Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Take Your Aunt's Advice

For many people, the challenge with networking is their fear of approaching people they don't know at networking events. If you can't get beyond this hurdle, then it will be very difficult for you to incorporate business networking into your overall development strategy, either personal or business.

In '...and Death Came Third!', I covered a range of ideas to help people to overcome this fear. I looked at how to rationalise the fear; focus on approaching individuals or open groups, rather than couples; get to the event early; act as the host and a range of other ideas.

All good ideas in theory, but only of true value if you put them into practice. Ultimately, the way to overcome the fear is to consistently address it until easing your way around the room becomes habit. By attending a number of networks, be they breakfast meetings, lunch networks or evening events, you will become more confident and more at ease. And always challenge yourself to move out of your comfort zone, gravitate away from the people you already know and speak to strangers.

Mr. Darcy: "I... do not have the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met before."
Elizabeth Bennet: "Perhaps you should take your aunt's advice and practice?"

Pride and Prejudice

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