Holiday Networking

“I hate going to holiday parties,” my friend Jane complained.

“What don’t you like?” I asked.

“I’m not great at mingling, and I don’t like making small talk.”

“Anything else?”

I get tired of telling people my life history and what I do for a living,” Jane replied.

“I think I know the problem, Jane. You look at these parties as an obligation rather than a golden opportunity.” Jane looked surprised when I suggested he might need an attitude adjustment. I suggested that he should look at these gatherings as a wonderful way to network and expand her circle of social or business relations. Remember Networking is not only who you know, but who knows you… and more importantly who knows you that actually cares!

Here are a few other tips to help you turn holiday parties into wonderful networking opportunities:

Tip #1: Go in with an open mindset.
Remember everything you have learned about Networking as “an attitude”, “a way of being”, “I’m going to meet at least two new people tonight” or “I’m going to get to know at least two people better, or in more depth. (As said by the Baltimore Networking group.) Carry a pen so that you can write information on the back of people’s cards that may be helpful after the party.

Tip #2: Remember names.
To help you remember someone’s name, repeat the name as soon as you hear it — “Nice to meet you, Sandi.” Or find an association, Max… Yes that is my dog’s name!

Tip #3: Don’t be embarrassed.
If you forget someone’s name (and most of us do), confess as soon as you realize you’ve forgotten it. We often forget the name in the first few minutes. The longer we wait to ask, the more awkward it is to ask. Keep in mind, the other person has probably already forgotten your name, too.

Tip #4: Make others feel important by showing genuine interest.
Remember, people remember the way you make them feel, long after they remember exactly what you said. .

Tip #5: “Help! I’m stuck in a boring conversation.”
If you wish to end a conversation, use the “Compliment, Need, and Compliment” Technique: “Mike, you’ve really done some great things this year. I need to say hello to some other people. I really enjoyed chatting with you.” Other needs might include using the restroom, getting something to eat, or refreshing your drink.