Before your next business networking event, try hitting the pause button. Take a deep breath, relax, and remember why you are here. Give yourself the present of, well, being present.
Try this: The day before you plan to go networking, why not actually plan out your networking time? Pause to think about what it is you want to accomplish in that networking timeframe.
- Who do you want to meet?
- What kind of information are you looking to find?
- Who can you help to connect while you are there?
- What info can you share about yourself and your business that will help others to know how to connect with you or with people that they know?
More importantly, why not take a good long look at what you’ve got mapped out on your calendar before and after your networking event. If you are racing from one thing to another, you won’t have the time nor the energy to be present with the people you are networking with. So why not block out some pause time before the event and again after the event? Here are some reasons that little pause can make a big difference:
- Allow yourself 30 minutes to arrive before the event. Even if you just sit quietly in your car, or in the lobby, you’ll gift yourself this time to gather your positive energy so that you can be energetic and enthusiastic with all the folks that you will meet.
- When you allow some “calm” time for yourself, you will appear more at ease and others will find it enjoyable to be with you. Remember that people do and refer business to people that they know, like and trust. If you are stressed out, people will know that and be less inclined to want to spend time with you. A calm, warm, and inviting presence lets others know that you are easy to work with and that you have a healthy respect for your time and for others as well.
- You’ll be ready and collected in your thoughts and your conversations. Because you arrived early, you are better able to see who is coming into the room and you can make better choices of who to talk with and how to spend your networking time at the event.
- You’ll have more opportunities to connect and help connect others because you’ll be better able to be other focused rather than worrying about where you should sit, who you should sit with, and what you should say. All of those things fall into place when you allow yourself enough time to let it all play out.
And when the event is over, why rush off to the next busy thing? Some of the best connections are made after the event and during departing side bar conversations. The pause after the event can also allow you time to gather your thoughts about who you should follow up with, who you can help connect, and what information you might have to share with key people that you met at the event.
We all enjoy talking about how “busy” we are and no doubt that there is always more to do than there is time to do it in. However, the art of connecting and building relationships, is an enjoyable task that takes time and the beauty is in the unfolding of the flower.
Please take some time today to stop, slow down, and allow yourself to pause … your networking results will be much better and you’ll be more relaxed!