Sticking to the people we already know is a tempting behavior. But unlike some forms of dating, a networker isn’t looking to achieve only a single successful union. Creating an enriching circle of trusted relationships requires one to be out there, in the mix, all the time…
So what should your objective be in making small talk? Good question. The goal is simple: Start a conversation, keep it going, create a bond, and leave with the other person thinking, “I dig that person,” or whatever other generational variation of that phrase you want to use.
Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone
I have not shaken anyone’s hand since around March 19.
I have not engaged in small talk since around March 19.
We have a problem. A serious problem.
There is life before Covid-19, and life since Covid-19. And those are two very different worlds.
For 22+ years, I have shaken hands with people each month at the First Friday Book Synopsis, our monthly event in Dallas. Each month, there were new faces, new names, new hands to shake.
For a lot of years, I have done the same at the monthly gatherings of Success North Dallas. Yes, I agree, the premiere networking event in Dallas.
(Both of these events are currently on Zoom).
And then there have been other gatherings, and conferences, and…
I miss that. And, to be honest, I’m at a loss on how to do this networking thing when you can’t go to events that help facilitate networking.
Oh, sure, I enjoy seeing the tiny faces on my iMac when we are “gathered” via WebEx, or Zoom.
I’ve even been put into breakout rooms for conversations with a small group.
But, it’s not quite the same, is it? No, it’s not the same.
A 20th century rhetorical theorist named Kenneth Burke said that life is like a cocktail party. He said that at a cocktail party, you try out this conversation, then you float over to that one, until you find the one that fits; one that arouses your curiosity, and interests you, and you join in.
It takes a kind of bouncing around, from group to group, from conversation to conversation, until you find THE conversation; YOUR conversation.
But, you’ve got to have a room with a fair number of people gathered for that to happen.
My wife has now heard more of my thoughts about business books and blog posts than she ever has; than she has ever wanted to hear. I love her, and value her opinion. But, it’s not quite the same.
So, how do you never eat alone when you only get to eat alone?
I don’t have a solution. Just consider this as a “this is our current reality” lament.
We’ve gone from this