Don’t be an Idgit, Dean.

I go to networking groups. I believe it’s a necessity. I’ve compiled tips so that you come off as a networking pro and not a networking Idget. This is the first of 2 articles. Come back tomorrow for part 2.

I’ve picked these up, in no small part thanks to hard-knocks. I’ve gotten great advice from amazing netWorkers along the way too: Cathy Weaver and Bob Young, among others.

There are few “Cardinal Sins” that we should avoid at all cost. If you read no further: just be honest and natural, you’ll be fine. There are some thoughts I would like to put out there, so if you’re into it, let’s go.

Don’t sit with your friends! (Sin #1)

You’re here to meet NEW people, remember?? If you live in a comfort zone you’ll run out of space to grow.

Don’t SIT!!

Again, why would you sit there and eat a meal instead of meeting people? Show up early if you want to mow down some ribs.

…. Oh yeah!

Don’t eat grimy hand food.

Finger foods are fine, but don’t be licking your fingers. That’s not happy sharing, and we’re not animals.

fingers

Wear a name badge.

Some of us are visual and have a hard time remembering names. Put it on your shirt! *Be sure it’s on the right side of your shirt. Eyes follow a certain path when someone meets a handshake. Make it real easy.

Don’t shake like a wuss. (Sin #2)

I’m not kidding!! Handshakes are still an integral part of business. It’s not an archaic tradition, and it can’t be overstated how important it is! A limp, cold hand, an aggressive squeeze, or too many repetitions will affect perception of you, believe it. I don’t care if you are a chick, it’s still a big deal.

Not opening your clique with body language! (Sin #3)

group-dynamic

If you see someone walk into the room, and you don’t know them, simply smile and open the circle. You would be surprised how effective this is. This actually happens with surprising frequency!

Nobody should walk into a networking group and NOT be greeted. Nobody should pass by a closed group at an event, wandering about, nervous or unnoticed. That’s it. That’s all.

Check back tomorrow when we publish part 2. 🙂 Happy Networking!

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