The Ten Rules of Networking
We don't really do "networking" here at Filament in the traditional way. Because we believe people connect better when they're thinking together vs. (just) drinking together, we work hard to build collaboration and small-group discussion into everything we do. Nevertheless, if you're heading out to a networking reception anytime soon, here are a few tips to take along with you:
- "Network" isn't something you do, it is something you build.
- If the first thing you ask someone is, "What do you do?" it suggests your interest in them depends upon their answer.
- Boundaries in business matter. "Friending" someone you hardly know practically guarantees it will stay that way.
- Your life story is far more interesting to you than to someone you've just met - and you've heard it before.
- It takes more time to recover from a weak handshake than it does to learn to give a firm one.
- Stories that start with, "This one time, I almost ..." are boring as hell. Learn to embrace experiences instead of avoiding them.
- The most underrated networking skill is the ability to politely end conversations, not start them.
- Never enter a conversation at a networking event with more than half a drink in your hand. Needing a refill is a great excuse to leave.
- When you meet someone for the first time, make certain they don't hear you complain. About anything.
- Never "network" to meet people. Network to help people.