Winning or Losing Connections at First Glance

I consider myself a networking matchmaker. I love to meet new people and connect the dots! I think about the people I know who may have corresponding business needs, similar interests, needs for support, or goals. That’s networking in a nutshell.

It’s interesting to observe the interaction between two people I introduce to each other in what I suspect is considered a one on one, plus one. The dynamic of the conversation changes by nature. What an experience it is to sit back and observe as a 3rd party. We can learn more about ourselves as well as others’ interpersonal skills, body language, and what gives us comfort or removes that feeling of resting into a conversation. Lately, I’ve noticed three patterns in this particular situation; the I, Eye, or Aye.

I or The Ego

The 9th letter of the English alphabet, I is defined as the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself by And, I is Ego. How often do you find yourself regurgitating your business life story when you meet someone after the proverbial, “So, what do you do?” Moreover, how is your answer delivered? Too often, I hear people who begin almost every sentence with “I.” Getting to know someone is not reciting your resume. Watch for the Ego to sneak up. Even very strong people feel a bit intimidated or nervous but sometimes, there’s a lack of Emotional Intelligence that can easily be addressed. Your merits, family census, and career accomplishments do not invite conversation. What is it that draws people to you? You’re unique and interesting so engage in that. Deciding whether or not you can or want to do business with someone or have a referral for them is more often than not about whether you want to engage with that person and engagement means both people learning about each other and not about hearing an impersonal account of accomplishments.

Tips: Relax. Observing requires a fair amount of a quieted mind. Look at the person. Note whether he or she is comfortable, making eye contact, looking around. Listen to your partner’s speech; fast, hurried, or delighted and inviting. Settle in to being present in the moment of the conversation and in this way, you’ll learn how to identify with him/her. You’ll discover similarities and sometimes differences that can allow you to create a working relationship and we all need good friendships.

Chemistry Multimedia builds relationshipsEye For Communication

If you have an eye for communication, you know that eye contact is paramount in communication. You can stare directly into someone’s eyes, maintain a relaxed and welcoming posture, and still miss important cues in communication if your mind is busy with what to say next or what you perceive instead of what was actually said. I witnessed a meeting between two newly introduced friends Ray and Joe. They discussed a possible collaboration. It really doesn’t take more than the blink of an eye to tell someone your mind is somewhere else if you’re not making eye contact and in the conversation. Some people are distracted, some are stressed, and sometimes, they need for you to establish safety in eye contact. Think about how intimate it is to look into someone’s eyes. It’s a sharing and respect. Especially in working with the media but also in video production or gaining the trust of a potential client we see trust in the eyes.

Aye, Aye To Success

Have you ever witnessed or been engrossed in a one on one with someone and then find yourselves talking about everything but business, ending the conversation later than you needed to, finish up by the business points and then exchange referrals, business, or collaboration later? That’s when you are able to relax, make eye contact, observe, tell stories, and create an effective networking partner….and friend.