Face-off for networking success

by

Luann Feehan, Vice President of Membership

We just had our first Schmooze of 2010 and it was a good one! (Just so you know I think they’re all good!) It was held at the Independence Events Center. What a great asset that facility is to metro KC.

The networking tip this week was based around the game of hockey. There’s a lot of similarity between the two. Really. Think about it. When a hockey game begins there is a “face off”. Two players facing each other brought together by a hockey puck.

In networking…two people are facing each other, brought together to have a conversation. So a topic, as simple as a question, is the puck of networking.

Once the game begins the puck is tossed about the hockey rink sometimes it’s passed among several players and doesn’t show any result.

Other times the puck is tossed among the players, straight down to the goal for a score. Not every possession of the puck results in points, but the players play because they enjoy playing the game.

Don’t ya think networking is pretty similar? Sometimes you get into a conversation that seems like it doesn’t lead anywhere. However, you are meeting someone you didn’t know and you are learning about a company you didn’t know existed.

Then, other times you chat with someone that can really help your company or someone that your company can help. (Alas the score of a sale!)

In hockey, the game is played for three – twenty minute periods. At the end of 60 minutes, the game is over, sometimes the players feel like they played a good game, other times they realize the outcome wasn’t as they had hoped. Yet, they still come back to play the game again.

In networking sometimes you connect with many people and obtain some meaningful fruits for your efforts. Other times, not so much.

Remember this, networking is about meeting people, learning about other companies in the area. They learn about you and upon regular practice you will obtain the results you want.

I invite you to enjoy the game while you’re playing. Networking shouldn’t be one of those things you dread to do. (You can’t play if you’re just sitting on the bench either.) It should be one of those things you do to help you learn more about you, your business and your community.

I’ll end with this icebreaker suggestion. When networking… consider yourself the MVP (most valuable player) on the networking field. Walk up to someone you don’t know…look them in the eye…and ask them, “So, what brings you here today?” And let the game begin!

Now go spread the word and have a great Kansas City day!

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