The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events: Part 2

people-networking2

by Melissa Grau and Kathleen Ashwill

Are you wanting to know how to most effectively make connections at conferences and speaking engagements?

Whether you’re reserved or outgoing, networking events may make you feel feel like you’re walking into uncharted territory.

What can you expect?

What types of people will you meet?

How are you supposed to respond?

As you travel into the unknown, Esquire Coaching is here to give you an overview of the personalities people most commonly run into at networking events, and more importantly, how to connect with them.

This is Part Two of our two-part look at The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events:

The Wandering Eye

This person is the type of individual that who always spends so much time looking for the best dessert on the tray that they never enjoy the dessert in front of them. While you’re speaking with them, they’ll continually break eye contact with you, scanning the crowd for someone better to talk to. Rude, yes, but don’t take it personally. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with The Wandering Eye.

Try different conversation topics to pique their interest and see what engages them. With this type of personality, it’s hard to maintain their undivided attention for a full conversation. Oftentimes, if you’re still not getting through to them, it might be best to cut your losses and politely end the conversation.

The Opportunist

The Opportunist is notorious for getting to the bottom line: what you can do for them. This person has probably come to the event you’re attending with a very clear agenda. Their purpose is to get to that agenda as quickly as possible during your interaction and to have you answer one question: Are you in?

Throughout your conversation, they’ll be sizing you up, looking to see how you can help advance their career. Or maybe they’ll just ask for free legal advice depending on the circumstance. When dealing with the Opportunist, ask yourself these questions:

Is this individual prominent within the legal profession?

Do they have connections that you would like to explore?

These two questions are key to how you react when faced with the Opportunist. If you decide that catering to their needs is worth gaining them as a connection, go for it. If you feel like you’re simply being used, it might be best to end the conversation and move on.

If you choose to continue the conversation, be genuinely receptive to the Opportunist’s ideas, but don’t expect that you’ll be able to fully describe your own. This conversation may be a bit one-sided, so listen in a friendly and open way, ask any questions you honestly have, and exit the interaction when you feel ready to do so. There’s no pressure to sign onto the Opportunist’s agenda right away or at all, not after you’ve had time to process what they’ve presented.

The Networker Extraordinaire

This person lives for networking events and has their networking skills finely honed to maximize their success. They will ask you pointed questions to quickly determine whether a connection is possible or not. Answer thoughtfully and confidently. Don’t feel rushed; give an honest response to their questions, and ask them significant questions that you also have. If the Networker Extraordinaire seems a bit more savvy than you when it comes to networking (perhaps they have a strategy that you haven’t tried), be sure to make a mental (or written!) note so you can improve your skills. Networking events, in addition to being mines of great connections for your firm’s expansion and success, are also great places to learn, so be open to what each person you meet can teach you, whether it’s how you want to be or what you’d like to avoid!

The Influencer

This person is a seasoned professional, very confident personally and professionally, and quite knowledgeable about and connected to many people. They are well connected and well known. He or she is an influencer within the field, equipped with the ability to be a mover and shaker in the legal profession.

They are likely not at the event to gain any clients but simply enjoy the process of exchanging information and connecting their contacts with each other. Definitely make some time during the event to introduce yourself to this person. Since they aren’t there with a specific agenda, they’re more free to just share with you the information and insights that will be valuable to you, as well as to introduce to to prospective clients and others you can connect with.

It is important to be tactful and savvy when talking with this individual, being the best version of yourself. Gaining an “in” with an Influencer could mean opening doors to many opportunities, all originating through a single conversation. If you’re just starting out with your practice or a new dimension of your career, this person could become a valuable mentor to you for years to come. If you are fairly established in your position, you can look forward to the possibility of fruitful and stimulating idea-mapping sessions with this person if your connection extends beyond the event.

Do your best to engage them in conversation, working to maintain their interest and keep them invested in what you’re saying. It is appropriate to talk about yourself and your accomplishments at a minimum. The key, however, to connecting with this individual is finding common ground and working from there. This is a connection that will benefit you on many levels, so be sure to make the link with the Influencer

 

The personality types described in this two-part blog series are only the people most commonly found at networking events. In terms of connecting with all types of people, the key is to be yourself. People will be attracted to you based on your values and the way you conduct yourself, regardless of the type of person they may be. It just comes down to having enough practice pitching your skills, and enticing people to want to gain you as a connection.

Did you miss Part One? Read The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events: Part 1.

If you want to boost your networking skills, Esquire Coaching can help by providing techniques and strategies, opportunities to practice, and assertiveness tips that will quickly turn you into an expert networker. Email us at info@esquirecoaching.com to sign up for a FREE consultation.

What types of people have you encountered when networking?

How were you able to connect with them?

Which one are you?

What are your best networking strategies?

Share with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter @EsquireCoaching or Google+. We would love to hear from you!

Visit our website at www.esquirecoaching.com to sign up for our newsletter, Elevate!

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The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events: Part 1

people-networking2Are you wanting to know how to most effectively make connections at conferences and speaking engagements?

Whether you’re reserved or outgoing, networking events may make you feel feel like you’re walking into uncharted territory.

What can you expect?

What types of people will you meet?

How are you supposed to respond?

As you travel into the unknown, Esquire Coaching is here to give you an overview of the personalities people most commonly run into at networking events, and more importantly, how to connect with them.

This is Part One of our two-part look at The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events:

The Introvert

This type of person tends to be shy and keep to his or herself. They were likely not too enthusiastic about attending this event. You might notice they’re checking their phone, distanced from others, or deeply absorbed in reading a brochure.

The Introvert prefers to observe what is happening rather than take part. This person may seem unapproachable, but don’t let their seemingly standoffish demeanor stop you from making contact. Approach them with confidence and a smile, showing interest in them and asking a light question or a comment that will give them a positive impression of you. They’ll likely appreciate your initiative and you could enter into a deeper conversation with this person that would yield positive results.

