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Networking!

NETWORKING…do you look forward to events or do they make you feel anxious, uncomfortable, apprehensive and nervous?

How many of us are born networkers? I know I wasn’t, even in social situations I always found myself feeling awkward, unless of course the people I was with were actually friends or people I knew.

I was envious of other people who seemed to be more at ease, looked as though they were enjoying themselves and appeared really comfortable moving from person to person or moved from small group to small group introducing themselves. I didn’t feel I was particularly shy, but I’m sure it must be incredibly difficult if you are.

However, this all changed for me at least 15 years ago, when I had to venture for the first time into business networking! Thrown in at the deep end, starting my own business and having to become my own business developer!

I realised business networking is all about making and developing good relationships and simply having a conversation to help build a successful business. Yes, to do this you have to acquire and learn certain skills, it’s not about running around a room full of people ‘thrusting’ your business card into the hands of everyone you meet. It’s about getting to know the other person, it’s about sharing information and relationship building and this requires the right tools, approach and importantly frame of mind, mindset.

I’d be interested to know how you view networking? Do you find it daunting, does it make you uncomfortable entering a room full of strangers? Or are you a born socialiser/networker and never feel any apprehension or self-consciousness about walking into a room full of strangers?

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