting is all about getting to know each other and assessing roles and responsibilities.

Tips for the Mentor

  • Clarify your role and responsibilities as a mentor (i.e. what you can and should do for the mentee)
  • Communicate relevant information from your personal and professional experience
  • Identify the areas where the mentee requires support and guidance
  • Reflect on what has been said and anticipate next steps

Tips for the Mentee

  • Clarify your expectations of the mentoring program
  • Communicate relevant information from your personal and professional experience
  • Describe and analyze the areas where you require guidance and support
  • Reflect on what has been said and make sure to apply the suggestions provided by the mentor
  • Note down your progress as preparation for the next session

Spring 2011 Power Lunch Series

The Spring 2011 Power Lunch series begins on April 5, and will explore the concept of networking in the context of Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone.

The principle of networking is simple: People do business with people they know and like.

Understanding what networking entails and knowing the benefits you can achieve by improving your networking skills can have a profound impact on both your personal and professional life.

During the next 3 lunches we will look at the key aspects of networking: what is networking; how and where to network; and what skills you need to become a good networker.

Spring 2011 Power Lunch Schedule

  • April 5 Savvy Networking
  • May 17 Never Eat Alone
  • June 7 The Art of Small Talk

Brand Journalism in Prague

Do you care about your image? Would you like more clients to know you, talk about you and return to you for more business? Then you might want to consider Brand Journalism – a strategy that helps you create content, spread it through social media and engage your customers into a real conversation about your brand.

Learn more about how to use journalistic skills to boost your image, raise sales and make more profit at the Brand Journalism workshop in Prague, April 14-15, 2011.

Register now to get your 40% discount at www.brandjournalism.cz. For more information, contact Cristina Muntean at cm@mediaed.cz.

Rotary Dragon Boat Charity Challenge 2011

On Saturday May 28, the Prague International Rotary Club invites you to participate in an excellent team building event on the River Vltava… A dragonboat race!

Dragonboat racing is an ancient Chinese water sport that is growing in popularity in the Czech Republic. The boats are 12.5 m long, similar to a canoe, and require a crew of 16 paddlers and 1 drummer.

Anyone can try it as it requires no experience and above all is great fun!

Taking part is easy as boats, training, life jackets and other safety equipment are all provided by the organizers.

You and your company can ‘buy’ a boat and participate in the Rotary Dragonboat Race Challenge.

  • When: Saturday May 28th
  • Where: On the Vltava River on Střelecký ostrov
  • Who: 16 paddlers and 1 drummer for each boat

The event is being held in support of Nadace Nase Dite (a children’s charity), Sananim (rehabilitation of drugs and solvent users), and Zivot 90 (providing support for the elderly)

For more information, please contact Andreas Fehrens at andreas.fehrens@centrum.cz or visit www.rotarydragon.cz.

Festival KoresponDance Europe

You’re invited to attend the KoresponDance contemporary dance festival in Brno and Prague.

The festival is a unique chance to see various aspects of contemporary dance in Czech Republic on an international level. This festival is the climax of the whole “KoresponDance Europe” project, initiated and coordinated by SE.S.TA-contemporary dance gathering-.

Gala Performance

Fresco, Women Looking Left / Paco Décina, Compagnie Post-Retroguardia (FR)

New Stage at the Prague National Theatre, (31/5)

Project Duets – an image of European creativity

Theatres in Prague: La Fabrika (16/5) and Archa (28/5)

Theatres in Bron: Reduta (9 and 10/5)

Performances Born Thanks to the Project

Six performances made by participants who took part in the KoresponDance Europe project

Theatres in Prague: Théâtre Ponec (30/5) Studio ALTA( 29/5)

More information on www.se-s-ta.cz and www.korespondance-europe.eu

Calendar of Events and Activities in 2011

April 5 Power Lunch: Savvy Networking
April 14-15 Brand Journalism (www.brandjournalism.cz)
April 19 Training4Success: Understanding Business Etiquette
May 17 Power Lunch: Never Eat Alone
May 24 Training4Success: Branding Yourself
May 28 Rotary Club Prague International Dragon Boat Charity Challenge 2011
June 7 Power Lunch: The Art of Small Talk
June 21 Training4Success: Managing and Transforming Your Image to Succeed

The Easiest and Fastest Way to Get a Job Is to Network!

People do business with people they know, and like. I believe that those of you who have been going out on a regular basis can vouch for the wonderful opportunities the Prague social scene offers. And when in a transition phase, you may discover that this reciprocal communication process can help you secure a new job. Like my friend Petr did.

A couple of weeks ago, while accompanying me at a social gathering, Petr met some of my business contacts. Following an initial handshake and introduction, his pleasant demeanor and friendly communication style allowed him to make a very favorable impression on a general manager whose company was seeking a marketing director.

Petr followed up the next day with a phone call and eventually landed the position.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? But how many of you consider networking a frightening task and feel uncomfortable promoting yourselves outside of the office? How many of you are shy and don’t think you can network without knowing anyone? Even though you are good at your job, networking may not always come easily to you.

Differences in the way Americans and Europeans socialize can complicate matters further. Whereas Americans are encouraged to introduce themselves in a direct and straightforward manner, Europeans are more inclined to wait until after a formal introduction before engaging in conversation. Fortunately, the relaxed etiquette of Prague makes it easier to approach a stranger at a party and introduce oneself without being formally introduced.

When and where can you network? Anywhere and anytime. You can practice your networking skills in situations ranging from a formal group meeting to a chance encounter in the subway.

How do you network? Upon meeting someone, show an interest in what they do and become involved in the conversation. Exchange business cards and make an effort memorize people’s names, as they will appreciate the recognition during your next encounter. Finally, it is very important to follow up. Though this common courtesy is too often forgotten, it is key to good networking and will certainly pay off.

What are the benefits of networking? From building new contacts to making new friends, networking is an invaluable skill that will continually lead you to new opportunities. And the rewards you’ll gain from good networking will surely outnumber the occasional dead-ends or disappointments. Before you know it, you will have sharpened your communication skills, be exchanging ideas and information with diverse groups of people, and be uncovering new and exciting opportunities, even in the most unexpected of situations.

How successful are you at networking?

This article was originally published in the Ceska Pozice website: www.ceskapozice.cz/en/blog/karin-genton-l’epee