meeting people http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/17010/all en-US 10 Ways Even Shy People Can Fake Confidence and Get Ahead http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shy_happy_woman_000017846770.jpg" alt="Shy woman learning how to fake confidence and get ahead" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You have an interview. Or a presentation. Or you want to ask your boss for a raise, or ask that hot somebody at the gym on a date. But there's one problem.</p> <p>You're shy. You don't feel confident about this and you fear they'll see it.</p> <p>Fortunately, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-little-ways-to-feel-more-confident">confidence is pretty easy to fake</a>. If you can change some things about the way you carry yourself and the ways you interact with people for the duration of your challenging situation, you will come across as much more confident than you might actually feel. (And of course, faking it can be a big step towards making it!) Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Whatever You Do, Don't Apologize!</h2> <p>People who aren't confident apologize when they don't have to and, in doing so, act as if they don't matter as much as the people they're talking to. If you have done something wrong, apologize by all means. But don't do it unless it is completely warranted and you are actually sorry. Some shy people even open conversations this way, saying, &quot;I'm sorry, do you have a minute?&quot; or &quot;I'm sorry to bother you, but...&quot; This conveys the opposite of confidence.</p> <h2>2. Slow Down</h2> <p>Many shy people tend to move and speak quickly or erratically when they feel uncomfortable. Instead, slow everything down. Speak precisely, making sure each word is clear. This shows that you are comfortable enough with yourself that you don't have to either steal or avoid the limelight to make sure you are heard. If you feel like you are going too fast, stop, smile, take a deep breath, and continue.</p> <h2>3. Stand Up Straight</h2> <p>If you can't do anything else, you can probably square your shoulders and lift your chin until the situation you aren't feeling confident about is over. This makes you look bigger, which alone may be enough to project more confidence. But good posture also says that you are ready for anything and sure of your ability to handle it.</p> <h2>4. Be Bold With Eye Contact</h2> <p>Eye contact is really hard for a lot of shy people, but maintaining it is key to looking confident. It may take some mental focus, but appearing engaged and interested in whatever is going on is important when you want to look confident. If looking at someone's eyes is awkward or too uncomfortable, at the very least you can focus on their mouth or their nose.</p> <h2>5. Turn Towards People</h2> <p>If you're shy, you might find that you're often partially turned away from a conversation, even one you're engaged and interested in. Make sure that both your toes and your torso are aimed toward the people you're speaking to, and you will look like you are <a href="http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2014/05/look-feel-confident-using-body-language/">put together and focused</a> on what is at hand. This also shows an immense amount of respect to the other people in the conversation, which shows that you are confident enough to let others be important, too.</p> <h2>6. Think Positive Thoughts</h2> <p>Specifically, think about your ambitions in a particular area before you go into a situation in that area where you want to appear confident. If you want someone to go on a date with you, write or imagine where you see that scenario ending. If you want a new job, think about what it would be like to work at the company and where that might lead you in the future. You will then automatically present yourself more assertively and people will think better of you when you're in the actual situation.</p> <h2>7. Laugh</h2> <p>If there is an appropriate opportunity for laughter, be sure to take it. This makes you seem happy, and happiness comes across as confidence. Make sure that you don't laugh awkwardly, though, or at someone else. It's best when you can laugh at yourself, which shows that you don't take yourself too seriously and that whatever happened isn't enough to shake you. Even if you truly are shaken, think about something funny and laugh at that, instead. No one will know the difference.</p> <h2>8. Practice Your Body Language</h2> <p>Many shy people rehearse potentially difficult situations ahead of time to make sure that they have their words down. When you do this, rehearse some body language, too. Specifically, make sure that your body language reflects the emotion you're trying to convey with your words. This will make you seem more consistent and convincing, so people will be more likely to trust you and follow where you want to lead.</p> <h2>9. Use Power Poses</h2> <p>If you want to appear more confident, <a href="http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241052">practice power poses</a> before a potentially difficult encounter. These trick your brain into actually feeling more confident, so you will automatically present yourself that way during your meeting. You probably don't want to use these during an actual encounter, because that would look at least a little bit awkward. But you can use them beforehand, even in a bathroom stall if you have to.</p> <h2>10. Ask Good Questions</h2> <p>If you are the one asking questions, it means you're the one leading the conversation, and that always projects confidence. You can ask anything &mdash; ask someone how their day is going, or how they are feeling about a situation. Once you've asked, listen to the response. Then, you can ask another question, offer your own ideas, or at least give them a genuine smile.