No one knew me (22 October 2019)

"Went to school and I was very nervous, no-one knew me, no-one knew me; Hello teacher, where's my lesson, looked right through me, looked right through me".

This aptly named song - "It's a Mad World" - came into my head recently, for two reasons: (1) I've been struggling to learn the guitar chords and lyrics, and (2) my twin boys just started at the scary junior school, so now they are the youngest age group, not the eldest, in the school (they top of the infants pile last year!).

Reminded me of another personal experience: networking..... Always suggested, probably rightly, as a thing you need to do to keep up with professional and personal relationships, to find friends and colaborating partners, to just be seen. I hate it.

Some are great at it - or that's how it looks. But making that first entry into a room full of animated conversations and seemingly confident people: very intimidating. So how to do it?

Try these opening gambits and entries:

1. Build genuine personal connections - ask questions to get to know the other person and understand what they do
2. Smile - your smile and authentic self will go a long way toward a positive first impression
3. Listen when you join a conversation, then show you were listening
4. Be yourself and don't try to sell - be yourself and talk about your business in a casual, non-salesy way
5. Research attendees and come prepared with questions that help you learn about others
6. Bring a friend - If you are able to attend an event with someone you know from another company, it is great to meet people together
7. Be curious - people love to talk about themselves!
8. Introduce yourself with an anecdote that resonates and is genuine
9. Learn how you can help each new connection – don’t just be self-serving
10. Go in without a strict agenda and try to make a new friend

Go make a new friend - its seems to have worked for my boys!

all the best






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