It’s Christmas and end-of-year party time of year! But does the thought of networking at a party make you break into a sweat? Make you think how much you hate small talk? And make you realise how much you’ve worked from home this year and not feeling very connected to the people you work with?
You're not alone. In fact I think networking has a bad brand and gets a bad rap by many. If I could think of a better name for it I would!!
Many of us would rather stay home than navigate awkward conversations with colleagues or our bosses. However, avoiding these social interactions can hinder your career growth, and minimise your opportunity to grow your confidence for similar situations in the future. As Richard Branson wisely said, "Nobody can be successful alone." Networking is essential in our fast-paced business world, and it's time to embrace it.
Just in time for end-of-year and holiday work parties, here are six tips to help you network like a pro at your next work party.
1.Reframe Your Mind:
Positive self-talk can set the tone for successful networking. Change negative thoughts like 'I hate networking; I'll never be any good at it' to 'I love a challenge. It's time to expand my comfort zone and meet some interesting new people.'
2. Embrace Silence:
Don't fear pauses; they can be powerful confidence-projecting tools. Allow silence to help you understand others' points of view and respond thoughtfully. Embracing silence makes you appear more confident.
3. Check Your Body Language:
Your body language speaks volumes. Use gestures to convey warmth and energy. Avoid distracting gestures like fiddling with clothing and embrace confident hand movements that communicate your excitement and knowledge.
Learn from yogi philosophy and practice deep breathing. It not only calms nerves but also helps create stillness. Focus on your breath to stay present and manage anxiety, creating a more confident presence.
5. Master Fear:
Confidence isn't the absence of fear but the mastery of it. Embrace the possibility of failure and learn from setbacks rather than letting fear hold you back. Face it head-on and use it as a steppingstone to growth.
Approach networking with the mindset of #OwnIt. Project confidence with a smile and eye contact. Confidence is contagious, and when you own the room, you leave a lasting impression. Avoid excessive alcohol, maintain good posture, and exude confidence at your next party.
Networking doesn't have to be a daunting task. Reframe your mindset, embrace silence, pay attention to body language, practice deep breathing, master fear, and #OwnIt. These six strategies will not only boost your confidence but also help you navigate networking opportunities with ease. Remember, success often comes from expanding your comfort zone. So, take a deep breath, stand tall, and own your next networking event.