One of the first things that I tell any audience is that networking is a critical competency for employees in today's workplace. It is as critical as any Business, Economics, Math or Grammar course that one takes in undergraduate school. Yet, I haven't run across any four year college curriculum that teaches networking skills. So it's no wonder that we all have different ideas on what networking is and how to do it.
In any networking venue, there are 3 key moments. In this post, I will talk about the first key moment.
The first key moment is learning names. Teaching someone your name (I said teaching not telling) and learning someone else's name. Most people, me included, have been guilty of saying, "I can never remember any one's name!" First of all, I want to tell you to take the "n" word out of your vocabulary. Second, let me tell you how I introduce myself, which sets the stage for the other person to introduce herself.
Lynne and Anne taught me to think back to Forrest Gump. Remember how he introduced himself? He said, "I'm Forrest, Forrest Gump." Saying your first name twice gives people 2 opportunties to hear it. So I usually say, "I'm
Belinda, Belinda Willis." The next thing that I say has to do with my ensuring
that you heard me correctly. I've gone through 50+ years of people calling me Brenda, Melinda, Linda, etc. Becuase of that, I follow up by saying, "It's
Belinda with a B." That gives the person another opportunity to hear my name and associate it with a letter. Often times after I give a workshop on
networking, somebody will invariably see me in another arena and refer to me as "Belinda with a B." And that's great, because someone has remembered my name.
In a future blog post, I will address the second key moment:
Answering "What do you do?" I'll bet you think you already know how to answer that question. Stay tuned. I plan to show you how to tell what you do in a way that doesn't limit you to talking about your employer or what your name plate says.
By the way, Lori Jakubow (pictured with me above) is an artist and she
actually is wearing one of her pieces around her neck. You can reach her
through her website at www.LoriJakubow.com