Some equate the thought of -networking- to a four letter word.

What about you?

Straight up. I’m not crazy about networking. The idea of strolling into a room full of strangers, rubbing elbows, making small talk, etc. is just not my cup of tea.

However, there are two things that will draw me to a networking event. First, if I’m a fan of the person or organization hosting the meeting , I’ll go to support their cause. Second, I attend networking events just to see how badly people network! 🙂

Do these scenarios sound familiar?

You finally get up enough nerve to approach someone and introduce yourself.  As you begin to engage in friendly convo, in no less than a minute, you see their eyes begin to shift left and right looking for -a better deal- to pounce on someone else to hear their elevator speech.

Then there’s the person who speeds through the crowd handing out a business card to everyone they meet as if they’re getting a commission with each one they unload.

Or how about the person who attempts to pitch their product or service to everyone in the room; regardless if they need or not.

Do these situations make your skin crawl? Ya, me too.

I’m sure you have your own story. I invite you to share below in the comments section.

Networking doesn’t have to be a four letter word.

Here’s a case in point how networking can lead to better things. Enjoy this week’s guest post by my friend of going on nine years, Kelvin Ringold.

So I met this guy… – by Kelvin Ringold

Who motivates the motivator? Who gets the person moving forward, who’s been stuck in the same spot on the treadmill — like that hamster on the wheel — so all that sweat starts being the result of productivity, and not just aimless activity? Some say that is totally internal to the person involved: “You make a decision, and then you act on it. There is no decision without action.” And I totally believe that to be true.
But sometimes, in doing the assessment that leads to making your decision, you find that there are things stopping you, blocking you from moving forward, and part of your decision might be to find someone — a guru… a coach … a mentor … a compassionate friend, perhaps — to help you identify the stuff that keeps you from making progress because, after all, if you already knew what was stopping you, you’d do something about it, right?
But even then, if you decide to do something about it, what would you do? Sometimes what turns the key to understanding — and subsequently action — is something as simple as a single question, and many times that question has to come from someone outside of ourselves.
So… I met this guy.
Actually, he called me (and got my voice mail) to do some networking after a chamber of commerce event that I’d missed. He was just going down the list of absent members, introducing himself and telling us about his coaching business.
I liked his style, his presentation, and figured “what have I got to lose? It’s networking.” So I called him back and got his voice mail, left my message, and after several iterations of that , we finally met.


Now sitting face to face, doing the normal positioning banter, checking each other out to see if each of us is who we “discerned” the other to be via our phone messages — king’s pawn to king 3, etc. Turns out Steve decided he needed to meet me,  just to find out WHO the person was who could leave a voice mail message as long as the one I’d left him ! (I do write “Ramblings”… after all)

So, we’d gotten past that and had been talking a while (he mostly listening); I told him what I’m involved in, some of my immediate and intermediate goals, what my time lines are, and he smiled and asked, “so, what’s your end game?” Kelvin became silent.

I am unaccustomed to people asking me a question that stops me cold… and makes me think that hard… that fast(perhaps that’s why he’s the business coach and I’m not). Some things we’ve not equated to such simple concepts that we can pull in a flash, but… that’s the real question, isn’t it ? What is my end game? So I told him the truth — more or less: “I’m just now defining that… let me get back to you.”

Of course, being who I am, I managed to also ask *him* a question that gave him a bit of pause, though not as long a pause as he gave me, and after 90 minutes of conversation with this man, I felt invigorated, refreshed, challenged and respected — not a bad mix for a 90 minute cup of coffee.

So who knows. Maybe you have a hurdle or two you don’t seem able to get over up to now. Maybe a no-cost consultation will help you see a direction. Who can say? Check him out. Maybe Steve has a question that you need to think about. I don’t recommend many people — I’m hard to impress (smile).

Have an awesome day.

Follow Kelvin on Twitter @KelvinRingold


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