|This guy not only stole my look, but his networking
skills needed a lot of work, too.
While my friend Tim and I were down in Atlanta for Dragon*Con, Tim happened to strike up a conversation with one of the locals. This gentleman told my buddy that he actually looked forward to this annual congregation of geeks — all 40,000 of us. He said that it did make things busy, but that we all seemed to be just there to have a good time. He particularly enjoyed the attendees who actually dressed up in costumes. He said that for many of them, it seemed like it wasn’t just a costume, but rather an alter ego that they assumed for the duration of the convention. More importantly, it was an alter ego that they felt comfortable with.
What a great concept for networking!
Many of us show up for networking events feeling ill at ease and out of sorts, but what if we dressed up in our “Super Networker costume” and assumed that alter ego? Why, suddenly we would look around for the new people with the goal of making them more comfortable. We would leap small talk with a single bound and use our X-ray vision to find those connections which would benefit both parties in the long run.
What about after the event? Why, Super Networker would never let those cards languish on her desk. With her cape billowing in the wind, she would reach out to build those networking connections, making them stronger than steel.
And when it came time to sit down across from that potential connection, would the Super Networker spend that time trying to sell his widgets? Never! He would call forth the power of questions and take a true interest in how he could help that other person, even if it meant sending them to his competition.
So, the next time you are approaching your networking practice, shed your everyday persona and don your Super Networker cape and tights. Let the superhero that you carry in your heart define your approach to the needs of others. Let him leap the tall buildings and bring back the connections that will lead to your long-term success.