When it comes to networking I have found that your own worst enemy is the voice within that sometimes tries to dissuade our efforts to get out there and make effective connections. The good news is, that inner battle is easily won. Let’s look at some common thoughts that you can battle back against.
1) What if people don’t like me?
So what? It’s true that someone may not make an immediate connection with you, nor you with them. This is always a danger when meeting new people. However, even if that is the case, how will it impact your life? Well, frankly, it will be very minimal. Think back to the last person you met networking who did not like you. You remember their name? What they did? Chances are they don’t remember either. It’s just not a big deal if some people don’t like you. Not everybody likes every chocolate in the chocolate box.
2) What will I talk about?
The better question is, “What should I not talk about?” There are so many things to discuss on any given occasion: the weather; where someone is from; the most recent article you saw on Facebook; what you do for work; what TV shows you watch; wardrobe, etc. There are a great number of things you can talk about. Have a few things in your head before your next event, and have talking points ready.
3) It will take too much time.
How much time will it take really? We are always busy in our lives. Don’t use “busy” as your excuse. There is always an hour of your day, once a week you can devote to networking to build some new (or foster existing) relationships.
4) It feels so fake.
Networking does not need to feel fake. But the best way for it to not feel “fake” is for you to practice. The more networking you do, the more comfortable you will feel, the more comfortable you feel, the more authentic your networking will be.