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When was the last time you attended a networking session?
How did it go?
Different types of people get different things from a networking event.
Some people can’t wait to experience the buzz of lots of people and energy all at one time.
Others hear their parents’ voices still lingering, “Don’t talk to strangers” and will only attend with a friend.
A few quietly sneak in looking for someone familiar and immediately gravitate towards them.
Then there are those who thrive on these opportunities to get their cards in as many people’s hands as possible.
Let’s face it. We like to talk about our favourite subject: ME
But is a networking event really the best place to do that?
At most networking events, people have an agenda based on a “get” mentality; they want to “get” something out of the event.
Sound about right?
Now let’s shift that picture for a minute and envision that everyone attending the event has a “give” mentality.
How much easier would it be to “get” something if everyone was there to “give” something?
You wouldn’t even have to try, right?
But it doesn’t work that way because a competitive environment doesn’t foster a “give” mentality.
Competition suggests that there is a finite amount available; a finite number of customers, markets, buyers, workers, office space or amount of money.
A competitive mindset breeds a “scarcity” mentality and drives us to be paying attention to having to get our share before someone else does!
So it stands to reason that if you can shift your thought from that of worry about getting your piece of the proverbial pie, to creating your own pie, you’re more open to possibilities.
Aha – think in terms of “infinite”.
You see, the opposite of being competitive is being creative.
And, you have unique talent and ability that only you own. Even if you’re in the same field as others, you will approach and deliver your skills in a way that only you can.
If you’re having a race at all it’s against yourself, from yesterday.
But since you never accomplish anything alone, it behooves you to attend an event doing more listening than talking, asking rather than telling.
By asking questions, you’ll get a glimpse of what another’s “pie” looks like.
That’s the part where you apply your unique talent and ability.
You achieve your goals – build your pie – by helping others achieve theirs.
Want to stand out?
Attend your next networking event without any business cards.
Simply ask questions of others then request cards from interesting parties.
The next day, follow up with those individuals, thanking them for their time, and add a brief line about wishing to help them achieve their goals.
That’s what being “on purpose” is all about, Charlie Brown.