Thursday, March 07, 2013

2 + 1 = 3 - 2 = Bingo!

Last night Steve and I were at a cocktail party.  I knew most of the people there and he knew some.  I made sure that I introduced him to the people he didn't know.

There were a couple of spouses I didn't know, but because I knew their other half, I felt very comfortable going up to them and starting a conversation, even if their husband or wife wasn't a nearby.

One couple was completely unknown to me.  And guess what, I didn't feel comfortable approaching them.  I noticed later my husband was chatting with them and I asked him later if he knew them.  He didn't.

So here is my analysis of this phenomena.  It is probably not very scientific, but it will probably make you think.

1.  I felt comfortable going up to the spouses because they were alone and also they were related to someone I already knew.  I get 2 points for that.

2.  I obviously talked with the people I knew making the rounds so I talked with each one at the party.  I think that is good for 1 point.

3.  I was not comfortable talking with the unknowns.  I didn't know them and it was a group of two people.  Not so easy to approach.  Minus 2 points!

4.  Here's where I think I had an aha!  Steve was comfortable going up to these people because he was an outsider too.  He had something in common before he even approached them.  Bingo!

Using this enlightenment (or call it what you want) I figured out another networking game I can play In order to feel more comfortable about approaching unknowns at a networking event, I need to figure out a commonality to act as the trigger.  It could be as fleeting as, we're both at the same party and must both know someone here!  Usually, it is the conversation that helps to identify the common points, but in this instance, I have to do the work in advance of the approach!

What do you think?  Am I all wet?

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