I’m excited every time I learn about a new networking opportunity. I highly anticipate Networking Mixers and Happy Hours. Then the excitement slowly wanes as I remember, “I have to talk to people.” The dreaded talking to people fear is a staple personality trait that my sister, brother and I all possess. My mother recently invited my younger siblings and I to a holiday event. This led to my younger sister and I consoling each other as we both exclaimed, “Oh, God we’re going to have to talk to people.” Its not that we don’t like people. We love meeting new people and learning new things. The problem is we are afraid of exactly what we’re supposed to say.
Ironically, this doesn’t happen to me when I’m doing public speaking or performing. Its those darn personal moments in which people ask standard questions and you are expected to give standard answers. “Yes” “I work at…” “I live in …” “Its been raining at lot lately.” And then what? You’re forced with the dilemma of thinking of something that will either continue the conversation or end it, so that you can return to the safety of your solo corner in the far right of the room. The worst problem is saying the wrong thing. This is the unfortunate moment when your lips form and say the exact opposite of what your brain would have preferred. Its always easier to network online. All you have to do is click a button and abracadabra, you’ve “liked” someone or “joined their network.”. Networking in person is definitely an art. I find that I’m always better at networking in relaxed settings.
Our Legaci Question: How do you feel about networking and what are some of your suggestions for people that are apprehensive about the networking process?
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