Stop talking business when you’re networking
I was fortunate enough to attend “The Introverted Leader” half day workshop last week with Jennifer Kahnweiler. Jennifer really impressed me personally, and professionally. She has written a book also titled The Introverted Leader, which she interviewed 100 introverted leaders to learn the secrets to their success in a society/workplace that tends to favor extroverts. This involved her asking them how they built upon their quiet strength to be successful.
One very interesting thing I learned is how to better prepare for networking events to get better results.
It’s the concept of giving and getting. Her suggestion is to write down three things in a column, that you want to get out of the event (client leads, new business, job ideas etc.) and also three things that you want to GIVE in a column (this is an important part many people often forget!). I don’t know about you, but I have trouble with the giving aspect. I often think I don’t have enough – or anything – to offer. This is not true!
At the workshop I was able to really think about it and brainstorm information I could give or provide at a networking event with a partner. This was a very beneficial exercise because I came up with several things, both personal and professional, that I could give more of. One critical thing I learned with this exercise is that what you give can be personal interaction, not just professional. (i.e. I like yoga, I recently went to an art show that I enjoyed etc.) We can connect with people on many levels, not just professional. This helps us establish rapport.
People connect with people best on a personal level right? So use that as your first approach, and THEN get to the business aspect.
What personal things have you done lately that you can share with people at your next networking event? As we know, the hidden job market (through networking) is the most effective way to get a job. Statistics show that 70% of job seekers landed their jobs through networking, not online job boards guys. Get out there and connect this week! Stop talking business and start with the personal!
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