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"Being Real" past issues

February to June 2012: Authentic Networking

Jenn Shallvey

Being Real

February to June 2012




Catching Up

A lot can transpire over 5 months. Yes it has been 5 months since I last wrote to you. In that time an entire season passed by.  Yet in my mind it seems like January 2012 was just yesterday. Do you have this same feeling? 

Have you also noticed how much is happening in the world around us.  We are seeing unprecedented changes and upheavals in what once were stable systems both locally and globally.  Depending on your perspective these are either positive shifts or not.  Irrespective, change is inevitable and we are all riding the waves.  How you enjoy this ride is important for your own health and sanity as it is for those around you.

Riding waves to clarity

For me the last several years have felt like this experience with waves of change hitting the shores of my life in ever increasing sets and peaks.  The interesting reflection is that whilst I lived a lot in fear and worry early on I do so less and less now. In a now realised twist of perspective I am living from a much deeper place of clarity in self, direction and acceptance. It is from this place that I engage, retreat, then re-engage in the world.

If you follow my blogs and writings you will see a pattern in the above comment. I like to take time out for reflection, review and regathering. Each time I feel lifted to an even higher level of self awareness and hence conscious action.  I embrace not so much that I can control and force the world around me to do what I want but to actually accept that what is happening is real and that I have a choice in how I respond and engage or not.  Amazingly empowering and self motivating.  In the end my action is also a powerful way of helping others.

As I share these insights with you, though generic and high level, I hope that you can see the magic in taking some time to sit with who you are on the inside.  It’s not an overnight process.  Yet by so doing you ensure that you increasingly engage with the world more authentically and on purpose.


As an example, I am clearer more than ever on why I am here. I am here to help you in your transitions whether in life or work.  You see if I can say I am good at anything it has to be going through transitions. So as I said to a gorgeous and wonderfully exciting new client the other day I have been there! Yes I have been there. And I have no doubt I will experience even more unexpected waves and change.  So will you.  The great thing to me is that life just keeps getting more and more interesting and exciting even with the ups and downs. Perhaps so does my perspective and frame.

Where are you at?

I don’t know where you are at in your life or work. But I do wonder. Are you hiding from yourself? Are you playing it safe? Or are you opening up to your potential, the possibilities of living and working differently and really playing and having fun now?  Do you perhaps see the upheavals in your life and work as clearing and letting go of the old?  I wonder.  I also wonder just what is on the horizon for you. What is next in your journey. Are you about to be bumped into a change you could never anticipate or are you ready to jump in with full awareness and ride the wave.  Only YOU know. Only YOU can be the one who chooses what you are doing with your life and work.  All I and others can do is help by being a sounding board, source of inspiration and guide. 


So in this context let me share some writing, resources and inspiration for thought and action.  Also given the lapse of time since last writing I am sharing with you a "bumper issue" of Being Real. This is definitely one to read in stages and grab a cup of tea to sip while doing so.


So enjoy.





Authentic Networking

An essential part of business life is networking no matter what you call it.  You have to be a hermit in a cave not to appreciate that connecting with people is a positive step for both personal development and expanding your network.  What matters for me is the quality of the experience and the purpose for connecting.  

In and out, but mostly in

I tend to be a seasonal networker. Yes seasonal, not serial, though I could be seen as that as well.  At the start of a new year I get all excited and sign up for every event that comes my way. Why? Perhaps the absence of business connection in the holiday season creates a gap to be filled.  So off I go like a horse out of the gates ready to meet new people, learn new things and connect.

Yet for me this whole idea and attitude is fraught with challenges.  You see I must confess to those of you who do not know me well that I tend to feel more comfortable on the introverted side of the preference spectrum.  For those who do know me then you have already probably said that I hide this well!  


A curious yet personal style

I am not a networking specialist. I know people who are. I also have sat in my fair share of events/courses/workshops where the discussion or topic of ‘how to network’ came up. What I have observed is that there are as many ways as there are personalities of people. What I mean by this is that we promote or prefer to network in a style that suits us.  For one person it might be to gather as many business cards and share just as many. For another it might be to walk away with one or two meaningful connections.

So it often surprises me when people come to me for networking advice or give me feedback that I am a good networker. In my mind I simply enjoy connecting with interesting people and staying in touch with those that spark my curiosity further.  I find that I can always learn something from others even if we don’t share the same views. 


Immersing myself in a networking experience, however it may appear, is an opportunity to also look in the mirror. I notice what others trigger in me and how I respond. I notice what interests me and does not’t.  Most of all I notice the unexpected.

Irrespective of your preference for interrelating with others, the key for all of us is to approach networking with an intention and personal approach that sits authentically with who you are as a person.  What may differentiate us then is how we set the intention and how we execute our approach.  What I want to share with you is not necessarily the right and only approach but what works and resonates for me in the spirit of sharing some ideas for your consideration.  

To me it is always most important to be clear about your intention. You probably have been told to have this set in terms of goals. In fact I remember teaching training courses way back in time on meeting skills.  One of the key learning points was to have a goal for your meeting.  Back then this made sense to me. And yes I can see it still being relevant for tracking progress and gaining a sense of achievement in your life.  

