Why networking events don’t work

a little boy stands alone several feet away from a group of children

Although walking up to someone you don’t know can be difficult, it’s an essential part of networking.

We’ve all heard the cliché, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” When it comes to building relationship bridges, I sometimes can and sometimes can’t. And sometimes, I fail miserably. This is a story of one of those times.

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5 lessons a kindergartner can teach you about talking to people

A child talks to an adult.

Kids can be very intent in their conversation.

Many adults agonize over talking to people. We ask ourselves questions that end up making it even harder.

What should I say? Will they be interested in what I’m talking about? Am I going to look like an idiot?

Most little kids don’t have this problem. We can learn from them. Here are five things young children do when interacting that grown-ups should remember.

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The great networking hoax

Networking means going to an event – maybe a conference or convention, maybe a cocktail party, maybe something designed specifically for networking, but something – and talking to people to find out if you can help each other. If you can, it means exchanging contact information.

A group of people stand around talking. If they don't follow-up with each later, this will be ineffective networking.

The Great Networking Hoax: that just talking to someone and exchanging business cards is good networking.

To a lot of people, this is what networking is. And that’s the great hoax. Yes, this is networking, but just a very small part of it.

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3 secrets every introvert should know

1. Introverts are not alone

A white golf tee seems alone in a field of orange golf tees

When you’re an introvert, it may feel as though you’re alone. In reality, most people experience social anxiety sometimes.

Television and movies often make fun of the introvert and celebrate the extrovert. Schools often seem like popularity contests. And in the business world it’s often more whom you know than what you know. Despite how it can seem, though, most people aren’t extroverts. I took a very unscientific poll of an audience I was speaking in front of — out of 225 people, only 3 considered themselves extroverts. Everyone else felt social anxiety and awkwardness at least sometimes.

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