205) Exit Conversations Gracefully

Making connections at networking events is great. Remember, however, that networking and these events in general, are about building relationships.

So, you want to become adept at having small talk conversations. But in addition, you need to become skillful at transitioning out of conversations so that you’re able to move on to another.

Here are some great ideas on things to say to help you “gracefully exit” from one conversation so you can engage in another:

  • “Thanks for your time. I told myself I would meet three interesting people at this event. I have two more to go.” OR
  • “Thanks for your time. There is someone over there that I need to connect with.” OR
  • “Is there anyone here in particular you would like to meet? I would be glad to introduce you.”

These statements are all useful in helping you transition from one great conversation to the next. So, keep these statements in your conversation arsenal.


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204) Challenge Equals Change

Try this: Walk 100 steps in any direction and then walk back. Can you feel the burn? Is your body sculpted? Of course not.

Now try this: Go to the library, pick up a business or leadership book and read the back cover. Are your business “smarts” appreciably improved for doing that? It’s not likely.

Final exercise: Log onto social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, whatever) and ‘like’ a handful of posts. Is your network now teaming with loads of great, new relationships? Nope! No way.

These three exercises are meant to illustrate a point. If you want to change yourself, you need to challenge yourself. A healthy life needs you to invest more than a couple hundred steps. An improved business acumen requires real experience and consistent learning. Your network won’t grow appreciably with only a few likes or shares.

The lesson is simple: If it doesn’t challenge you, it’s not going to change you.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


203) Build A Better World

Look around. No, the world is not perfect, including your corner of it.

Things are amiss in society. There are initiatives that are not hitting on all cylinders. And there are some that aren’t functioning at all.

And there are things that are not only amiss, they’re completely missing. There are underserved pieces of your community. There are programs that have disappeared. And there are programs that never were.

No, things are not perfect. But you have a choice. You can complain and rail about what’s not. Or you can roll up your sleeves and become part of what will be. After all, sometimes you have to create that which you want to be part of.

So, if you want a better world around you, take a step today – no matter small it might be – to build your community into what you want it to be.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


202) Move Beyond The Decision

Once upon a time there were three frogs sitting on a lily pad in a pond. Two frogs decided to jump in. How many frogs are left on the lily pad? The answer is three.

Is that a trick question? Hardly. You see, deciding to do something is not the same as doing it.

Yes, there are indecisive people. Those who can’t decide whether to walk away from a situation or double down on it. And those who perpetually mull over a growing litany of options.

Equally bad, however, is the person who makes a decision but takes no action to see the decision through.

Don’t be indecisive. Don’t procrastinate. Determine your two or three best options. Assess the pros and cons of each. Then using this and trusting your gut, decide.

And, once you’ve decided, take a bold step in that direction. In other words, get your butt off that lily pad.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


191) Tomorrow Is Never Promised

Domenic Romanelli, boys’ soccer coach for the seven-time state champion St. Francis DeSales high school, drills this notion into his players: “Tomorrow is Never Promised.”

He encourages them to set lofty goals and work hard to achieve them. But then he reminds them that no matter what, nothing is for sure.

  • They might be better prepared, but a bad stretch could turn the whole game.
  • They might have the better team, but a fluke goal could end the season.
  • They might be incredibly fit and yet an unfortunate misstep could end a career.

Tomorrow is never promised. But this mantra is not limited to the soccer pitch.

In life, there are no guarantees either. Have hopes, dreams and aspirations and work tirelessly to achieve them. However, always remember that sometimes fate has its own plan and that there is always the potential for outside forces to intervene. Tomorrow is never promised.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


183) A Thing Called Guts!

American author Louis Adamic wrote in his 1944 essay A Study In Courage

“There is a certain blend of courage, integrity, character and principle which has no satisfactory dictionary name, but has been called different things at different times in different countries. Our American name for it is “guts.”

America has been called “The Land of Opportunity.” While that is arguably still true, opportunity in and of itself is not enough.

To see opportunity through takes a strong character, one that can create a bold vision that others can clearly see and contribute to. It requires establishing principles that guide individual efforts and interaction with others.

It needs a commitment to integrity, so the right things are done especially when others aren’t doing them. To see opportunity through necessitates the courage to work tirelessly even when a successful outcome is not clear.

No, opportunity alone is not enough. To see it through takes guts.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


182) The Strength Of Weak Ties

If you’re like most people you tend to gravitate towards those you know very well. It’s natural. It’s comfortable. It just seems right.

However, if you are looking for real networking potential, consider the person you hardly know at all. Think about it.

While the people you know well generally think like you and have similar interests, you also have a tremendous overlap in contacts. They know many of the same people as you and the potential to meet someone new through them is low.

But when the connection is weak and you don’t know the person well, there is little overlap between your respective contacts. Thus, the potential to grow your networking contacts is enormous.

While there is tremendous comfort in being with those you know well, there is enormous potential and strength with the weak ties in your life.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


From Small Talk To Networking Success

Let’s face it … “small talk” has a bad reputation. It probably dates back to the continual chiding our mothers did relative to talking with strangers.

While her warnings were intended to protect us as children from those who would prey on our innocence, we are no longer kids. We are big boys and girls … We operate in the grown-up world where strangers become good friends, great clients and, even reliable vendors.

Even still, however, “small talk” gets a bad rap. Far too often people see it as idle chitchat that has no productive value in the professional world.

Understand this, our entire personal and professional worlds are formed and held firmly together by networking … And “small talk” has a big part in successful networking.

Mining Networking Events

Networking events are generally not opportunities for closing business. Thus, you may not likely get clients as a result of them. You may stumble upon a client. Know, however, that is the exception rather than the rule.

As you embark upon networking at events, do not consume yourself with meeting as many people as you can. Remember, meaningfully connecting is about the quality of the connection and not the quantity. You are much further ahead in time to focus on really connecting with a small handful of people rather than simply collecting dozens of business cards.

Remember, networking events are everywhere. Business after-hours are networking events. Tradeshows are networking events. Business parties are networking events … so are social parties, tailgates, and really any gathering of people. Use each to expand your base of connections, from which you build relationships.

Was That Networking Event Worthwhile?

The burning question after most any networking event is “Was that worthwhile?”

In reality, the answer is “Absolutely!”. After all, every event offers value. Some offer more immediate value than others. They all have value, however.

Track your results however you deem appropriate. Before you completely pass judgment on an event, however, remember that the benefits of any networking activity may not present themselves for weeks, months, or even years.