</p> <p>When you put these all together, you have one confident presentation of yourself. And these are all things you can &quot;fake,&quot; so you can do it even when you're feeling shy.</p> <p><em>When are you most likely to fake confidence? Has it worked well for you in the past?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-your-mind-can-make-you-rich">4 Ways Your Mind Can Make You Rich</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-habits-you-must-break-to-become-more-self-confident">The 5 Habits You Must Break to Become More Self-Confident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">How to Do Things That Scare You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development confidence faking it meeting people shyness social Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:00:16 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1469518 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Make Meeting New People Fun and Easy http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-meeting-new-people-fun-and-easy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-make-meeting-new-people-fun-and-easy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meeting_new_people_000023970719.jpg" alt="Woman following certain rules when meeting new people" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Clammy hands, heart racing, stomach turning... it all can only mean one thing: You're about to meet some new people.</p> <p>But don't fret (or at least, fret less), because we're here with 10 rules that will help you feel confident you're not making any huge <em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-supposed-etiquette-faux-pas-that-actually-make-you-look-good">faux pas</a></em>. Who knows, you might even start<em> enjoying</em> this whole social interaction thing!</p> <h2>1. Start With an Icebreaker &mdash; But Not Something Cliché</h2> <p>You've got to start the conversation somewhere, but it's best to avoid tired old lines like &quot;What do you do?&quot; and &quot;Where are you from?&quot; over and over again. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, take a different approach and ask something unexpected.</p> <p>&quot;No one wants to have the same conversation 1,000 times,&quot; says John Paul Engel, an executive recruiter that serves high-growth companies. &quot;Don't ask them where they are from or what they do; that's boring. Ask them about something distinctive they are wearing. Ask them what they think about an idea. Just make it different.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do?ref=seealso">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?</a>&quot;)</p> <h2>2. Greet With a Handshake &mdash; And Nothing Else</h2> <p>I've heard plenty of people say that shaking hands is passé (although, these are some of the same people who wear flowers in their beards, so there's that&hellip;), but many business pros still stand by this standard <em>American</em> way of greeting a new acquaintance. Reasonably, it should be the <em>only</em> way you should greet someone new (unless the individual prefers no body contact at all; in that case, take their lead) &mdash; no matter what anybody says otherwise.</p> <p>&quot;Never hug or air-kiss business colleagues you're meeting for the first time,&quot; advises April Masini, relationship expert and author of the Ask April advice column. &quot;A handshake &mdash; while seemingly formal and old school for many in casual climates and youthful businesses &mdash; is still best. In fact, it's always best to err on the side of the conservative when touching is involved.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Avoid Cultural Faux Pas With Advance Research</h2> <p>I emphasized above that handshakes are an American way of greeting people, because they are &mdash; or at least commonplace mostly to Western society. Other cultures don't shake hands, but rather employ different means of greeting one another. In these situations, not only do you want to ensure that you're greeting them properly, but also that you're not outwardly offending them with a gesture that may mean something entirely different in their culture.</p> <h2>4. Address the Person Formally at First</h2> <p>Personally I like to be called by my nickname (Mikey), while my birth name and middle name are reserved for my family. But not everyone is like that. Some folks prefer to keep it super formal, going so far to have you call them Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so. It's kind of obnoxious (especially if the person is around your own age), but it's their prerogative. I don't like to be called anything other than what I deem acceptable, so I give everyone else the respect they deserve in this regard too.</p> <h2>5. Remember the Person's Name Any Way You Know How</h2> <p>I have a very hard time remembering the name of someone I meet for the first time. The person will tell me and immediately it leaves my head as if I never heard it in the first place. That probably says more about my listening skills than anything else, but I know I'm not alone. If you have a similar problem, consciously employ whatever tactic you need to make the name stick &mdash; mnemonic devices, rhymes, word association, repetition &mdash; so you don't have to create an awkward situation after a great 10-minute conversation by asking for the person's name again.</p> <p>Or just do what I do and tell the person up front that you have a hard time remembering names so you have to say it out loud several times to make it stick. Most people can relate, so it's not as weird as it may seem.