If you had the choice, would you rather forego in-person networking in favor of something that’s less unnerving and more enjoyable? So, what makes us shy away from, or downplay who we “truly” are during networking… that it feels like “selling”? The good news is, you can eliminate your pattern of shying away from in-person networking and truly be your “real” self in this context. Read on…

What would an ideal networking experience for you…

  • Look like?: a sports event, any type of competition, an exhibit, a treasure mapping party
  • Sound like?: a lecture at a university, a musical concert, a presentation at a local coffee shop or community centre
  • Feel like?: a charity auction/event, an indoor rock climbing facility, a psychic fair, a live comedy, a wedding
  • Smell and taste like?: a wine tasting function, a reading at a communal table in a coffee shop, a candle party

    Feel more motivated to network now? Great! Keep reading…

    5 simple strategies for finding your ideal networking match:

    1. Brainstorm 25 fun activities that you would be willing to commit to, and do or attend.
    2. Use your intuition (i.e. your right, not your left brain) to come up with your “top 10” favorites.
    3. Plan or spontaneously participate in at least one event per month, and create an intention for it, such as: “I will practice asking people what they love to do, and will share that aspect of myself if my listener expresses interest."
    4. Leave your inner judge behind, and simply get out there and play! That’s right; it doesn’t have to feel like work!
    5. Tell others what traditional networking makes you feel like, and how this (event) is a much more fun alternative! (This is optional - but it does help break the ice.)

    Just because you aren’t in a traditional networking meeting or function doesn’t mean that you can’t slip into a conversation with someone who approaches you with a comment, compliment or question. Or you can make the first move and initiate a chat with someone whose vibe feels good to you. Who knows, your friendly conversationalist may even reciprocate with similar queries or comment. And at this point, you will be able to share how you serve others, or whatever topic springs to your mind that is appropriate, energizing and aligned with your networking intentions.

    Finally, look at networking reluctance as a sign that you are out of sorts in certain contexts or that you are unwilling to ignite the extroverted side of you. (It’s as easy as: If you can speak, you can network successfully! *smile*) If you choose an environment that feels natural to you, you will find it much easier to cast your shy mask behind and immerse yourself in your surroundings. Besides, instead of investing energy in worrying about the first and last impression you make, trust that you will attract the best people for you, at that particular point in time. Be thankful for the experience, forget about results, and you may even lose track of the fact that you’re networking. Have fun!

  • Author's Bio: 

    Monique MacKinnon has 20 years’ experience in marketing, management, training, consulting and coaching. Her specialty is helping gifted entrepreneurs who need more direction, focus and accountability to translate their ideas and talents into concrete actions that bring them financially- and-soul-satisfying business and life success. Monique’s work is grounded in both practical and esoteric principles and includes expertise in hand analysis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

    To receive a FR/EE copy of the article 'How to be successful by not giving the shirt off your back' and the audio recording and presentation of the webinar ‘Joint venture matchmaking: How compatible are you?’, visit http://www.energeticevolution.com