Kindness in Networking

The # 2 reason why people do not like to network is that they fear that no one will want to talk to them.  Which goes hand in hand with the #1 reason why people don’t like to go networking.  The # 1 reason is that people don’t know what to say.

So we have the people who don’t know what to say and then we have the ones that are afraid no one will talk to them and what a combination that makes.  Can you imagine if those 2 are standing next to each other for five minutes or more?

And what does kindness have to do with this you might ask?

It is a great kindness to others when we can help them to feel comfortable.  And the easiest way to help people feel comfortable is to include them.  Include them in a group.  Include them in a conversation.

And how do you do that …. if you don’t know what to say?  To that, I say … forget about it.  Telling yourself that you don’t know what to say is just an excuse for lazy thinking.  And that lazy thinking holds you back from many wonderful things.  It helps you to stay safe and small and alone.

What I’d like to tell everyone is that you can imagine all kinds of things to talk about if you just follow your curiosity about others.  You can ask someone how they got started in the “widget” business (or whatever business they are in).  You could ask them what they like best about what they do.  Or who their favorite client is … and how you might recognize someone who would be a good referral for them.  There are so many ways that you can start a conversation, you just need to reflect a little bit on what you are curious about and then ask away.

Another way to be kind while you are networking is to be a good listener.  When you ask questions, actually focus and listen to the answers.  You’ll be amazed at how good a conversationalist others will think you are when you spend the majority of your time just listening.  Good listeners are so rare … and if you can train your mind to not wander and pay attention you will serve many with your kindness.  And, people will want to know more about you once you’ve shown them how much you care about them.

Word of mouth marketing is the best way to spread the good word about your business and you can grow more worthy advocates for your own business by practicing these and other kindnesses as you make your way through the networking jungle.

At your next networking event, make a point to make someone else feel comfortable and see if that doesn’t make you feel more comfortable and confident too!

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