</p> <h2>6. Assume an Active Listening Role</h2> <p>As I mentioned above, my inability to remember a person's name upon meeting them is likely because I don't really listen to what they're saying but merely hear them. There's a big distinction, as <em>White Men Can't Jump</em> pointed out 23 years ago. This isn't a skill you can easily adopt (or you would have by now). Rather, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">listening is a skill</a> that needs to be learned.</p> <h2>7. Avoid One-Word Responses</h2> <p>I rarely say the word &quot;huh&quot; anymore to convey to someone that I missed what they said or that I don't understand something. I'm conscious of this one word specifically because a Canadian friend of mine called me out for it a few years ago, saying that he could always tell who was American versus Canadian because Americans tend to sound like geese when having conversation.</p> <p>Think about that for a second.</p> <p>But &quot;huh&quot; isn't the only one-word response you should avoid. When meeting someone for the first time, it's important to let the other half know that you're interested in what they're saying by engaging wholeheartedly.</p> <p>&quot;Particularly for introverts, when asked closed ended questions, he or she typically gives a one-word response,&quot; says Parker Geiger, CEO of an image and brand development group. &quot;For example, if one was asked how they are, typically an introvert will say fine or okay. Instead, say, 'I am fine. How are you?' This will allow for longer engagements. Extroverts can do this as well when they do not seem interested to avoid making someone feel dismissed.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Take Mental Notes Then Jot Them Down</h2> <p>I always appreciate the little things that someone remembers about me that even I've perhaps forgotten about. If you want to be this kind of thoughtful acquaintance who will absolutely make a good and lasting impression, make it a habit to take mental notes during your conversation and jot them down on your phone afterward for later use.</p> <h2>9. Have Your Business Card on Hand</h2> <p>Another area I need to work on personally is always having business cards on hand. As a small business owner, I rely heavily on in-person relations and referrals, but I sometimes don't have my cards with me because I tend to carry different accessories to different functions or I've forgotten to replenish the stock in my bags. Social media follow-up helps avoid missed opportunities, but it's not always foolproof. When receiving a business card, be sure to take a second to look at it opposed to putting it directly into your pocket. The latter can be viewed by the card provider as lack of interest, which doesn't help you in any way.</p> <h2>10. Follow Up Briefly Via E-mail or Social Media</h2> <p>Most of us meet many people everyday, and it's hard to remember all of them. If you want to stand out in the crowd, sending a follow-up message is a critical part to relationship building. Personally I prefer email, but social media is a relevant form of follow-up now &mdash; though you should get a sense of what a particular person prefers first; you can usually tell in a conversation whether one is well-connected or not. Use some of the tips from earlier in your follow-up, like mentioning something personal that you remember from the conversation. That will help solidify your status as a contact who is an active listener, thoughtful, professional, and someone who appreciates the value of meeting someone new.</p> <p>I also would advise you to take the follow-up one step further if the person with whom you're following up is a potential employer. I've only been on a few job interviews in my life and I've landed the position every time, and I think that's in part because I've made it a rule to send a thank-you card in the mail immediately following the interview. I don't know if that's what put me ahead of other candidates, but it certainly doesn't hurt my case to let the potential employer know that I'm serious about the position while showing a bit of my character at the same time. In this day and age of Twitter this and Insta that, a hard piece of mail with your handwritten thank-you note and signature goes much further than it would have just 10 years ago. Perhaps we appreciate it more now that it's so rare.</p> <p><em>Do you have other rules to always follow when meeting new people? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-make-meeting-new-people-fun-and-easy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-social-blunders-to-stop-making-by-30">10 Social Blunders to Stop Making by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-conversation-starters">The 7 Best Conversation Starters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-ease-into-a-day-job-after-freelancing">5 Ways to Ease Into a Day Job After Freelancing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks introductions meeting people social skills Tue, 02 Jun 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1437310 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Simple Ways to Make a Fantastic First Impression http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-make-a-fantastic-first-impression <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-simple-ways-to-make-a-fantastic-first-impression" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/handshake-166474013-small.jpg" alt="handshake" title="handshake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Warmer weather means more socializing, and more socializing means more opportunities to meet new people. As a guy on the shy side, I've never relished social situations where there are dozens of new people to meet, and, thus, dozens of first impressions to manage. To most of my friends though, my discomfort would probably come as a surprise. That's because over the years and with just a few simple strategies, I've honed my skills at meeting new people and making a (mostly) fantastic first impression. