Friday, June 5, 2015

Networking can be awkward

When you network--you are putting yourself on the line, letting or even inviting people to size you up.

It can be "threatening."

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder, writes about this. First, you may only speak to someone a few minutes. The "experts" recommend you have an elevator pitch--a short outline of you, where you are, your interests and so on. Spouting this out can be pretty deadly conversation-wise.

I think of it more like a date--ask about the other person, try to find interests in common. You can even play who do you know a little--"Oh, you went to Harvard--did you know Tom Blah Blah?"

Ricker recommends getting to the point--asking why the person came, what takeaways did they hope to get?

Usually, the other person will not say, "I am looking for an executive vice president--what executive experience do you have?" It is never that pat.

If the conversation stalls, it's probably time to move on.

Be natural--if you feel awkward, the other person probably does, too...Cut it off. It is probably not a future lunch.

Win some, you lose some. Other times, you may click--and feel comfortable handing over a card. Why don't we grab coffee--maybe Thursday?

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