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How To Network When You´re Not Into a Small Talk


Ok. To grow your business, you need to network. You need to attend events, socialize and mingle. It makes sense. People need to know you, and you have to promote whatever you offer so you can establish productive business relationships. But what if you´re "different" and these gatherings simply don´t resonate with who you are.

Before we start illustrating the variety of situations you´ll have to deal with when you´re "different" and need to network; I´d like to explain what I mean by being distinct in this particular case.

So here it is:

1. You´re not into a small talk.
2. Fake and forced politeness don´t appeal to you since your radar can detect it from across a room.
3. You were never good at bragging about yourself.
4. You´re not willing to answer "what do you do?" without at least being greeted first.

Yes, that´s the reality of being different at networking events. This difference interferes with your sincere intentions to make the best impression which would lead to more contacts, more opportunities, and more money. Since we can not change who we are, we can at least have a close look at what usually goes on at those gatherings and how you can deal with it in your different way.


Let´s start with a SMALL TALK. To me, the whole idea of networking is a chain of shorter (or even worse) longer small talk interactions. I can hear you say: "But professionals are supposed to communicate in an informal setting like this." Really? My energy immediately drops when I have to participate in this kind of conversation. Not all small talks have to be dry. Some can be interesting, but it always depends on the willingness of a speaker and a listener to "connect" on a "human" level. But that would be a topic for some future articles.

So let´s get back to the usual dry small talk. Here´s what you can do:

A) You can suffer in silence and wait when IT gets more exciting.

B) You can be bold and turn a small talk into an interesting chat in an instant. You can easily do this by mentioning a topic that is more "mentally engaging" than the ongoing description of things that are obvious at first sight: It´s full/empty, hot/cold, the refreshment is tasty/not so tasty, and the wine is decent.
 
The point is to find out what the other person you talk to absolutely loves doing, Only then the energy shifts and both participants can enjoy talking to each other. You learn about their passion, and they put out positive energy. Their positive energy stimulates your energy level and you co-create a pleasant atmosphere which will attract more participants.

But by eliminating a small talk too quickly, you also put yourself in a danger of being labeled as someone who lacks social skills. The more open-minded the person you talk to is, the less likely you´ll be labeled this way. It´s the quickest and the most efficient way how to separate the wheat from the chaff and how to identify "your people." The individuals who can be your potential customers or business contacts. In others words, individuals like you who are not into a small talk.

Ok, we separated the wheat from the chaff. You had a very engaging conversation with "your people." You exchanged business cards, and you have a good feeling inside. But it´s time to move on and mingle a bit more.

Another attack is just around the corner. "What do you do? Who are you?" Without a greeting, handshake or introduction. The small talk is torture when your mindset is focused on exchanging views and ideas But this second extreme is no better. I consider this behavior untactful. Who do YOU think you are? An investigator? Here you have more options. You can obediently answer their questions (no, don´t do it please!), attack them back with "and what do YOU do? Or provide a sarcastic answer. Some will take it as a good joke, and you can still have a good conversation. Again it´s about separating the wheat from the chaff.

And here it comes. The highlight of the night. EMPLOYEES MINDSET vs. YOU. You´ll have to deal with their silence, undermining questions and doubt when you appear at a networking event full employees, and you´re the founder, the creator of something that is YOURS. Employees, in general, don´t relate well to words such as VISION, DREAM, CALLING, and MISSION. They understand tasks, tables, assessment, reports. They consume not produce. You should know that they come from the world of CHAINS while you DARE to live in a world of freedom, creativity, and independence. Your presence reminds them of all the dreams they buried a long time ago.

Stay calm, strong and confident. You never know who you can inspire.

Happy networking!

Ok. To grow your business, you need to network. You need to attend events, socialize and mingle. It makes sense. People need to know you, and you have to promote whatever you offer so you can establish productive business relationships. But what if you´re "different" and these gatherings simply don´t resonate with who you are.

Before we start illustrating the variety of situations you´ll have to deal with when you´re "different" and need to network; I´d like to explain what I mean by being distinct in this particular case.

So here it is:

1. You´re not into a small talk.
2. Fake and forced politeness don´t appeal to you since your radar can detect it from across a room.
3. You were never good at bragging about yourself.
4. You´re not willing to answer "what do you do?" without at least being greeted first.

Yes, that´s the reality of being different at networking events. This difference interferes with your sincere intentions to make the best impression which would lead to more contacts, more opportunities, and more money. Since we can not change who we are, we can at least have a close look at what usually goes on at those gatherings and how you can deal with it in your different way.


Let´s start with a SMALL TALK. To me, the whole idea of networking is a chain of shorter (or even worse) longer small talk interactions. I can hear you say: "But professionals are supposed to communicate in an informal setting like this." Really? My energy immediately drops when I have to participate in this kind of conversation. Not all small talks have to be dry. Some can be interesting, but it always depends on the willingness of a speaker and a listener to "connect" on a "human" level. But that would be a topic for some future articles.

So let´s get back to the usual dry small talk. Here´s what you can do:

A) You can suffer in silence and wait when IT gets more exciting.

B) You can be bold and turn a small talk into an interesting chat in an instant. You can easily do this by mentioning a topic that is more "mentally engaging" than the ongoing description of things that are obvious at first sight: It´s full/empty, hot/cold, the refreshment is tasty/not so tasty, and the wine is decent.
 
The point is to find out what the other person you talk to absolutely loves doing, Only then the energy shifts and both participants can enjoy talking to each other. You learn about their passion, and they put out positive energy. Their positive energy stimulates your energy level and you co-create a pleasant atmosphere which will attract more participants.

But by eliminating a small talk too quickly, you also put yourself in a danger of being labeled as someone who lacks social skills. The more open-minded the person you talk to is, the less likely you´ll be labeled this way. It´s the quickest and the most efficient way how to separate the wheat from the chaff and how to identify "your people." The individuals who can be your potential customers or business contacts. In others words, individuals like you who are not into a small talk.

Ok, we separated the wheat from the chaff. You had a very engaging conversation with "your people." You exchanged business cards, and you have a good feeling inside. But it´s time to move on and mingle a bit more.

Another attack is just around the corner. "What do you do? Who are you?" Without a greeting, handshake or introduction. The small talk is torture when your mindset is focused on exchanging views and ideas But this second extreme is no better. I consider this behavior untactful. Who do YOU think you are? An investigator? Here you have more options. You can obediently answer their questions (no, don´t do it please!), attack them back with "and what do YOU do? Or provide a sarcastic answer. Some will take it as a good joke, and you can still have a good conversation. Again it´s about separating the wheat from the chaff.

And here it comes. The highlight of the night. EMPLOYEES MINDSET vs. YOU. You´ll have to deal with their silence, undermining questions and doubt when you appear at a networking event full employees, and you´re the founder, the creator of something that is YOURS. Employees, in general, don´t relate well to words such as VISION, DREAM, CALLING, and MISSION. They understand tasks, tables, assessment, reports. They consume not produce. You should know that they come from the world of CHAINS while you DARE to live in a world of freedom, creativity, and independence. Your presence reminds them of all the dreams they buried a long time ago.

Stay calm, strong and confident. You never know who you can inspire.

Happy networking!

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