Our ability to connect, build and deepen relationships has been proven to play a major role in both our success and happiness.
But how many people invest, cultivate and develop their social, communication, and emotional skills? Almost no one. Which is strange considering no one is a “natural” networker. Does a baby know how to work a room? Absolutely not!
It’s time to invest.
As you’ve likely heard many times: Spend minutes a day practicing your networking skills, and you’ll be amazed at how your relationships dramatically improve over time. So we all head to carefully choreographed meet-ups, over-staged social events and agenda-driven networking meetings. And we often leave disappointed.
The real key, and something most people completely miss, is where to go to perfect networking…
The best places to go to perfect your networking skills build personal and professional relationships do not have “networking” as a primary goal:
- Charity, service and nonprofit events
- Special interest and political groups
- Business conferences and events
Here are several reasons why you want to invest your time at these places (instead of lame networking events):
Defenses Are Down
At non-networking events, people’s are much more open and willing to meeting anyone. Drawn by common interests, nearly everyone is given some level of trust just by showing up because of the group dynamics. You simply don’t get this receptive environment in networking events!
Conversation Starters are Simple
Compared to most meet-ups, it’s so much easier to start conversations at focused events. For instance, you always can ask people if they are a member of the organization, how long they have been involved, who introduced them to the organization, etc. You can have an entire conversation before you even get to the “What do you do?” question!
Social is an Expectation
Most people don’t go these events if they don’t intend to be social; they know they must be ready to meet new people. The intent isn’t to collect as many business cards as but to talk to others that share their interest in the subject-at-hand.
Introducing Others Requires Practice
The low-key events (with lower expectations about the need to deliver the perfect elevator pitch) is a much easier environment to practice he No. 1 top skill to develop: introducing people to others. Mastering this skill is life-changing – and so important I created video to discuss it.
True Influencers are Everywhere
Those who attend these events tend to be groups are upwardly mobile, social, professional – and successful. Many are typically the real social influencers in your local area versus the wanna-be’s and pretenders you might find on social media or at professional networking events. Want to meet real influencers? This is where it’s done.
The Focus Isn’t on “Me”
No matter how well intended, networking events are way down on my priority list. Why? Because many people go there because they are in a challenging life situation (i.e. looking for a job…and possibly desperate for one) or focused on making a sale or filling a CRM with a new name. Those people are focused on “me” instead of “we” – which doesn’t often lead to a mutually-beneficial relationship.
Want to meet truly interesting people? Want to perfect your networking skills? Then deliberately spend your valuable time at events that will enable you to craft your social communication skills – and stay away from those networking meetings where no one actually networks!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Under30CEO!
About the Author: Jason Treu is one the top life mastery coach (and reformed lawyer) helping men and women create the business, relationships and life they love. His new #1 bestselling book, Social Wealth, is a how-to-guide on how to build extraordinary personal and professional relationships. You can download his free guide, “Three Steps to Push Past Procrastination & Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever.” Connect with him and get coaching at BeExtraordinary.tv.