But now I have an evolved approach.  I prefer to focus on intention over a goal as I see intention is a way that I hold myself and be present in a situation whereas a goal drives me to an end result. Once achieved then what?  My intention generally in networking is to open up a relationship and explore a new connection. I go to a networking function with the intention that I meet and learn something new about a person and about myself through the interaction. I also have the intention that relationships that intuitively feel right to explore further will naturally kick off with a desire to meet again or stay in touch. For me, my intention is not to collect business cards or count numbers of people I can add to Linked In.  

Same people or new perspective?
Some might say that the intention of networking events is to meet new people. The question for me is how do you define a new person? A complete stranger? A friend or acquaintance of someone you already know? or other?  What I have noticed is that because I do attend a few events I see the same people popping up at each event. So by default the faces look familiar.  


This is a good thing for further developing connection with people. There are also people I know of but do not know in person. I see them through my online social networks, hear about them from others, read their articles, check out their websites and subscribe to their newsletters.  But the face to face acquaintance still eludes.  A fact of our modern world I suppose.

Let go of the filter

What is interesting about this phenomenon is that when we know of a person from afar or indirectly we form an impression about a person before we actually meet them.  For me this can be helpful or a hindrance.  Why? Because like you I am human and at times let judgment slip in and filter my impression. I may form an opinion based on an exchange on Twitter or LinkedIn or perhaps an observed sales tactic.  I am also prone to put people on pedestals and see them as almost unreachable or not in my league of contact.

Both perspectives are to be honest simply ridiculous. If I were coaching myself I would quickly be drilling down to the truth of these two beliefs and illuminate the fact that what I am perceiving is not necessarily the truth.  What I do then have that kicks in is a super intuitive sense when in an actual conversation.  What I notice is that as soon as I meet a person I immediately see past the impressions, persona, emotions, moods, images and connect with the real person. Even the person in the conversation probably does not see that I am doing this.  I just wish I was a bit better at doing this from afar as well. I guess there is always something for the personal development path.

Consciously aware, not self conscious

So to delve into this scenario further, I have taken stock of what works and does not work for me when connecting with new or at least people that are new to me face to face.  For me it is about maintaining a vigilant commitment to remaining self aware and conscious at all times that I am engaging with others.  I need to be mindful of my attitude, how I feel and how I am choosing to interact, or even not interact.  

Why?  Well for me and perhaps you, we are not always on fire emotionally, physically, mentally or even spiritually when attending events or engaging in networking social situations.  It might be a bad day for us personally and we have had to muster up every ounce of courage to be present. Or maybe we got a bad night’s sleep, got up on the metaphorical wrong side of the bed and really wish to crawl back in and start over again.  Maybe we are in the midst of a life crisis, personal major transition point like a change in our family situation, that does not warrant disclosure or idle chit chat.  Whatever the case we show up in social networking engagements with a lot more than the ‘impression’ we are creating with people we meet.

So it is in this context that I now say it is important to remain highly conscious. Not just for our own sake but also for the sake of others.  By being conscious we can make the effort to be present for others whilst at the same time handling the internal experience.  

Balanced authenticity

One of my very few ‘rules’ I learned many years ago in my early career as a trainer is to not show the audience what is going on behind the scenes. I suppose that this is an approach borrowed from the theatre. In the same vain as ‘the show must go on’ it is important to remember that you are there for the audience to learn not prop you up.  I have over the years lightened up on this expectation in my pursuit of authenticity.  What I have now realised is that it is ok to disclose how you are feeling and what is happening where appropriate but not let this lead you down the path of victim. Instead it simply lets people know you are human and clarifies context.  

For example I had a coaching session one day where my back was out.  As the client has been working with me for two years now it was easy for me to say up front that I had an injury and that it might seem strange sitting with me as I barely moved and held my back upright like a stiff board.  The disclosure simply excused my unusual behaviour and let us move on into the conversation.  Whilst I at times was aware of my physical challenge I never let it get in the way of tuning into the coaching conversation.  At the end we both laughed as I slowly got up out of the chair.  

An opportunity to be

What I have discovered in authentic networking is that it is a process of learning to be me.  It is helpful that I really do love meeting new people.  What I don’t enjoy are the less than sincere inauthentic responses.  When I fall into this trap I now acknowledge that this is where the person is in their relationship building process and leave it at that.  I then refocus on why I am there - to open up relationships, connect with people and get to learn and know more than I did before I arrived.

Ultimately though the most important factor in ANY networking situation, whether explicitly set up for networking or not, is to stay true to yourself.  For if the person does not meet YOU they will not be connecting with YOU.  Furthermore, for any chance of a relationship to evolve on a sound and mutual foundation it is important that others have real context from which to explore and engage further.  Let’s just say I am not a big fan of masks, faking it, pretending - though I do know how easy it is to fall behind these.  I figure if you have a good BS detector you can see through that anyway.  In the end being true to you and authentic in networking is a win win for all involved.

