Hate Networking? You're Not Alone
Your Networking Experiences
Have you ever been to a networking event and felt like a used car salesman (no offense to my used car salesmen reading this post)?
Do you think networking events are artificial and disingenuous?
Do you feel intimidated or nervous because you’re not satisfied with where you are in your career or that you don’t have the best looking business card to exchange with the others at the event?
The Dirty Word
What words come to mind when you think of networking? Are they words like “dirty, ashamed, inauthentic, uncomfortable,” or words like “happy, excited, anxious, satisfied.” The words that first come to mind determine how you feel about networking. Research has determined that extremely confident people in positions of power have a more positive view of networking than those who are less confident and view their role as less powerful.
Networking is About Social Learning
Did you know that networking is all about learning? In fact, it falls into the category of social learning because guess what...you’re socializing as you’re learning when the event is designed properly. When done effectively, networking is about sharing, growing, learning, and connecting...It’s actually fun!
Speed Networking to the Rescue
Well, let me put your mind at ease. There’s hope for the anti-networkers. Even if you enjoy networking, speed networking makes it extraordinary! Speed Networking is an alternative to traditional networking which can often be impersonal, awkward, and frankly make you look like a self-absorbed person.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy just talking about myself. I would rather be focused on relationship building and finding ways to help others. It is always uncomfortable for me to have to pitch what I do or advance my career because you can come across as desperate and needy. Neither of which are good professional qualities.
How Does It Work?
It’s very similar to speed dating. Participants have a designated amount of time to interact with a set number of people and make a connection. When the time is up, participants have a similar interaction with someone new. It’s that simple...but extremely effective!
The short encounters remove barriers in making connections. I often have to force participants to move to the next person because they are so engaged in their conversations. I describe it as organized chaos. Connections are made organically with just a little prompting.
As a training consultant, I’ve had tremendous success with speed networking and speed mentoring (another way to network with the intent to create mentoring relationship.
Don’t Believe Me...Try It for Yourself
I can tell you, but it’s nothing like experiencing it for yourself. Great news! I’m conducting a Girl, Let’s Connect! Speed Networking Event on October 27th at 6:00pm for professional ladies in the Washington, DC area! Check it out! Hope to see you there!