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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7 ways to introduce yourself

"hello my name is" sticker, such as the kind worn at conventions and PTA meetings

These stickers are seen everywhere, but that’s because they show the most basic type of introduction there is. A quick greeting, followed by your name.

There’s really one way to introduce yourself, though you can vary it some. It’s the first item in the following list. All the others are conversation starters that lead into an introduction. I’m feeling a bit tongue-in-cheek as I write this; forgive me.

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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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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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