Schmoozing is Easy (in theory)
Traditional corporate training typically begins and ends with a fast paced presentation, jammed packed with sizzling nuggets of information and insight. Participants are entertained for a few moments before returning to the field only to pick up where they left off. Perhaps a few ideas wiser but without any discernible change in their behavior or their results. When it comes to effective business networking, we have all heard the conventional wisdom, however the theory and reality rarely seem to line up:
Theory: ‘Approach strangers with relaxed confidence, have a firm handshake, make eye contact and smile’
Reality: For some reason you feel like you are walking into a war zone or a dark jungle full of hungry predators. You keep telling yourself to just relax but every muscle in your body is telling you to escape. With that familiar a knot in your stomach, sweaty palms, heart racing you skirt around the room until and eventually approach some friends or colleagues and talk shop for the rest of the evening
Theory: Focus on connecting with people and building relationships
Reality: Most networking conversations circulate in superficial small talk, confusing technical jargon or pushy sales presentations, none of which result in any meaningful personal connections being made. And then there is that awkward silence when the conversation just fizzles out
Theory: Talk about what you do in a clear compelling manner without being too technical or pushy
Reality: Many professionals are reluctant to bring up what they do, especially in social situations, out of fear of being perceived negatively or because they simply don’t know how to elegantly direct the conversation. When asked ‘what do you do?’ they respond by saying “I am an accountant, lawyer etc’ eliciting bored or even apprehensive expressions and a swift change of topic.
Let’s Get Real…
If you decided to learn a new language, master a musical instrument or get your black belt, you wouldn’t expect to get there by reading book or attending a seminar in some exotic location.
If you want to master the skill of consistently and effectively connecting with people, there is no replacement for putting in the time and effort to make it happen. That said, having the right coach in your corner, day after day as you win some and lose some, makes all the difference between spinning your tires and progressively getting the results you deserve. This is why master craftspeople and professionals alike have traditionally adopted an apprenticeship or articling model for passing on their skills to the next generation. Social Fluency Consulting Ltd. takes the same time tested approach in transferring the vital skills of Social Fluency.