How to Network like the Pilgrims and Indians

Indians and Pilgrims NetworkingThinking about it yesterday the Indians and Pilgrims were our first known social networkers.

What is Networking?   Building Relationships

Today we have the option of Online Networking and Offline Networking.  Obviously they only had one choice and that was to Network (Build a relationship) Offline.  In other words face -t0- face.

They had to of experienced some of the same feelings and questions (What if )we do when we network today.

  1. What if they don’t like me
  2. What if I don’t look the part
  3. What if I stumble on my words
  4. What if I say something wrong
  5. What if we don’t have anything in common
  6. What if I don’t like them
  7. What if I can’t understand them
  8. What if I they are in the same industry as I am and they know more than I do

Have you ever had any of these thoughts (What if) when walking into a networking event?  Sure you have.  It is NORMAL.  Just remember even some experienced networkers have had the same questions.  Even the “Social Butterfly” type may still fight those same anxieties.

What if they don’t like me ~ What if they do

What if I don’t look the part ~ You must always look professional for your industry, but who determines the look (be confident in you)

What if I stumble on my words ~ Who hasn’t?  Maybe today is your day and the next event is theirs.  EVERYONE has to overcome this.

What if I say something wrong ~ Differences: Are we talking about when it comes out wrong or say something wrong.  Comes out wrong you can excuse yourself with that just didn’t come out right.  Say something wrong as long as it is high moral character you have 5 minutes to get over it.  We have all said something that didn’t come out just right.

What if we don’t have anything in common~ Even if it is the weather or the location of the event you have SOMETHING in common.  Are you married?  Do you have children? Do you live in the area? Did you go to school out of state?  There is ALWAYS a common denominator.  No one said you had to become best friends.

What if I don’t like them ~ How do you know when you first meet them.  If you just really don’t enjoy talking with them.  Excuse yourself and find someone else or Introduce them to someone else and cordially excuse yourself and a find someone new to network with.

What if I can’t understand them ~ If we are suggesting a language barrier, be kind but say I am sorry I didn’t get that.  You have to remember this more difficult on them than it is you.  If you mean you didn’t understand what they do in business, ask them to clarify.  You can’t be a true networker and refer someone if you don’t know what they really do.

What if they are in the same industry and they know more than I do ~ First of all there is always a chance of that but YOU are the only one that knows that.   Look at this as an opportunity to glean more from someone with more experience and only speak on the areas you are confident in.  Remember everyone has areas they are more knowledgeable in than others.

Just remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Karen THE Connector   Social Media Coach


  1. says

    Nice article Karen. I like the Pilgrim analogy. I’ve found the more I go to networking events, the easier it is. Oh, it’s still not easy, but it’s way better than it used to be. I think networking online helps with that a little too. As I get better meeting people online, I feel more confident in person as well.

    • says

      Thanks Laura for the comment! It is true practice makes perfect. I always made it a game… I had to talk to some many people or some many from different industries.

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