Friday was my daughter Phia’s wedding. It was simple, beautiful and they are both so happy to be together. What does this have to do with this blog? Well, the room was filled to capacity, which means there were at least 250 people there. Most of them I knew or recognized but there were still quite a few I didn’t know. I think you know where I’m going with this…
At one time, I would have been overwhelmed by the amount of people. I would have sat down at my table with the rest of my family and waited for people to come to me. I would have felt bad later that I was unable to talk to as many people as I would have liked to and wished I wasn’t so shy. I definitely would have danced a lot because it would appear that I was too busy having fun to converse. And I would have justified it to myself by saying that I was throwing the party so I could dance if I wanted to. Yes, the Men without Hats song would have been running through my head!
Well, as a Once Timid Networker, that’s what I COULD have done.
Friday night was different though. I wasn’t thinking of myself and my own comfort, I was astounded by all of the people who came and were there because they loved Paul and Phia and wanted to share the moment with them. All I could think about was how I wanted to thank all of these guests for coming and being a part of their lives and my heart moved me to do so.
I reflected on the evening the next morning over my coffee and then throughout the weekend. I realized that Networking is sometimes a social event and often I would find myself at these events sitting at a table and waiting for people to come to me. I realized that the key to my ability to thank as many people as I could Friday night, was because I wasn’t thinking of myself. My goal was to show appreciation for those who came and make sure our guests were comfortable and taken care of.
So at your next networking event or social gathering, try shifting the focus. Think of the other people in the room. Do they look comfortable? Do they know anyone there? If not, introduce them to someone they may have something in common with. Show them around and if you are unfamiliar with your surroundings, invite them to come along as you explore where everything is. Helping others to feel relaxed and comfortable feels good, it gives you confidence and helps you to feel good about yourself.
I wasn’t able to get to every person in the room Friday night, but I can honestly say that I thanked as many people as time would allow and I was happy that I felt at ease! Congratulations to my sweet Phia and to my new Son-in-law, Paul!
Tara Schmakel-The Workroom at Tara’s
Jerry Williamson says
This was a fantastic blog. Personal, and a very strong message. Thank you for using your personal life stories to help us become better networkers.
BTW…..you should see if you can trademark the “Once Timid Networker.” This could be your branding.
Hazel M Walker says
This is a very good article. Believe it or not I am one of the people who hate going to big events, I always feel out of place and a little uncomfortable. Your reminder of stepping outside of ourselves and making it about the other people is key to being successful at any event. Thanks Tara
Val Wilson says
That cake was so good! Tara, when you step into a room, you may not have noticed, but you light it up with your beautiful smile and radient personality. This same light shines in your blog over and over again. I love you and I love your blog! And I loved being at Phia and Paul's wedding too!
Jennifer Kettlewell says
It is easy to get lost in big events! I think many people, even those that are top notch networkers, take the opportunity of a big event to blend into the wood work.
However, I think you make a very good point, becoming the “host” of the party, even if it isn't your own will turn you into a master networker!
Tara Schmakel says
Thank you all so much for reading this post, I appreciate it so very much! Reading your responses encourages me to continue to use my stories.
Thank you, thank you!!