Today, Sneak stumbled across a guide to better networking. Sadly, nothing to do with upgrading to 10 Gigabit Ethernet, or even taking the kinks out of your patch cables. No, this was the kind of networking where you meet strangers, feel incredibly uncomfortable, mumble a lot, and utterly fail to form any lasting business relationships. Or maybe that's just Sneak. Anyway, the self-described Mingling Maven offers a round-up of the characteristics shared by successful networkers. Apparently they all:
1. Possess the ability to make others feel comfortable
2. Appear to be confident and at ease
3. Have an ability to laugh at themselves (not at others)
4. Show interest in others; they maintain eye contact, self-disclose, ask questions, and actively listen
5. Extend themselves to others; they lean into a greeting with a firm handshake and a smile
6. Convey a sense of energy and enthusiasm - a joie de vivre
7. Are well-rounded, well-informed, well-intentioned, and well-mannered.
8. Prepare vignettes or stories of actual occurrences that are interesting, humorous, and appropriate
9. Introduce people to each other with an infectious enthusiasm (there is no other kind) that motivates conversation
10. Convey respect and genuinely like people.
Yes, we've all met these types, and "magnificent minglers" is not the phrase that Sneak would choose to describe them. "Grinning gargoyles" is closer. But wait, the Maven, Susan RoAne, has more wisdom to impart. "When was the last time you attended a professional luncheon, spotted a member in the corner frowning, and thought: that's someone I'd like to get to know?" she asks, rhetorically, presuming the answer must be "never". But she's wrong; that's just the kind of person Sneak would cross the room to meet. At least they'd be a kindred spirit...
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