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8 Networking Tricks To Help You Socialize In Any Event

8 Networking Tricks To Help You Socialize In Any Event

Today, more than ever, networking tricks are not just key elements in helping you get the job you want but also in helping you stitch together the perfect social circle. The fact that the world has gotten so connected makes it all the more vital you put the best foot forward when presenting yourself and your brand – whether that being at conferences or social gatherings. We’re not all born with the gift of the gab though so here are 8 networking tricks to nudge you in the right direction toward true networking mastery.

1. Figure out how you can help

When you’re connecting with another person you should always be thinking of ways you can help this person. You HAVE to deliver value before you can receive value.

Being a model, I often found myself at fancy fashion parties surrounded by well-connected stylists and photographers etc. Obviously, I wanted to keep on getting invited to fancy fashion parties with hot models – and maybe their friendship if they were cool. So I always made an effort in figuring out how I could help this person.

Was the person struggling with learning a new language, or getting fit? Those are just ways I could be of value – in which ways can you?

You have to make sure your offer is tailored though. You do not want to just blurt out stuff like; Hey, you’re not in the greatest shape – want some help?

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Figure out what they’re struggling with, in a non-naggy way of course, and see how that fits your expertise or someone you can introduce them to.

2. Use accomplishment introductions

Meet my friend Tom. Tom is the best pastry chef I know!” Introducing your friends to each other through their accomplishments is probably among the most powerful networking tricks in your arsenal.

Using this networking hack will not only make you come across as an awesome person to both parties, but it is also the only non-douche’y way of bragging. See, once you start bragging on your friends’ behalves they will appreciate and catch up on this and will begin to do the same for you. Win-win.

3. Be a connector

Connecting like-minded people in your social circle is powerful. It will multiply your likability tenfold. You want to be known around town as a person who connects great people and dishes out value everywhere he goes. The world is so abundant with great people and if you introduce them to each other it will make them like you so much more.

This networking hack is especially easy to deploy at events and conferences; people are usually there for mutual interests or reasons, so tailoring an introduction that will spark an interest with the other person, is easier here than in any other situation. Make introducing like-minded people a habit and you will not only have a perfectly tailored social circle but all these people will know each other because of you and it will greatly increase your cool person points in their book.

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Photo credit:  melanerpist (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    I always do research before going to events. This is one of my most used networking tricks. If I’m going to a meet up on a certain topic, I will make sure I’m up to date on what’s trending among this demographic. If I’m going to party, I check the Facebook event and see if there are any attractive females attending – (don’t pretend you don’t do this). For some people preparing for events by doing research on people or subjects might seem like you’re trying too hard, but these are the people who suck at networking.

    Spend a few minutes going through the other attendees’ profiles; have you liked similar pages? This is a great networking hack for checking if you have things in common. It’s also a good way of weeding out people you probably would not get along with as well; most often than not, you can tell if you would vibe with a person based solely on how they come across on their photos or what music and movies they’re into.

    5. Keep topics relatable

    Groups of friends who go to events just to stand around and talk about non-relatable topics, are hard to play ball with. If you have to bring up things that people outside your little club wouldn’t immediately understand, at least do the effort of explaining the context and back story to the person who’s not in the know. You might as well have stayed at home in your tree house with your super BFFs if you’re just going to be doing your own thing all night. So be polite and make it an even playing field.

    Also be aware of the people who are trying to get included in your conversation. Unless there is an unnatural gap in conversation, there really is no smooth way for them to include themselves. As soon as you notice them trying to join your semi circle, break your friend’s or your own thread and introduce the newcomer. If you don’t, it’s equally awkward for all parties with the person just standing there, so pause your thread and bring them in – you can always pick up where you left off.

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    6. Use people’s names

    Just like Dale Carnegie said; the sweetest thing for any person to hear is his or her own name. There is something weirdly attractive about people who use your name a lot. They give you the notion that you have their utmost attention, by underlining that they are speaking to you and no one else.

    Their being fully present with you makes them extremely likeable. Notice how people who don’t keep eye contact or Instagram during a conversation seem to have the opposite effect. It gives you the feeling that you are merely a tool for them vent or think aloud through.

    So use people’s names and be present.

    7. Be ready to eject

    You don’t want to get stuck talking with the same person all night. This will keep you from meeting new awesome people obviously. I remember going to a meet up and getting stuck with this one super persistent Romanian dude who was going on about the China Study while I was searching the inside of my head for excuses for bailing.

    You don’t want the event to be over and all you did was listen to Miroslav’s opinions on why a plant based diet is the bee’s knees.

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    So preparing a few exit strategies is a good idea. They don’t have to be too intricate. Excusing yourself to go to the loo or saying you have to sort out an important email will suffice.

    Image by Jason A. Howie. Used under a Creative Commons License.

      8. Follow up

      Following up is really where you hit the nail the last bit of the way in. I don’t need to stress how great social media is for this.

      Just a short message saying it was cool chatting, and referring to a thing you mentioned during your conversation so you have a non-needy excuse for hitting them up. This is one of the best networking tricks, since now they can see the photos of you practicing at the archery range or you catching ridiculous air at the half-pipe. You won’t have to mention how awesome you are – Facebook does that for you.

      Controlled social media stalking ensures you don’t run out of topics to talk about when you meet again.

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      Last Updated on April 11, 2019

      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

      Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

      I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

      I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

      Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

      How Communication Skills Help Your Success

      Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

      Create a Positive Experience

      Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

      When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

      What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

      Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

      As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

      Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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      Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

      Help Leadership Skills

      It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

      Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

      As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

      Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

      If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

      Build Better Teams

      Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

      In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

      If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

      When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

      Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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      How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

      There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

      Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

      1. Listen

      Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

      Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

      People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

      Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

      Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

      2. Know Your Audience

      Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

      Here is a good way to think about it:

      Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

      You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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      3. Minimize

      I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

      He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

      Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

      State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

      The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

      4. Over Communicate

      So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

      What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

      Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

      Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

      Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

      There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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      5. Body Language

      The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

      When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

      In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

      When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

      Conclusion

      Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

      Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

      There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

      Now go communicate your way to success.

      More Resources About Effective Communication

      Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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