Saturday, February 18, 2012
How To Feel Comfortable Networking
The meeting was a tremendous success. Rather than have 20 women go around the room and introduce themselves and what they do, I asked them to bring their favorite T-Shirt, hat or any object of significance they could share with the group. And share they did. It was the perfect ice breaker. Most people like talking about themselves in a more natural setting and this was the perfect opportunity. It's amazing how people will open up when they feel comfortable.
After the introductions, I asked the group if they knew what we had been doing in the last hour. Everyone looked at each other and asked, "have we been networking?" Everyone was so engaged in each other's story, no one realized that we were actually networking. That's exactly what I was hoping would happen. I wanted the group to recognize that there is no mystery in networking. The act of networking is about having a conversation and being engaged by listening and asking questions. Networking is a two way street. I talk, you listen. You talk and I listen. Amazing, right?
If you want to network but don't want it to feel like "work", look at it as having a conversation and opportunity to get to know another person. You just might enjoy it. The women at my meeting apparently did. I couldn't get them to stop talking!
"The way of the world is meeting people through other people."
~ Robert Kerrigan
"Good Night, And Good Luck"