The joy of networking – a musing

It’s been a bit of a week. Much networking has occurred. Many colleagues have commented on how ‘good’I am at networking.
This mostly confuses me.
To the best of my recollection of these things – which to be honest on Wednesday eve this week to pick a random example – can be a touch hazy, I turn up at something approximating the start time on the ticket, say hello to one or two likely-looking people, introduce myself, and talk to them.
This usually sets off a chain of events whereby more people appear and I similarly talk to them. Generally the people are interesting, sometimes amusing, and whilst occasionally the event itself is a little dull and the food slightly uninspiring (who invented these award dinner things anyway) overall a pleasant time is had by all.
I also try to pick the times when I decide to tell a burlesque-related anecdote, or start showing people my tattoo, to a minimum – used carefully and sparingly however, I’ve noticed these can both be terribly effective ๐Ÿ˜‰
So how does one suddenly get a reputation in a new town for being ‘ good’ at networking?
I had a good look around on a few occasions – everyone there seemed to me to be following a similar MO.
I wonder if it’s simply the fact that people compare what they see on the outside to how they themselves feel in that situation. (Never a reliable comparison) Or maybe it’s just like the talking dog – as I’m new in town so started off at these events knowing no one, people are simply pleased that I do it at all.
In recent staff annual reviews, several of my staff said they wanted to learn from me how to do this stuff. The suggestion that they should just get out there and do it wasn’t overly welcome in all quarters, but at least with one team-member I think the advice resonated. He asked me how to sell.
With him it was easy, As usual, I told him I didn’t sell.
I also suggested he thought about what he enjoyed doing and what he does well – I started to see the light dawn in his eyes. To put this into context, said team member fancies himself as a bit of a player with the ladies.
I confirmed that I was indeed talking about using his apparently successful seduction skills (albeit refined somewhat for a business context).
“But I can do that!” he said and off he went to make the first call. It worked ๐Ÿ™‚

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7 thoughts on “The joy of networking – a musing

  1. I agree, you can’t learn how to network. I had a colleague once say to me “I hate these networking events, I never kn

  2. I agree, you can’t learn how to network. I had a man once say to me “I hate these networking events, I never know what to say and I feel all uncomfortable.” He them proceeded to chat to me about his rugby playing son and we chatted for a good half hour about sports and my running. I put my hand on his arm at one point and said “We are networking right now. Isn’t it easy when you just be yourself?” Finally the penny dropped.

  3. I should come to you for lessons. Any social gathering has me quaking in fear and i seem to become just the most boring person on the planet. Hence, I try and avoid such gatherings at all costs, or cling to someone less fearful than myself, which i suspect, can be a real pain.

    Unless i’m naked, in which case bizarrely, i’m completely happy in any size crowd.

    Go figure Freud!
    sev xx

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