Face to Face Networking? Passe or still vital?
Well of course we are going to argue its vital – but in this socially connected world – where you can connect instantly with someone anywhere in the world – how useful or relevant is face to face networking?
We love this quote and it is critical in learning the difference between networking “Online” and networking face to face
“The single biggest problem in communication
is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw
So often with Social media – its a one way street. We are all Creating contents – hoping for engagement, sometimes getting it – sometimes not and we wonder – what is the point?
Others create so much content its a little like a machine gun being fired – with so much content to sift through – how on earth do or your Business manage to stay focused, present and in control actually of what you are taking on board?
Even if you have your social media content inputs mastered – how on earth do you move from Online to face to face? How do you really get to know if your communication has had the impact you would like?
With face to face networking – the feedback loop is immediate.
Research tells us (rightly or wrongly) we will make a judgement about somebody with a few seconds of actually meeting them. At our events however we always impress upon people to never be dismissive of people.
Why do people sometimes give a poor first impression when networking??
There could be a whole host of reasons why that person does not make a good first impression.
It could be that they are:
- Putting on their fake “Networking Mask”
- They are trying too hard to impress/make a sale
- They don’t listen and go into constant chatter mode as they think thats what networking is
- They are incredible nervous/shy/scared – and you need to get them to a state of comfort before the real person emerges
- They could be having a really hard time – inside OR outside of work – which means they are not “Network ready”
- They could have been sent with no warning/dropped in the deep end and are ready for the ground to swallow them up
- They could be brand new to Networking/their Business/Their role and need some gentle persuasion
Or – they could just be someone that you just know you will never hit it off with.
But in our experience that feedback loop is essential to see face to face; its essential to keep an open mind and – if you are an experienced networker to start to peel the onion about that person and dig a little deeper.
So how do that?
Well face to face networking allows you in a pretty short space of time, by asking just a few open questions to learn alot about a person.
Networking and building long last connections.
In their article about the power of “Human Connection” The research Group list their key takeaways for building strong positive connections – and guess what – they are aligned to how we encourage our members and guests to Network.
- Listen so people will talk
- Practice active listening
- Connect emotionally
- Read body language
- Prepare your intent
- Speak to groups as individuals
- Talk so people will listen
- Skip the jargon
The majority of these you simply cannot achieve unless you are face to face.
Its hard if not impossible when relying on networking “Online” to listen, Connect emotionally, read body language, or talk so people will listen.
Whereas when face to face you can “tick the box” against all these factors.
Over the coming weeks we are going to explore these key areas of face to face Networking – and share with you our insights/Top tips and case studies.
We hope you will enjoy them, learn from then and be able to apply them to your face to face networking.