Communication Made Easy — Speaking, Editing, Writing, Marketing, Networking Answers

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but words themselves are at the basis of all communication. Whether we are communicating for business or personal reasons, our spoken and written words matter. These posts will address issues and answer questions related primarily to business communications, as they affect writing, credibility, marketing, and networking.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What's Your Networking Personality Type?

How much does your success depend on the people you know?

Personal success, business success, satisfaction in life . . . how much does your success in life depend on the people you know?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and give you my highly scientific estimate that . . . it matters A LOT.

When you consider that it’s the people with whom you surround yourself that you turn to for love, support, encouragement, validation, ideas, advice, conversation, and the like . . . it becomes clear that they matter a great deal to your success. If the people in your life are not doing those things for you, you might want to start thinking about getting new people in your life.

And reciprocally, we do the same things for the people in whose lives we find ourselves.

The next question is: how do you meet the people in your life?

Many folks make two incorrect assumptions about networking:

(1) that it is always related to business; and

(2) that it only happens at specific meetings or organized events that call themselves "networking functions."

A network is just a collection of connected people. Everyone in your network is, at minimum, connected to every other person in your network through you.

Follow the logic here . . . if your network is made up of people you know, then every time you go out and meet someone new, you add them your collection of connected people — your network . . . which means that every time you meet someone new, you are networking.

But what kind of a networker — or people meeter — are you?

That’s the big question.

There are certain kinds of personalities we generally are drawn to — and others from whom we run screaming away.

Let me illustrate.

First, we’ll talk about the people we don’t usually like to meet.

* The Entertainer — This person must be the center of attention at all times.

* Grand Inquisitor — This guy hammers others with rude, impertinent, insensitive, or irrelevant questions.

*TheMysteryMan — He's not quite sure what he does, what he offers, why he’sinbusiness,or why he is where he is when you meet him. Sherlock Holmes would have a toughtime figuring this guy out.

* The Card Dealer — She throws her card at every person she meets, whether or not they are interested.

Now, let’s shift to talk about the people we usually love to meet.

* The Hostess with the Mostest — She knows how to give a genuine compliment and make you feel instantly welcome.

* The UN Ambassador — This highly connected individual introduces people he knows to each other.

*TheStoryteller — This guy always has a great story . . . and tells it well. People flock to hear him. An interesting story will get and keep people's attention — and prompt them to ask you more questions and want to get toknow you better.

*TheInvestigative Reporter — This gal finds outwhat makes you tick. There's a great acronym to keep in mind for the Investigative Reporter networking style: ICE.

Investigate — Learn everything you can about your new friends' wants and desires.
Celebrate — Celebrate their victories and successes with them.
Equilibriate — We’re all equal, so treat everyone — whether famous or simply background helpers — equally.

If who we know matters to our success in life — and I promise you that it matters A LOT — how we meet people is important in determining who we know.

They — that ubiquitous they — say, "It’s not what you know, it’s who you know."
I’m not sure I buy that. I think it’s what we know, AND who we know.

Do YOU have a specific networking/connecting/people-meeting style? Are you a good people meeter?

(ICE acronym thanks to Adora Spencer and John Demartini.)

This was my "Getting Comfortable With Visual Aids" speech for my Toastmasters club. Airpark Toastmasters meets every Thursday from 12:05 to 1:15 p.m. at the Raintree & 101 campus of the University of Phoenix. Guests are always welcome at no cost!

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