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

Dale Carnegie’s Top 4 Tips for Making Friends

Dale Carnegie is the man to listen to when wanting to learn to make friends. I don’t know why schools don’t teach his principles; we’d all be a lot better off if they did. In his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie outlined several principles for people to follow if they want to make more friends. Here are 4 of his timeless tips.
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How to take charge of meeting new people

This is largely attitude. If you want to meet new people, and you don’t live someplace too remote for internet (since you’re reading this, I assume you don’t), you can take charge of meeting new people.

I know this sounds impossible to some people. And like a platitude to others. But it’s true. Keep in mind that, growing up, I had no idea how to meet people. None. And I was in public schools with fair sized classes. I was in Girl Scouts. I was in the city choir. I was “meeting” people all the time, but the meetings didn’t count, didn’t matter because I didn’t know how to make them stick. Continue reading