5 warning signs that you’re a bad party guest

people at a party pose for, and make faces at, the camera

A few of my friends think I’m an amazing party guest. They love how outgoing I am, how I connect people, how I manage to talk to people I’ve never met before. This used to never happen. Several years ago I read an article (just a random article online; at this point, I have no idea what it was or who wrote it) that made me grok how much a guest’s attitude can affect the host’s and other guests’ perception of the party. From that point on, I made a real effort to improve my party behavior.

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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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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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5 little known factors that could affect your cocktail chatter

1. Smalltalk relieves tension

I’ve been the person feeling as though no one sees me, but everyone must see how everyone else is ignoring me. The person more comfortable at the edges of the room or around the food table, so I don’t feel I need to engage in conversation. And when someone came over and started talking with me, started asking questions and engaging me in actual conversation, it was a relief. I felt less awkward. I felt less like I stuck out as the proverbial loser. And so I try to find people who seem tense or uncomfortable, people who don’t seem to feel at ease jumping into a conversation or approaching a stranger and starting a conversation. Continue reading

Warning! Not watching tv can hurt you

Pop culture is easily dismissed, which is why television is easily dismissed. But pop culture is a huge part of who we are as a group of people. When we don’t know what’s going on on television, we don’t know what’s going on with many of the people around us. Television is influencing their political decisions, their purchasing decisions, their modes of thinking. Understanding this is important.

I talked about this at an Ignite presentation. The presentation is about 5 minutes long.

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