Peace, Productivity, and the Power of Personal Connection



Peace, Productivity, and the Power of Personal Connection

The more deeply I get to know our regular members, the deeper appreciation I have for their wisdom, enthusiasm, and generosity.

The three keynotes at Chilworth Manor all added to our own depth of understanding of insurance, networking, and building environmentally sustainable and profitable enterprises for the future.  These were delivered by Matthew Price, Ian Skinner, and Deanna Dykes respectively.

Given how well known these three members are by the Hampshire members, there was some enjoyable banter to punctuate the highly valuable content.


Matthew Price and Peace of Mind

Are you massively under-insured?  You’ve taken the trouble to get insurance, but have you got the right insurance?

I’ve heard it said that the best Insurance Brokers don’t sell insurance, they sell peace of mind, but what if your Broker is broken?  By this, I mean, what if your Broker doesn’t understand enough about your business to offer the right insurance?  Forget peace of mind – your business could end up in pieces.

In two horror stories fit for Halloween, Matthew Price shared the real-life consequences of not having the right insurance.  Because the cases must remain confidential, we’ve agreed not to add details here or show the video.  The message, however, was simple and clear: the right insurance doesn’t have to cost you a penny more, but getting the wrong insurance could cost you everything you have.

In Matt’s words, the sobering truth is, “All he had to do was make sure he had the right insurance in place.”

And his advice, “You pay for insurance, anyway, so why not sure you’ve got it right?”

An initial chat with Matt is just a phone call away, and like so many other members, he’s here to give suggestions that could save you money, help you sleep at night, and give you the peace of mind we all need.

The Power of Personal Connection with Ian Skinner

Ian’s history in sales, marketing, business development, and now, mentoring lends an experiential authority to what he delivers for us in his regular keynotes.

Today’s focus was on the power of personal connection – and the consequences of engaging authentically with strangers.  The brief encounter with a stranger on a train certainly wasn’t a romance, as in the famous classic movie, but it was a connection at a professionally significant level.  It is a tale of courage and congruency.

Travelling up to town for a meeting Ian’s client wasn’t prepared for was made worthwhile by an intentional engagement with another passenger.  The gentlemen met Ian’s eye contact and Ian dared to suggest,

“You’ve just looked me straight in the eye, so you’re not afraid of eye contact – does that mean that you want to talk or do you want to sit on your phone for an hour and a half?”

In one of those serendipitous moments, the chap replied, “Do you know what?  I’d love to talk!”  The conversation that followed clearly contained niceties that are all part of relationship-building without necessarily needing to be taken beyond the superficial level, but then the authentic connection kicked in.

It was a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes getting to London.  They exchanged cards.  The next day Ian received a call from this guy who said,

“One of the clients I went to see yesterday – I was telling him about you and how I met you on the train and about what you do.  I’ve got an appointment for you – can you get into London on Thursday?”

Gobsmacked, Ian asked, “So what made you want to give me a call?”

The answer is significant for all of us who network purposefully,

“You just came across as so genuine, so authentic… you didn’t speak about you and your business, you didn’t make stories up,” he said, “Look, I guess you’re not going to be everyone’s cup-of-tea, but that doesn’t seem to matter to you, and I really liked the fact that you asked me if I wanted to have a conversation.”

Boldness means business, eh?

When we’re networking, Ian made it clear that the focus should be on ‘them’ – because it’s not about ‘you’.  This reminded me of Stephen R Covey’s exhortation to, “Seek first to understand, and then be understood,” in his “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“Most of my business comes through referrals, through networking, and through building relationships…” which is the opportunity that networking provides.  Have those one-to-ones, build relationships, and listen without intent to shoehorn your offering into their imagined requirements!

In a great testimonial for TBN, Ian closed with,

“…spend time nurturing that group, there’s no point having 1500 people on your contact list if you only know half of them.  Get to know them, spend time, invest time, see what you can do to help them, and build your network.  And if you want to do that, I can’t think of any other better way than spending time at The Boardroom Network.”

Our Tomatoes Are Safe

Daring to bring up the dreaded ‘B’ word, Deanna Dykes thrilled us with the scale and scope of the bold venture she is a key part of.  As a Director at Step Associates Limited, Deanna is part of the team building two HUGE commercial greenhouses in Norfolk.  When completed, these two glasshouses alone will be capable of producing 10% of the UK’s salad tomato requirements.

Whilst that’s good news for Post-Brexit Britain, the even more exciting fact is that the project will be heated by an innovative and environmentally sustainable use of human effluent as part of a heat exchange system.  (That’s heat exchange – not fertiliser!)

Deanna’s enthusiasm for this significant feat of engineering was evident for all to see – and led to her final call to action to women to embrace the opportunities that there are in the construction industry.  Inspiring and encouraging content delivered with passion.



Written by Lex McKee

Images by Justin Wharmby