Networking Dos and Don’ts: Show Up – Mentally and Physically

Showing up physically is important for obvious reasons. If you’re not there, you’re not networking, which is a sure way to ensure that networking isn’t going to work for you. So, first and foremost—be there!

People join networking groups and sabotage themselves all the time by thinking they just have to sign the check and walk through the door. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you take the time to be there in person, make sure you’re also showing up with your attitude, heart, and mind. I have seen people come into other meetings and sit down in the corner and pull out their laptops and start doing work instead of mingling. As previously stated, networking is like a sandwich—what goes on before and after the meeting is just as important as what happens in between. So, if you’re there working on your computer, what are you saying to your fellow members while they’re walking around getting to know each other? You’re screaming at them that you’re socially uncomfortable, your work is more important than theirs, or that you just don’t care about learning more about them. So why would they want to refer to you? These are all great ways to keep members from getting comfortable with you. Put away the distractions and be present.

We do our best to create an environment that will help you do that. We know 100 percent of the people in our meetings have cell phones, so after checking in on Facebook at the beginning of the meeting, giving yourself pavement points for attending, and putting your next Network In Action meeting and any coaching sessions you have coming up onto your calendar, the franchise owner requires everyone to put their cell phones away. It’s just too tempting to be distracted when you have your office right at your fingertips.

In many of our groups, the group leaders have instituted a rule that if someone is on a cell phone at all during the meeting, then that person has to buy someone else in the group a drink at the end of the meeting. Whatever the rules are from group to group, at the end of the day, we’re creating an environment where people want to be there, and they are committed to making the other people in the room the most important thing for the next ninety minutes.

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Networking Dos and Don’ts

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