Thursday, 9 January 2014

How to Enjoy Networking Events When You Dont

How to Enjoy Networking Events When You Dont

How to Enjoy Networking Events When You DontAnd Benefit From Them As Wellby Susan Dunn

Networking . . . theres no question it helps us get business its not what you know, but who you know but for some of us its not enjoyable and also something of a mystery.

Theres plenty of advice out there, such as head for the center of the room, be sure and greet everyone, and watch your entrance and exit. But this is helpful only after you have some kind of foundation to work from.

Im afraid moving to the center room only helps someone who knows what to do once they get there!

I suggest baby steps, starting with going on a factfinding mission. Here are some tips:

This can be learned, through study and practice.

Attend some events specifically as a factfinding mission. Observe people who are good at this and figure out why. Choose someone whos at ease and gathering crowds. Analyze it. This means look at their nonverbals:

their gestures, posture, stride, stance, facial expressions, and hand shake. Go over and interact with them yourself. This is the kind of person who will be easy to talk with and youll learn a lot.

Figure out what youre going to do with your hands!

Sounds like a small thing but it makes a big difference. One less thing

to worry about. Notice how poorly you currently do this. Is someone

reaching for your hand and your purse slips off your shoulder banging against you? Do you have a drink in your right hand? Do they hang at your side, like orphans or flutter in breeze like frightened birds?

Observe who does this well, then practice in front of a mirror. Practice makes perfect.

Prepare yourself before you go, and process correctly when you return.

This has to do with what you are rehearsing, and we rehearse things along with their emotional component. If you tell yourself, I do miserably at these things, you will. If you return and focus on all the faux pas you made, you are reinforcing this in your brain. I know you know the parts that didnt go well. Learn from them quickly, then spend a lot of time thinking about what went right.

How you say it matters more than what you say.

After all, no ones going to be explaining Chaos Theory at one of these things, and if you try to, eyes will glaze over. Work on your tone of voice. It starts with selfawareness. What is yours now? Likely high, anxious and you talk too fast, or clam up completely, or combine it, blurting something out then freezing up. On this factfinding mission, listen to someone who does this well. How do you know they do it well?

You enjoy being around them and so does everyone else.

Susan offers coaching, distance learning courses, and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional development.

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