So the next time you attend a networking, or any other type of event where connecting with people occurs, see what happens with you.  Notice the experience when you set an intention and have a personal approach that is authentic and real for you. 


I also look forward to connecting with you and learning more about you.




New Blog:  "these ARE words to LIVE by"

I am really excited to announce (finally) a new blog!  Yes another blog. This one has a little twist as I am blogging a book. Now you won’t get the whole book. I expect over time that about 70% will be online and the rest saved for the final production. 


My reasons for blogging this book are:

  • to not hold back on sharing the wisdom and inspiration as I believe we can all benefit from this now; and
  • I want to explore the idea of engaging with readers along the way not after writing.

The details of the new blog are:

Book name:  “these ARE words to LIVE by”

Blog website:

Overview: This book is a practical, reflective yet inspiring manifesto for living and working every day. The focus is on a series of words that represent basic principles and concepts applicable to all people irrespective of culture and background.  The intention is to not be prescriptive but invite you to consider how to live and work with greater clarity, happiness and fulfillment.


Blog introduction

You are invited on a journey of self discovery.


You are invited to join me as I unveil and reveal 11 magical sets of words that will inspire you to create a life of love, happiness and well-being.


What is written on this blog are words offered up to you as suggestions, guidance and simple common sense laws of life.  They are sourced from no where in particular other than the intuition and insights flowing through my mind. Of course there are filters. Filters of interest, curiosity, experience and knowing.  Yet even with such expansive embellishment the words are simple to know and even simpler to follow.


The challenge lies not in the reading and digesting but in the adapting, living and doing.  What lies before you on these pages can be taken up in a moment or a lifetime. The choice is yours.


Who then benefits? You. Me. Humanity.


So dip your mind, heart and soul in and open yourself up to the experience.




I have enjoyed a bit of a journey getting ready to do this blog.  I had some early coaching from Philippa Burgess who helped me get clearer about the focus of my writing.  Then I had some more specific help form Nina Amir on blogging a book.  I may not be following all of their advice but I am definitely inspired by the shared experience.

I invite you to comment and engage in the conversation. This input may help shape what we are doing.





Three videos to watch


I came across a video the other day that I consider challenging to your thinking and very being.  The video is from TEDxLausanne and is the presentation by Jamie Catto titled “Transforming shadows into rocket fuel”If you don't know of Jamie then perhaps you have come across his inspiring documentary "1 Giant Leap". Now a little pre-disclosure for the more sensitive in you…the topics are real and you would expect when we talk about our shadow. I still encourage you to watch the whole video and then see what comes up for you.




Another video that is a bit more on the lighter side but with a message worth pondering and more importantly putting into action. We all talk about being kind to others but do we in real life?  Enjoy this reminder and as the producers Life Vest Inside say "Kindness. Don't just do it...Live it!"

“Watch this…you will definitely share this…"




Pure fun!

Sharing one more with you to put a smile on your face. How great would it feel to be doing this the next time you are walking down the street of your city! 

"Dance Walking Fitness Ben Aaron. Time to Dance Walk Baby"


And if this made you smile the follow up video about the mysterious dance man might make you smile even more.


Jenn's latest photos
I have been a bit distracted from taking photos of late. I tend to share photos like many others on Instagram. Then I might get inspired and put a post on my Posterous blog.  Click on the photo to see the rest of the photos from the post.


   Sandy pics after storms and Venus



  Beauty shining in the rain   



Last newsletter...


READ MORE:  In case you missed it you can enjoy my last newsletter online.


LISTEN AS WELL:  You can also listen to the feature article in audio.



Please share

It is my intention to inspire people through my writing, coaching and facilitating to be more conscious, real, authentic and true to self. 


If you know someone who might enjoy reading and connecting please pass this edition on and share using the button at the bottom of this email that says 'forward to a friend'. It means a lot to me to make a difference in this way.


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All links and references shared in this newsletter are done so for your benefit. Any affiliations or other arrangements are disclosed up front and transparent. If not mentioned then assume simply no gain on my part for suggesting. Other than perhaps some good karma all around.



I truly appreciate our connection and your interest in my work. I hope that I am able to help you with what I have on offer and share.  Please feel free to connect in whatever way suits you. I look forward to hearing from you.






All writing in this newsletter is copyright Jenn Shallvey 2012.




To find out more please visit my website













How much of the real you attends a business networking event?



What transitions are you in the midst of right now?



How are you riding the waves of change?



Reviewing where you have been over the past 5 months how much more clarity do you have now?



What's your intention for connecting and opening up new relationships in business?



Are you a vigilantly self aware so that you can be conscious when with others?


















Next newsletter


Update on Intuition Starter® workshop and resources




























Transition Coaching with Jenn


Helping you thrive in times of change so that you can create the life and work you desire.


"I can help you to get clear, be focused and know who you are amidst all the transitions and change you experience."


Find out more here...




























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Jenn's Main Blog












these ARE words to LIVE by