Friday, August 3, 2012

Networking Secret #1

The link for today offers suggestions about how to be the most interesting person at a networking event. It's broken into three points.

But really, these aren't three discrete points--they all add up to one strategy: focus on others.

That is, don't approach networking thinking that it's All About You. Will you likely get something out of networking? Sure. There's nothing wrong with personal benefit. But if you you walk through the door blowing a tuba at full volume (tooting your own horn, as it were), people will avoid you like the plague you are.

Instead, ask other people about themselves. Listen. Acknowledge them as human beings with needs, desires, and probably fears just like your own. (No, don't point out "I see you're as nervous as I am; we're both sweating like pigs." Yes, even the highest muckety-muck in the room likely has his or her own set of insecurities.) Compliment. Offer help, if it's within your power.

A word on tip #2, avoiding the "elevator speech": Don't avoid it entirely. Do have it squirrelled away in your memory banks where you can reach it. But don't lead with it--don't walk up to people and blatt, blatt, blatt at them before they get a word in edgewise. 

For a truly radical approach to acknowledging other people, and not soiling yourself with that icky feeling of MeMeMe self-promotion, try reviewing the Dalai Lama's "Eight Verses for Training the Mind" at Not for the faint of heart, but a god tonic for the problem of balance in the job search.

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