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-ways-to-network-that-dont-feel-sleazy?ref=seealso">5 Great Ways to Network That Don't Feel Sleazy</a>)</p> <p>Here are my top six tips to impress with first impressions.</p> <h2>1. Get a Grip</h2> <p>No matter how perfect the attire, how coiffed the hair, or how articulate the speech, a limp and non-committal handshake is all your new acquaintance will remember. Socially or in business, when you first meet a person &mdash; as you're going through those initial introductions and niceties &mdash; anticipate the handshake. Be prepared and return it with commitment and confidence, while maintaining eye contact.</p> <h2>2. Be Cling-Free</h2> <p>If new social situations make you uneasy, it's tempting to cling to one or two friendly faces you know. As safe as it feels, avoid this tactic. Making a fantastic first impression means picking up the conversation after a friend has introduced you, mingling, and embracing the awkwardness of meeting new people with humor and a sense of adventure. You don't have to work a room like a silver-tongued politician; heck, you don't necessarily even have to be a gifted conversationalist. But what wins every time &mdash; what leaves a good impression &mdash; is effort. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do?ref=seealso">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a>)</p> <h2>3. Come Bearing Gifts</h2> <p>A sure-fire way to make a great first impression is to arrive with a thoughtful gift in hand. Even the smallest token (a bottle of wine, some good chocolate, a small bouquet of flowers) creates immediate social credit and communicates volumes about who you are. But choose the occasion carefully. According to EmilyPost.com, <a href="http://www.emilypost.com/social-life/hosts-and-guests/772-should-i-bring-a-hostess-gift">occasions for host or hostess gifts</a> include casual dinner parties, weekend visits, or parties where there's a guest of honor. If you're the &quot;plus-one&quot; or the newest face at any of these types of events, a small token of appreciation sets the stage for a making a great first impression.</p> <h2>4. Master Non-Verbal Cues</h2> <p>While some common <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-words/201109/is-nonverbal-communication-numbers-game">body language statistics</a> are often overstated or applied too generally, we can all agree that important parts of communication happen verbally and non-verbally. Maintaining good posture, eye contact, and pleasant facial expressions are the big three components of body language to be aware of if you're trying to make a positive first impression.</p> <p>Without getting into the minutiae about how to stand, hold your arms, or point your feet, just remember this: Try to keep your physical communication consistent with your verbal communication. Acknowledge the power your body has to reinforce or detract from what you're saying and perhaps more importantly &mdash; the power it has to speak on your behalf when you're silent.</p> <h2>5. Be Curious and Open-Minded</h2> <p>Engaging with new people takes a healthy dose of curiosity and open-mindedness. Try not to let differences in religion, politics, lifestyle, or career choices prevent you from expanding your social horizons or making new professional connections. If it helps you feel more comfortable, look for the common ground that can fuel good conversation. Asking questions, divulging a bit about ourselves, and not letting distractions derail the flow of conversation are the keys to getting noticed in the right way.</p> <p>Of course, we don't always mesh with every new person we meet, and sometimes it's obvious in the first five seconds that a new acquaintance will never be anything more. But making a good first impression often takes a bit of a creative role playing. If you can't muster any genuine interest, fake it and consider a bit of well-intentioned acting a social skill-building activity.</p> <h2>6. Buzz (Off!)</h2> <p>Sadly, in our modern, hyper-connected world, this doesn't go without saying. When you're meeting new people, it helps to prevent interruptions by silencing cell phones and other electronics. Constantly checking who's calling or texting is an efficient way to stifle a conversation or alienate yourself from a crowd by implying you'd like be somewhere else <em>with</em> someone else. Even if others are doing it, avoid the reflexive phone glance if you want to make a good first impression. Wait to check your phone discreetly outside or in the bathroom if all the beeps and buzzes leave you feeling simply Pavlovian.</p> <p>While it may be true that we never get a second chance to make a first impression, we do get many opportunities to perfect our skills with different people and in different settings. Part art and part science, making a fantastic first impression might take a bit of practice. A misstep or <em>faux pas</em> here or there isn't the end of the world &mdash; it's just a lesson to remember for next time.