An alternative to the Networking Blame Game

On Wednesday we taught our Engagement Networking workshop to a fun group of professionals who spend a lot of time building relationships to grow business. One of the first things we have participants do is to identify the challenging behaviors they notice in networking environments. They came up with a juicy list, including things like:

  • That person who checks out by looking really busy on their phone
  • That person who won’t stop talking
  • That person who looks all around the room while they’re supposedly in a chat with you

This part of the workshop always includes one key phrase that falls out of everyone’s mouth:

"I hate it when people do that"

Yeah, me too. I also hate it when I do that.

The fact is, we are all sometimes “that person" far more than we think we are. It’s just so much easier to blame other people, isn’t it? The Blame Game is the easy game. It allows us to stay rooted in the safe, comfortable familiarity of our excuses and norms, but it doesn’t yield meaningful results over the long term.
It’s eminently more rewarding to play a different game: That Person.

Want them to listen more? Put on your best ears.
Want them to put their phone away? You’ve got room in your pocket for yours.
Don’t want to feel like a sales target? Leave your own arrows in the car.

That Person is harder to play because it requires us tobe a little bit bigger, a little bit braver, and a lot more present to others.That Person teaches you to model what you want to attract. It gives you better results for your networking time and effort.
-Jenny Drescher