Monday, December 1, 2008

How to Network at a Holiday Party

All kidding aside, your answer to the question, "How are you?" is an important one. And it IS a tough question, especially in large get-togethers.

Often we automatically respond, "Fine," or perhaps, "I'm doing well, how are you?" This is all very fine, if politeness were all that mattered. But those polite responses are so generic, so tepid. Anyone could say them, and they generate absolutely no sense of excitement or enthusiasm. Even if you weren't "fine" you would probably still say it, because it is an automatic response in many social settings. It's not much of a conversation starter, either.

If you plan on attending any Holiday parties this season, you are no doubt going to bump into someone you haven't seen for a while. They are going to ask you how you are doing. And how should you respond?

Before you even get to the party, think of a story or an accomplishment from the past few weeks, some good news that you would just love to share with your friends and colleagues. When you get asked how you are doing, you can tell them your story. "I'm doing fantastic. I just got back from giving a speech to 300 people in Katmandu." or "I've been working on finding a new job. I've been talking to a lot of people about this new approach that's being in tried in a few companies, trying to learn all I can about it."

Say it loud. Say it proud. Don't shrink from it. "I'm doing more than 'fine,' thank you."

Speaking of Holiday Parties, here's a whole list of Holiday Networking Gatherings taking place in the area, pulled from the MAC Alliance calendar. Note, the search is for "Holiday", so there are a few events being held at some Holiday Inns.

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