I recently attended a networking dinner with a group of women. Some I had met before and most were new to me. Now as humans, we are innately hard wired to network – it’s just part of our social nature yes? Excitingly, magic happens when we find common ground.
Watch a bunch of kids at a playground – a ball will do it and they’re off. Of course blokes have this whole primal thing going on but in their own way, they exit the cave and at least manage to find out, well, ‘man things’.
Women on the other hand, network very naturally. Often within ten minutes, a woman can find out the whole family history, the favourite holiday destination and where they bought their shoes!
The thought of networking as an objective can often make you feel like you’re doing something you’re not use to. Consequently the nerves set in and brain says, be more like this or like that.
Now over the years I have been known to be somewhat clumsy, pull the odd funny face and laugh quite loudly – something my mother has often tried to rein in (and still does I might add).
So at this dinner of getting to know others I was, attentively asking questions, using my listening ears and assimilating quite well. Or at least I thought. Dinner was served – a lovely plate of fish, vegies including corn on the cob. Normally I would just pick it up and munch away. Where were the ‘corn holder thingies’? Everyone else seemed like they were coping. Taking fork & knife to said cob and still engaged in conversation, I took one stab. The entire cob went flying across the room accompanied by a loud squeal of shock on my part. The whole table broke up with laughter. Sure gave the term ‘elevator pitch’ a whole new meaning.
Networking that evening was never easier. Trying too hard is simply a waste of time and creates far too much unecessary stress.
The evening served as a reminder to be authentically me, oh and in the future, not to order corn!
Yours in good health & fun,