Monday, March 23, 2015

The Surface is Just the Beginning

Recently I presented a talk about developing relationships within an association.  Keep in mind that an association can be a weird animal when it comes to networking.  Because, by its definition, it is a group of people who do the same thing, then each member can look at the other as competition.  So my talk was about how the linked connections between members could strengthen all of them.  Near the end I asked the group to pick partners to perform an exercise that I provided, which would help them to initiate conversation to get to know each other.

At the end of the exercise I asked for volunteers to share what they had discovered about each other.  Immediately, two men right up front offered to share!  One was a young and fit and the other was definitely on the other side! The younger of the two was so excited about his new friend!  He found out, in just a few minutes I allowed, that the older gentleman was a retired professor and that he has two PhDs, one in Latin, no less!  The older gent, asked simply, "How do I stop talking about myself?"

Great question!  But before I could interject, the younger guy said, "There was no way I was going to let him stop talking, he was way too interesting and I wanted to find out more!"

I am sure that those two will now feel more comfortable at the monthly meetings of this organization.  Their connection could help each of them in the future in ways that they can't fathom now. 

What's the most interesting connection you have made within one of your groups?

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