The Networking Dance

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”
~ Wayne Dyer

KaylieEach year, as a family, we get together at a nearby campground for the Memorial Day weekend. The park we’ve been to for the last few years, Groveland Oaks, lines up all sorts of entertainment for the holiday weekend, including live music in the evenings.

This year, on Saturday night, Kaylie, my ever-adventurous 7-year-old decided she wanted to go to the dance party over at the pavilion. Now, I’m a pretty easy-going dad, but this was not an activity she was going to be doing unchaperoned (as was her plan). So, I slipped on my dancing shoes to be her “date”.

When we arrived, Kaylie immediately grabbed my hand and dragged me out on the floor where, for the next hour or so I did my best “giraffe on roller skates” impression. My daughter simply threw herself into the fun. Was she the best dancer on the floor? Nope. But she sure had a good time.

So, what does that have to do with networking?

When we start our formal networking efforts, or even when we start networking with a new group, we often focus on looking right or saying the right thing, and we end up feeling like that roller skating giraffe. What if, instead, we just leaped into the fray and danced with all our heart? What if we just went in and had some fun? What if we went with the purpose of meeting new people and sharing a laugh or two?

Wouldn’t that be a little more effective?

I mean, if we have fun one time, wouldn’t we be more likely to show up again? If we’re sharing a laugh, isn’t it more likely other people are going to want to be around us? If we just danced with our hearts, isn’t it more likely we’ll make better and deeper connections?

And isn’t that what we want?

So, what do you do to get past the “giraffe on roller skates” feeling?

 

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Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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