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Posts Tagged "networking"

Just in Time for Halloween: Making Networking Less Creepy

on October 27 in Authenticity | 0 comments

As an introvert and someone who values establishing real connections with people, I find most professional networking events creepy. Some people show up wearing masks. Because we can’t tell just by looking who’s showing up authentically and who’s posturing, we end up having conversations with energy vampires. This, of course, leaves me feeling depleted–and like I’ve wasted my time and money. In a worst-case scenario, I practically ran out in horror after only 20 minutes! This is the story that comes to mind when I think of why people wouldn’t want to attend traditional networking events. It was a nice evening in Scottsdale and I was at a prominent Valley networking group’s event. I had struck up a great conversation with an entrepreneur in business-to-business services who had said, “Marketing is our weak spot.” Now that’s networking nirvana right there–your ideal client type announcing they have the very problem you solve! But there was another networker (we’ll call him “Don”) who was hovering awkwardly over our conversation. I noticed he had a name tag with just “Don” written on it–no last name, no company name. It turns out he knew Ms. Ideal Client so I introduced myself, hoping to know more about this mysterious Don, but I got nothing. “Can I have your card,” he asked right off the bat. “Suuure,” I said, feeling put on the spot and not wanting to be rude, “but I’d like to know who I’m giving it to.” Handing him my card, he didn’t bother to give me a card in return. “Will you tell me what you do?,” I added. “I’m a card collector,” Don said, smiling wryly. “What do you do with the cards you collect?,” I asked. He said, “I told you, I collect them.” His short answers, this circular conversation–I could feel the energy being sucked out of me. I almost felt he was enjoying withholding information, as if it made him more powerful. Tired of this charade, I asked sarcastically, “How’s business for you? Pretty lucrative?” “Yep,” he said. That was the last straw; I was done putting up with this creep. I have no idea what he did with my card. Thank goodness he never followed up...

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