Are You The Real Deal?

j0441498Yesterday I presented my Networking with Ease presentation to 120 people at the Greater Seattle Chamber “Focus On” series. As usual, my audience asked some really great questions. One man asked if someone should tone down their over-the-top energy when they are networking. It was an interesting question and one I hadn’t been asked before.

After pondering it for a second and clarifying that he was talking about himself I answered that it’s important we be ourselves when we’re networking. Actually, we should be real all the time, but especially when we’re networking. Networking is stressful; we have to introduce ourselves and talk to complete strangers, find something to talk about and hopefully make a connection.

What I said to this man is, when he is being authentic he might meet someone at a networking event who thinks “wow, this guy has really great energy!” or “whoa, this guy is over the top!” While it’s always hard to be rejected, when we are real with people we tend to connect with those who most fit with who we are – whether it’s clients, potential employers or business partners.

I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to always be real when I’m at networking events. I’m more of an introvert and tend to take time to build trust with someone. But I have noticed when I’m most authentic and open the connections tend to be better. By being open I also learn who I want to continue a connection with. One time when I was pretty transparent with someone at a networking event she judged me. I was OK with it because I could tell she was nervous, but I knew that she wasn’t someone I wanted to continue to get to know. No harm done, I just moved on.

What helps you to remain real when you’re networking? Are there things you do to keep you grounded and open and open to others?

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Arden Clise is founder and president of Clise Etiquette. Her love for business etiquette began in previous jobs when she was frequently asked for etiquette, public speaking and business attire advice by executives and board members. The passion for etiquette took hold and compelled Arden to start a consulting business to help others. Read more >>

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