Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's not just who you know...

It's also who knows you.

I am a huge believer in networking. I have met a lot of amazing people just by putting myself out there and talking to people. But you can only advertise yourself so much before it starts to get old.

An example: I was at a networking event a few months ago. The organization was developing affinity groups, and it was a chance to learn about what groups were starting up and if any were of interest to you. On the last of three rotations, I sat down to hear about the objectives of a group and the group leaders asked for suggestions of discussion topics for the group. Everytime a topic was mentioned, a woman at the table offered her expertise in speaking to the group on that topic, and what her qualifications were to do so.

Maybe she was qualified to speak to all of those topics. Maybe she was an amazing speaker. But the impression I got was that she was working so hard to promote herself and her capabilities that she wasn't adding value to the collective of the group, and she certainly wasn't listening to others.

I made a point of finding out her name. She doesn't know me at all, and I'd bet money she wouldn't remember me. But if I ever happen to run into her again, I'll remember that interaction.

Impressions are important. If you make a good one, people will spread that information. Bad impressions also spread, tend to last longer, and are difficult to overcome. Think about the impressions you are making.

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