Networking Tips #10 Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

There's a temptation when you go to a networking meeting to stick with people you know rather than talk to complete strangers.  You feel more comfortable, it's not as intimidating, you can catch up.

Aim to talk to 5-6 new people you don't already know.  This isn't too difficult, as most meetings are a couple of hours long.  Yes, it's great to catch-up and reconnect with people you know but balance this with meeting new people.

If you go with a colleague - split up.  You know what each other do - divide your time and speak to different people, you'll cover more ground than going around in pairs.

Talk to the new people who are possibly standing on their own looking a little lost.  Introduce them to people you know after you've had an initial chat with them.

Be bold.  Go up and introduce yourself to someone you don't know.

If there's a sit down meal involved or a presentation, sit next to someone you don't know.  You can swap notes with your colleagues later.

Go to a meeting you wouldn't normally go to.  While I like to balance this with not attending every meeting going.  Sometimes a fresh environment can bring surprising and rewarding results.

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