Happy Power Move Monday. I am recording today live from Binghamton University, part of the State University of New York And apparently, their mascot is a bear cat? Is that an actual animal or something mythical like the Tasmanian devil? I’ll have to Google it.
I am here to celebrate my sorority’s convention weekend where we celebrated our 30th anniversary. The sorority was founded here at Binghamton University. Happy Anniversary Sigma Lambda Upsilon/ Senoritas Latinas Unidas.
This weekend reminded me how important networking always is. I know some of us don’t like it. Not me! Everyone who knows me knows that I am a big time networker and social butterfly. So it’s not a problem for me, but this power move today is a couple of tips for those of you who are not fans of networking and maybe need a couple of best practices for what to do when you are in these holiday parties and you are forced to network because they are job related events.
I think the most important thing to do is be authentic. I know it’s a trendy term but it’s really the best way to go. Be yourself. Be who you are. If you don’t like small talk, have a little bit of a deeper conversation. You don’t have to ask people what their favorite color is. Instead maybe you want to talk about the new tax bill if that is more your cup of tea. But the bottom line is to be yourself. You can never go wrong when you are yourself.
Another tip is to have an exit strategy. You do not have to be there with the same people the entire time. That is the opposite of networking. Once you are done getting the conversation you need from one group, excuse yourself. Don’t say your going to the bathroom and then go in the opposite direction of the bathroom. Then people will know you were lying and get offended that you just didn’t want to talk to them anymore. You can just say, “It was really nice meeting all of you. Have a wonderful holiday season.” Then just exit. You don’t have to tell them any more than that.
So a couple more networking tips:
- A firm handshake…not a flimsy handshakes that looks like you want someone to kiss your hand. And fellas, don’t squeeze so hard that you feel like you want to break our fingers.
- Eye Contact
- Hello, my name is…
Finally, my favorite piece of advice around networking, especially for those of you who hate to do it, is bring a wing man. If you don’t like networking events and you know you have to go to one, bring a friend or a partner, someone who is a great networker. Have them help you manage these conversations.
Invite me. I’ll come. I love holiday parties.
And you can probably get the information and networking benefits that you need from that wing person. If they are the ones doing all of the socializing and asking all of the questions you’re there benefitting from the conversation as a listener. When it’s time to stop and move you, you gently tap your networking buddy so that they get the hint that it’s time to move on.
I know this sounds like I’m being facetious and silly but try it. It really works. Sometimes you need a partner to crime! If you are an extrovert, invite an introvert because sometimes we extroverts don’t know when to stop. So we need our introverted friends to help us manage our mouths and chattiness. And they will be the ones to reel us in when we need it.
If you are an introvert, then ask your extroverted friend to join you at that networking event. That way, they can help help start conversations, deal with the small talk you really hate and overall you will have a great time. So keep an open mind, be flexible and be yourself. That is key. And let’s have fun this holiday season.
#powermove monday #solutionsnotresolution
You got this!