One of the main reasons it is hard to have curb appeal when networking is FEAR. 

What will people think when I walk across a room and approach them to start a conversation?

Will they think I am stupid, boring, pushy? 

How’s my breath? 

It can be intimidating to approach someone and start a conversation. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson knew the way around this universal fear, but most of all he knew the way through it: Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”  

We all get all the butterflies in are stomach to fly in formation and then soar above their comfort zone to a new, more expansive comfort zone.  Don't make networking more complicated than it needs to be.  Develop strong networking skills so you can make connections without being rattled and intimidated.  The more intimidated you are by the process, the less appealing you are in the process.

Emerson’s advice will help you overcome the fear of meeting new people.  Use Nike’s formula and Just Do It!  These new contacts may eventually become strategic partners, customers, employees, employers, or even best friends.  Remember, most people enjoy offering assistance, information, and advice.  No one is getting voted off the island at the end of the event. 

You are the one who can stretch your own horizon.”

-- Rabbi Edgar F. Magnin

Zig Ziglar often uses a popular acronym for fear.   He says fear stands for:  False Evidence Appearing Real.   Right on, Zig. 

Really, do not be a Mumpsimus.  No, that is not misspelled and no, I didn’t call you a dirty word.  Well, maybe I did – sort of.

Mumpsimus (pronounced MUMP-si-mus) is a seldom-used word. 

Mumpsimus means: 

A. a person who persists in a mistaken expression or practice. 

B. an erroneous practice, use of language, or belief that is obstinately adhered to. 

In other words, the unfortunate state of mumpsimus means pigheaded adherence to a notion or expression that is popular but obviously wrong.  Do not be a mumpsimus about networking.  It is not some bad, hard, or artificial experience.  Resist the popular notion that networking is all fake sincerity and pushy behavior.  That is just not so.

Networking is not about arm-twisting.  It is not trying to get someone to do something that does not make sense for them to do.  It is not scary old backslapping sales shenanigans.  The simple fact is, most people are cool and want to meet you.  You will not find Eeyore or Oscar the Grouch at most networking events. 

 

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker

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