I read a great piece in the Harvard Business Review by Jodi Glickman about networking that I wanted to share. A self proclaimed communications guru, Jodi found herself at a networking event not in the mood to schmooze and hobnob. While she considered bolting altogether, she instead did some mental furniture rearranging and decided on the spot that this event was not about her.
Her new attitude of tackling the event without the pressure of advancing her career or meeting new and influential people allowed her to focus on being generous to others. She was on a mission to connect other people in the crowd and became an active listener in conversations, soaking up authentic information about other people and asking genuine questions. Imagine that – reverse networking to assist others!
Jodi’s experience allowed her to have fun and meet some fabulous people. By making it about other people, she took the pressure off herself and made really great connections that she still maintains today. By paying it forward and helping to connect others, she was still able to make valuable connections for herself but the approach was much more palatable.
For those who despise the concept of working a room or navigating a professional crowd, consider Jodi’s reverse networking concept and make it about the other people in attendance. By serving as a connector, you can take the stress out of the event and you just might enjoy yourself in the process.