It’s January and we have all probably set some sort of goals for this coming twelve months. One that you might not have thought of is to equip your children for the networking world. They will face these situations more and more as they get older. Below are 3 items that will help them to demonstrate a professional demeanor when they are meeting new people.

Shaking Hands – even many adults get this wrong. Explain to your kids that they just have to remember “web-to-web” and their handshake will be perfect. Then show them the skin between the thumb and trigger finger and note that this must connect with the other person’s skin in the same area. Eliminating the weak, cold fish technique is your contribution to mankind!

Eye Contact – explain that those who are not able to make eye contact with the person they are meeting, may mistakenly send a message that they are shifty or not telling the truth. Help them to practice with you by asking them to set down their phone and work on the next item.

Conversing – Again many adults feel awkward when meeting new folks. The easiest way to smooth that awkward time is to have a set of questions in your back pocket that will get the conversation started. For children, depending on their age, it might be something like, “What do you like about what you do?” Or “If you have one piece of advice that someone should have given you, what would it be?” Of course, the question could be as simple as, “Tell me how you know my dad or mom?”, if that is the way the person entered his or her life. And of course, you can show your child how to research someone on LinkedIn for little hints about what this new person might be interested in. This is if your child knows in advance a specific person they will be meeting.

These three very simple education pieces will set your child apart from many when they are looking for a job especially during the interview process. Additionally, it will give them a broader life experience because of the information they will receive from these efforts. And a side benefit for you is that you might learn something about your kid while you are practicing!

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