Do you remember the proverb, “Birds of a feather, flock together?” It is a natural tendency in humans to want to stay in groups with others with whom we feel comfortable – either people we already know or those we share similar interests with.
When it comes to business events like large training groups, business functions and networking events staying within your groups or your clumps may not be a good idea. What’s usually your main reason for attending these events? Would it be for exposure? To get away from your home office, to learn from others, or to interact with peers? Even if your goal is ‘only’ to learn, these are opportunities to get to know other coaches, marketers, direct sellers, etc.
There is always a certain level of comfort when you attend events, especially large ones, with someone with whom you are already familiar. However, if you congregate with just your known circle, you are not allowing yourself to make meaningful connections and possibly reach new people and companies that you’d like to do business with. YOU may also have the personality or type of business someone else needs. Would it be fair to deprive others of getting to know you?
Breaking out of your clumps or clusters and making connections may be challenging, but it can be done. Develop the mindset of a host who has to circulate among everyone in the room just to be sure they are comfortable. This could mean asking yourself, Who can I help to establish new contacts? Which two people can I introduce to each other whose businesses could support each others? Which speaker impacted me that I can give a sincere compliment.
A point to keep in mind is that while you may be nervous, force yourself not to talk too much. Make brief comments then ask questions that will elicit positive responses. I once heard a speaker say that you should not talk for longer than 60 seconds without asking a question. Applying this method you could take the pressure off yourself, and the person to whom you’re speaking will be thrilled at your level of interest in what he or she has to say.
I invite you to post your comments and share your experience on this topic.