"Hello, my name is Lindsay Johnson and I teach people how to network. What do you do?"
I want you to pause and really think about it: what do you do?
When answering this standard question at most networking events what do you say?
“I’m a project manager”
“I’m a financial planner”
“I’m a teacher”
“I’m in communications”
Have you noticed that we associate what we do with who we are? The activities that we do day in and day out to pay our bills have become synonymous with our personal identities.
And while lots of us lead very interesting and even groundbreaking lives, a lot of the time we provide such a boring and non-engaging answer to this rather important question.
If you’ve ever watched someone’s eyes glaze over or head slowly nod as they say “cool” or “that sounds interesting”
Recently a friend and I were at a dinner and book-signing event with a prominent historical author and speaker. I had been to similar events at this particular venue, and in fact had heard this speaker the year previous as well. I spent the evening reconnecting with familiar faces, engaging in heated conversations with unfamiliar faces, and enjoying an evening of laughter, intense discussions, and connectivity with everyone in the room who had been brought together through common interests.
Until…I got caught in the nice trap!
I had inadvertently found myself outside of the conversational loops of which I had come to enjoy, and stuck in a pointless, never ending, and quite frankly inappropriate conversation with a friend of a friend. I was not enjoying it.
But I wanted to be Nice.
To make matters worse, the keynote speaker was not two feet away from me enjoying an after dinner drink and
I love attending various training events that include diverse keynote speakers who share their expertise and passion with the attendees. I’m like a sponge, soaking up the information they share, assimilating what I’ve heard and thinking of how I can apply it to my own life or business. I’m often madly writing notes as I let their words inspire my own creativity and leave these events with new ideas or refreshed ways of looking at challenging situations.
One of the most invaluable aspects of these training events is the Q&A that happens during the talk or directly after if you can snag some face time with the speaker. Something to keep in mind as you throw your hand in the air or make a bee-line to talk to the speaker is that there is a certain social etiquette in which to adhere.
For example, have you ever been to an event where someone gets reeeeally personal when asking questions in front of the entire audience? Or perhaps someone asks such a specific or off-topic question that the rest of the audience is completely lost. Recently I was standing with a group of people waiting to talk to a speaker and one of
January is all about setting intentions and resolutions for the year ahead. This is the time of year we start thinking about what we want to do and who we want to become. We start envisioning what those changes will look like and making grand plans for how we’re going to get there. For many of us we are looking for ways to reconnect with old friends or grow our social circles. Professionals and entrepreneurs might be thinking about how they can connect with colleagues or peers as well as develop their customer base and expand their professional networks. Many of us are feeling the urge to connect and grow our circles of influence.
Unfortunately, these ambitious visions and hopes for new connections and renewed friendships quickly fade away. Old habits kick in and we can easily slip back into chilly evenings snuggled up with Netflix or a good book. For others it may come down to a lack of confidence or direction on how to get started. It can feel like we’ve failed before we’ve even started. Or perhaps for some of us, we’ve just bitten off more than we can chew and set our goals - and expectations - too high.
Experts tell us that most new year resolutions have been thrown out of the window by the third week in January.
The radical connector blog
Digging into the way we connect with ourselves, our businesses, and the world.