Networking: How To Be The Most Interesting Person In The Room

I recently came across this topic because I am organizing an event on this them with my non-profit team for Lean In Vancouver. In the midst of searching for a speaker who can lead our networking event, friends and mentors of mine got to talking about what actually makes a person interesting. There were a few great pointers that came out of our discussion and I will share them with you.

  1. BE INTERESTED! To be interesting to others you first have to be INTERESTED in learning about them. If you are interested to know this person beyond what they do for a living, and ask questions regarding such topics, they will find you much more interesting to talk to because you have taken an active interest in who they are as a person, and what they do.
  2. BE A GOOD LISTENER. I don’t even have to go into details with all the statistics that reinforce how LITTLE we listen to others, because we are always thinking of the next great thing that will come out of our mouths. Listen to what others are sharing with you and take the time to appreciate the fact that they are sharing with you. Great listeners ask great questions because they pay attention – and that makes them interesting.
  3. WELCOME OTHERS. It’s a skill to be in a conversation and keeping an eye out for people who are at events alone, looking to join in on a conversation. They would love it if you were inclusive and welcomed these people into your conversation. The more the merrier!

Try out the three simple tips above and it will make a world of a difference in your networking interactions – you will be building real friendships / relationships instead of just exchanging business cards.

You Weren’t Made to Fit a Mold

You weren’t made to fit a mold, and that’s okay.

Growing up we would play puzzle games where we earn points for finding the perfect fit or for matching jewels to the same colour, and were taught to fit circular objects inside circular spaces, and squares inside square spaces. The idea is that everything should fit and conform.

We are in an age where individuals are thriving on finding their irregular edges, the sides of them that don’t conform, that don’t seem to fit the mold, and it’s actually exciting.

Take myself for instance. I am a business owner of a marketing agency, non-profit leader and advocate to create equal opportunities for females in the workplace, and fashion stylist.

You could be an Accountant or Risk Analyst or Programmer/Developer by day, and run a side business baking cakes, creating a ceramics line, or magazine columnist.

You don’t have to be artistic OR academic in this day and age – in fact, most of the new people I met are supremely multi-faceted and it’s fascinating. In 2017, you can be artistic AND academically inclined. For those who have read the book A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink – I believe magic happens when you develop BOTH sides of your brain, the ability to see the abstract and to think in logistical, rational terms lets you strategize AND implement. Be a thinker AND a doer.

So if you are a Financial Analyst and have always wanted to become a freelance Graphics Designer, there is nothing stopping you from doing so. In fact, you will probably find that developing this new dimension of you helps you achieve balance and progress.

So give it some thought today – what do you want to be?

It’s Your Attitude That’s The Problem

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We have all encountered those people who are debbie-downers and to succeed in life we need to surround ourselves with positive energy. It’s important to do a self-check as well to see what type of energy you are bringing into your workplace and/or personal life. Needless to say, we all prefer working with positive, energetic people so wouldn’t you want to be one of them?

I recently encountered an individual that had the skills, but their attitude was negative when faced with (even) small issues throughout the project. My brain made the obvious conclusion that I should avoid working with this individual again as it dampens my own energy for the project. The problem wasn’t the problem, it was the person’s attitude towards the problem that’s the problem – and clearly they didn’t understand their attitude just cost them future contracts.

Do a reality check on your own attitude now before it hinders your work or personal progress!