Getting Over Yourself

August 24, 2011

How’s your networking working?

For many people, I’ve noticed, mingling with a group of people they don’t know is as challenging as giving a speech. And many of the same principles apply to both. When you’re networking, it’s not about you. To be successful and comfortable, be more interested in listening to what others need and focus on how you can help them. Wanting to help takes your focus off yourself and then you’re home free.

Think about who you can introduce them to that might be a useful connection for them. If you’ve been listening, someone you met a few minutes before may be a good fit for them. Networking isn’t about getting business, it’s about building relationships. Connecting with others as human beings not just as business robots. It’s those connections that ultimately will result in your getting business.

You’ve probably been at an event where someone rushes up to you, says his or her name while thrusting a card at you and then rushes on to someone else to do the same thing. This approach rarely generates business.

You’ve got to be in it for the long haul and you’ve got to turn your thought outward towards helping rather than inward towards self-consciousness. You’ll feel more comfortable and so will the people you listen to. After all, they too may be self-conscious and be grateful for your attention.

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