For the longest time I thought that I had enough friends and I had no more room for new friends. I was a fool to think so.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered new friends expand your network which can lead to amazing experiences, projects, and events. I will point out some of those in detail to give you and understanding of why it is important to continually grow your network, the know how and of course research to back my claims up.
We all know the former U.S. president Bill Clinton, maybe more infamously because of his relations with Monika Lewinsky. However, Bill has been given credit to being one of the most sought after networkers of our time.
He has a formula that can be duplicated. Bill attributes his foot into presidency to his mass connections thanks to his networking know-how. In the business insider article, Bill is attributed to practicing back into the late 1960’s.
Bill would meet new people and he would take out his black address book to write down the person’s name, what the person does and why that person is doing what his doing. With this process Bill not only remember faces and names but he digs much deeper and he builds, which will be the basis of this post, meaningful connections.
It is important to make a note of what you discussed with someone and how you will contact them later.
I have started doing this recently and it works great, taking notes on the business card or in my phone. My memory also seems to recall the exact interaction of which I had with that individual by having the notes handy.
Keith Ferrazzi in his book Never Eat Alone, whom you have heard me mention in my previous posts, communicates that you need to build communities now not when you need them the most.
“The more people you help the more help you will have, the more help you will have to help others.”
Meeting new people open’s new doors to new possibilities, this couldn’t be more true. Mark Zuckerberg was on the right path for his idea of social networking.
“The question isn’t about what do we want to know about people? Its about what people want to tell us about themselves.” As Mr. Zuckerberg famously quoted.
People love talking about themselves, the point is to let them do so. By allowing people to talk about themselves, and of course asking open ended probing questions such as “What do you think about that?” Asking the five W’s will generate open ended questions. You gain much insight into the person you are talking to thus making a real connection with that individual.
It is scary meeting new people. No they are not witches or warlords, they are people who will judge you, that’s what’s scary about meeting new people. Getting over this fear is sometimes like pushing a boulder uphill. Once you reach the top of the hill you can push the boulder down and that exactly how it is when you get to know someone.
Getting uncomfortable is the best thing you can do.
I still struggle myself when I am at events to make new connections. However just like Susan Roaen stated in her book How To Work a Room, “We all have commonalities, all the time it is the roof under which we are under.” When you are at an event the thing you have in common is the event. Something or someone brought you there and that can be an opening remark when talking to someone.
Genuinely care about what people are talking about by listening with your heart, your head, be present in the conversation and put your phone away. Most importantly listening with EQ (Emotional intelligence) rather than your IQ, you are not trying to be smarter than the person you are talking too but you want use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, this is a topic for another post.
“People remember people who make them feel special and comfortable.”Come find the rest over here with my closing remarks and how I handled to handle a situation were you may not like someone.