Networking “Best Behaviour”
Conferences and networking events can mark the beginning of interesting and fruitful relationships. Make the most of them and check out these tips.
A Fistful of Business Cards vs. One Genuine Relationship
The classic behaviour at these events is to exchange many business cards in a very short space of time, even though afterwards many of the cards are close to meaningless. They won’t remember you; you won’t remember them. Build the relationship first, and the chances are that the business card will become redundant.
Looking Over Someone’s Shoulder vs. Mindful Listening
Concentrate on listening to someone as if you are meditating. Tune out all environmental sights and sounds and really focus on that one person. The other person will feel that you are listening to them almost physically and the conversation immediately becomes richer and more meaningful.
The Fear of Missing Out vs. the Joy of Missing Out
At a large conference, there is a tendency to try to attend everything and meet everyone, yet constantly wonder if one should have chosen a different session. Most conferences require us to absorb a vast amount of information in a short space of time, so consider taking a break. Go to the pool or the coffee bar, and it is more than likely that you will encounter a few other “rebels”. With the space to relax and just talk without an agenda or scheduled “content”, deep relationships can be formed, spontaneous ideas can flow and magical things can happen.
Meeting new people and building relationships can be a source of real joy but keep in mind the words of the designer Dieter Rams: what we need is “less, but better.”
Are you networking as effectively as you could?
Adapted from an article by Greg McKeown, author, Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less.
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