</p> <p><em>How do you make a good first impression? What's the most common mistake you see others do that sabotage a positive first impression? Make a good impression here by sharing in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-make-a-fantastic-first-impression">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">15 Simple Networking Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead">10 Ways Even Shy People Can Fake Confidence and Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make">10 Networking Mistakes You Shouldn&#039;t Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/masters-of-small-talk-never-do-these-10-things-do-you">Masters of Small Talk Never Do These 10 Things — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-ways-to-network-that-dont-feel-sleazy">5 Great Ways to Network That Don&#039;t Feel Sleazy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development first impressions meeting people networking Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:00:50 +0000 Kentin Waits 1142123 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Networking Mistakes You Shouldn't Make http://www.wisebread.com/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-network-5145622-small.jpg" alt="networking" title="networking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Networking makes landing a job, starting a business, and just about everything else in life a little bit easier &mdash; provided you network well. If you connect with people in such a way that you irritate them or show a poor side of yourself, your networking efforts can actually hurt you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people" target="_blank">Networking Basics for Regular People</a>)</p> <p>It's crucial to avoid networking mistakes as much as possible. The list below is not exhaustive &mdash; there will always be a new way to trip up out there &mdash; but if you can at least avoid these mistakes, you'll be well on your way to improving your networking efforts.</p> <h2>1. Connecting With the Wrong People</h2> <p>Just because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-networking-in-a-one-horse-town" target="_blank">someone is available</a> doesn't mean they can help with the particular project you're working on. Asking a freelancer, for instance, with help landing a full-time job is just going to confuse that freelancer &mdash; she's just not going to be as familiar with the question as a hiring manager.</p> <h2>2. Networking in a Rush</h2> <p>Some people wait until they desperately need help to network. That approach can lead to some serious desperation, which shows. If your contacts know that you need them much more than they need you, they'll be turned off.</p> <h2>3. Failing to Follow Up</h2> <p>If you connect with someone, you're going to need to keep in touch to actually build a relationship. Going to a networking event and collecting a deck of business cards isn't enough to get you a connection who you can ask for a favor.</p> <h2>4. Being Unprofessional</h2> <p>Networking may not be all about finding a job, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be professional about the process. Even little details, like an email address that tries too hard to be cute, can be off-putting.</p> <h2>5. Forcing a Connection Through Multiple Contacts</h2> <p>This particular mistake happens more frequently online. In an attempt to network, a person will send multiple tweets or comment on multiple blog posts very quickly, almost like she's trying to create a connection through quantity of communications.</p> <h2>6. Spamming Your Contacts</h2> <p>Once a connection is established, you effectively have permission to communicate further. But you don't have permission to spam your contacts with updates, email newsletters, requests to fund your Kickstarter, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/network-marketing-parties-opportunity-or-emotional-blackmail" target="_blank">or anything else</a>. You need to send personalized communications if you want people to pay attention.</p> <h2>7. Making It All About You</h2> <p>There has to be some give (as well as some take) in networking so that your connections will continue to want to help you in the long run.</p> <h2>8. Monopolizing a New Connection's Time</h2> <p>Particularly at networking events, there's a temptation to talk to someone for as long as possible &mdash; to really cement the new relationship &mdash; but doing so frustrates everyone else in the room. And it might not just be people in the room you're irritating. Everyone you meet has a life outside of the place you meet them.</p> <h2>9. Failing to Return the Favor</h2> <p>If a connection does you a favor, there's an expectation that you'll try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-nice-at-work-can-payoff" target="_blank">help him out down the road</a>. You may not always be able to follow up perfectly, but intentionally blowing off a connection's request is rude.</p> <h2>10. Lying</h2> <p>You would think that people would know better than to lie. Don't lie to a new connection about what you can do or who you know. Your new contact will discover your lie, and sooner than you think.</p> <p><em>Any networking mistakes I've overlooked? Please share them in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-bad-networking-habits-that-will-kill-your-job-prospects">15 Bad Networking Habits That Will Kill Your Job Prospects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip">6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-twitter-job-search-guide">Book Review: The Twitter Job Search Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-make-a-fantastic-first-impression">6 Simple Ways to Make a Fantastic First Impression</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tax-deductions-job-hunters-can-t-afford-to-overlook">6 Tax Deductions Job-Hunters Can’t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Job Hunting meeting people networking networking mistakes Wed, 12 Jun 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Thursday Bram 977970 at http://www.wisebread.com