When trying to connect with an Introvert, keep the conversation neutral. Avoid pressing questions. Stick to the basics, such as “What did you think of the keynote speaker?” Getting through to this individual may prove to be a challenge, but the longer you maintain a conversation, the more comfortable they will become.

You’ll probably notice that as the conversation progresses, they will begin to open up a little bit more easily. If, however, you sense this person is happy in their “bubble” and would rather not socialize, finesse the remainder of the exchange and move on to more receptive people!

The Social Butterfly

This person is the exact opposite of the introvert! They are fueled by a seemingly endless supply of energy and thrive on making as many connections as possible. They are armed with business cards that they distribute at warp speed and they live for meeting new people. Prepare yourself for having a surface interaction with this person, but be sure to present yourself and what you have to offer in a concise and appealing way.

Give them your business card and any other material you have to share. After the flurry of activity at the event, the social butterfly will most likely take time to review each contact they’ve encountered, and will follow up with you to establish a deeper connection. Remember that the frenzied way they operate socially doesn’t mean they won’t hone in on possible connections that would enhance their practice. So enjoy the brief interaction, and keep an eye out for that follow up call or email!

The Chatterbox

This individual is all about themselves and what they do. They are too busy boasting about their skills to care about what you have to say. While conversing with this individual, ask them questions about their career. This will help them feel valued and automatically favor you.

People feel comfortable when they’re talking about themselves and that feeling of comfort helps them relate well to the person that who made them feel that way. As the conversation progresses, take a page out of their book and jump in to share details about yourself. Eventually, you’ll be able to direct the conversation away from the Chatterbox and simply have a balanced conversation.

If you want to boost your networking skills, Esquire Coaching can help by providing techniques and strategies, opportunities to practice, and assertiveness tips that will quickly turn you into an expert networker. Email us at info@esquirecoaching.com to sign up for a FREE consultation.

What types of people have you encountered when networking?

How were you able to connect with them?

Which one are you?

What are your best networking strategies?

Share with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter @EsquireCoaching. We would love to hear from you!

Visit our website at www.esquirecoaching.com to sign up for our newsletter, Elevate!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Types of People You Meet at Networking Events.

Creative Thinking for Lawyers

Creative Thinkingby Melissa Grau

We’ve all been there. You’re staring at the same case, reading and rereading sections and clauses, looking for a loophole. Or maybe you’re stuck looking at your computer screen, trying to find a solution to an ongoing problem. Any way you approach the problem, it’s not going away.

At these times, when you feel like you’ve hit that wall head on, you need to take a step back and look at all your options. Think creatively. Get out of your head and see the whole picture. When you think creatively and see the world through a new lens, you are able to approach the problem from a different angle.

  1. Learn your mindset and its restrictions. In order to get out of your mind, you first have to learn how it works. Know whether you’re a big picture thinker or a small picture thinker. Do you need to make a flow chart to brainstorm or does jotting things down work better for you? Do you prefer thinking things through beginning to end? Try thinking from the end to the beginning. Whatever your norm, switch it. Expand your mind from thinking one way to thinking another. You’d be surprised the things you learn about yourself and your cases when you approach things with a different mindset.
  2. Schedule creative time. Use this time to explore your creativity through a new outlet, whether it’s learning to play the piano or picking up a paintbrush. Whatever you choose, however, be sure to devote time to your new outlet and honor that commitment. Being in tune with your creative side when you’re off the clock will help you to summon that same creativity when you’re on the clock, working to break through your case’s current roadblock.
  3. Take breaks. Staring at the same view from your desk day after day is mentally exhausting. Give yourself a break to get your creative juices flowing. Take a walk during your lunch or take a phone call outside. Whatever it may be, just switch up your scenery. When you come back and sit down at your desk, ready to take on that same case, you might have recharged your brain just enough to find a solution.
  4. Revamp and reuse. Take a look at the systems and processes in place around you. What factors come into play? How do they fulfill their purpose? Apply these same principles to the problems facing you. Take a system and revamp it to meet your needs, finding a solution and moving forward. The trick to this tip, however, is being able to transfer the concept of one entity to a completely different entity. This forces your mind to think out of the box solving a problem in an abstract way. Try applying this approach to the latest problem within your firm. Maybe you need a new way to bring in clients. Review other industries’ systems. Maybe you need a stronger platform for your social media outlets. Look at how Apple markets their products. Whatever it may be, the solution to a problem is never far off and often right in front of you.
  5. Brainstorm. The best ideas frequently come from a group setting. This way, each idea has been critiqued from every angle by a plethora of different minds. Dynamic groups are able to bounce ideas off one another, building and rebuilding until the perfect model is created. Use this tactic to your advantage. Form a group of colleagues to brainstorm solutions with you. Compile a list and then go through each proposed item and discuss the pros and cons, possible shortcomings, and the expected results. It’s amazing how the combined power of multiple minds can result in an extraordinary idea.

Any way you try and solve a problem, the end result ultimately depends on you. The outcome depends on how you approach a situation, the way you think about the situation, and even the way you interpret the situation. Keeping these three major components in mind will make your life notably easier when using creative thinking to problem solve. Always remember that the solution, more often than not, is right in front of you; however, it’s your mindset that is preventing you from seeing it. I wish you the best of luck in cultivating your creative thinking skills!

If you are interested in receiving one-on-one support, email us at info@esquirecoaching.com for a complimentary consultation. Don’t forget to share your progress on the Esquire Coaching Facebook page as well as LinkedIn. Tweet @EsquireCoaching your own personal tips on how you apply creative thinking to life as a lawyer! I look forward to hearing from you!