When it comes to socializing, wether you are shy or more on the extrovert side, the opportunity of making new connections is something we can all benefit from if we know how to properly take advantage of the moment. According to Jacqueline Whitmore, etiquette expert and author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals. Here’s what you need to do to make the most of networking opportunities and garner valuable connections.
1. Manage Your Expectations
If you’re attending some kind of networking event, you don’t have to put pressure on yourself to meet a lot of people.
2. Plan Some Ice-Breakers Ahead of Time
Find out who will be at an event by doing a bit of homework that will make you come up with good questions to ask.
3. Set a Time Limit
Instead of committing to stay for the duration of an event, tell yourself you’ll only hang out for an hour, or some other chunk of time you’re comfortable with. The point is to take the pressure off yourself and just show up.
4. Ask for an Introduction
Find someone who knows everyone and ask that person to connect you with whomever it is you want to meet.
5. Practice Empathetic Listening
Put yourself in another person’s shoes, and listen with the goal of learning something.
6. Share Personal Stories
Your personal stories are what make you interesting and memorable.
7. Practice Every Day
The more you network, the easier it gets, but you have to keep doing it. Even during the course of the workday, you can exercise this muscle by getting up, walking around, and starting brief conversations with co-workers.Complete article 7 Smart Networking Strategies By Christina Desmarais