“Solitude, isolation, are painful things and beyond human endurance.”
~ Jules Verne

Looking out over the lake, I enjoy the sweet serenity of being alone with nature. I sit on the porch of the cabin we rent each year for our family Memorial Day gathering. Just me and the birds and the water.

Ironically, the cabin is actually situated in the middle of a large campground that is packed with holiday revelers. Somehow, with where and how the builders placed it, the cabin gives you the feeling of being all alone in a crowded place.

This is wonderful when it comes to camping. If you are feeling all alone in a crowded space when you are networking, however, that isn’t good at all. Too many feel that way. If you are one of them here are five ideas on how to break out of that mental trap.

  1. Become the host. You don’t have to run the show in reality, just pretend to do so in your mind. Make it your responsibility to make those around you feel welcome. Position yourself near the entrance and welcome people as they arrive.
  2. Know where it all is. Tying in to idea #1, make sure you know where everything is regarding the event. Know where the coat room, restroom, and coffee urns are located. Be useful to them as soon as they walk in the door.
  3. Make introductions. If you meet someone new, after talking with them for a few minutes, make the offer to introduce them around. No one likes to approach a group all by themselves. You can be their hero.
  4. Look for the smallest groups. It’s hard to approach those large groups. It kind of feels like that first junior high school dance, right? Truthfully it’s better to find one person with whom to speak. You can make a better connection and, once again, might be rescuing them from their own discomfort.
  5. Thank the organizers. Take a moment to visit with the folks who are actually running the show. In addition to appreciating your gratitude, those who are sitting behind the desk are likely to know almost everyone there.

You don’t have to feel like you are alone in a crowded room. Make a little effort and you could be walk away at the end with the beginnings of several powerful relationships.