This is a combo blogpost/podcast announcement.
Winter is coming, which means my tendency to hibernate becomes a little bit extreme. Recognizing that, I've started to fill up my calendar with things to do. Classes at Old Town School of Folk Music, Dabble or Verlocal (where I'm teaching Life Redesigned), and I have my eye open for events I wouldn't normally think to go to.
I also highly recommend that you check out the offerings at Mac & Cheese Productions while Fear Experiment is no longer in Chicago, it's available in other cities and she has some great un-networking events along with great classes.
This week's podcast episode (Make New Friends) is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone and meeting new people. As an introvert who has a dreaded fear of networking and meeting new people I've created a couple of rules for myself.
- I have to make one genuine connection
- I'm allowed to leave right after the event ends. I don't have to hang out and chit-chat, but only after I've made one genuine connection.
That's it. And those two rules have alleviated a ton of my anxiety.
Another tip I heard recently was to compliment someone. It helps break the ice. I was at a bookstore and someone started talking to me because of the book I was reading. I was at a networking event and sitting awkwardly not talking to the person next to me and I complimented her earrings (which I really did like!) and we started chatting.
So go forth and make some connections because you never know what friendship may blossom.
If you want a transcript of this week's podcast it is available here.
What are your networking tips or tricks? Where do you go to meet new people?