The world of business to busiess networking is an odd one. It is based on a premise which is completely contradictory to the rule you learnt as a child, "never talk to strangers". Networking plunges you into a room full of strangers and says, "go ahead, go make some friends".  
Strolling up to a perfect stranger and opening a conversation is not something that any of us find as a natural thing to do. Some of us are braver or have sufficient front to undertake the task with relative ease whilst no doubt containing the nerves within. 
I am not a natural networker and maybe as a man who talks to strangers all day long in my counselling, that is a surprising thing to admit. It about the dynamic, you see. When I am one to one with someone who is feeling vulnerable and exposed, my professional skills and my human instinct to protect kicks in. I talk to break the ice and allow them to know that I am here, I am only wanting to help and I am listenining.  
Put me in a room full of business owners and tell me to pick one to engage with and I am lost. I am the quiet one in the room. Invariably, I wait to make eye contact with someone and read their body language to know that I can approach and they will not reject me. I see an immense value to business to business networking but I can't ever see it as moving far away from 'pulling teeth' on the list of fun things to do... 
Tagged as: networking, Support
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