Successful networking comes not just from meeting people but from truly connecting with them. And, that is best accomplished from being in the present moment.
In his book, “Never Eat Alone,” Keith Ferrazzi says successful networkers don’t just meet people, they make friends. He cites Bill Clinton’s “unique ability to create an almost instantaneous intimacy with whomever he’s talking to” as an example.
Clinton, he says, “doesn’t just recall your personal information; he uses the information as a means to affirm a bond with you.” He also quotes a former political colleague who said that Clinton “hugs you, not only physically, but with a whole attitude.”
I don’t know Bill Clinton personally, but I can tell from these descriptions that he is a man who is dedicated to meeting people in the present moment.
When you focus on the “now” you really listen, enabling you to feel what others are feeling and be empathetic. That sharing of emotions is how you bond.
When you stand talking to someone and your mind is somewhere else, people will sense that your energy isn’t with them and their energy dissipates as well. There is no electricity and the opportunity for the energy circuit between you is lost.
Bonds are created when others believe that you care for them as much as you care for yourself. That is Clinton’s talent and we can learn from him.
Start by completely focusing on the individuals that you meet. Pay attention to the detail of their expression and their tone of voice. Soak it in without judgment and with appreciation for your time together. Take a deep breath and hug them with all your senses. They will feel it and so will you.
In fact, you’re sure to be remembered because you didn’t just meet someone, you made a real connection. You did it by being really present.
Being in the present feels good, connecting feels good and successful networking feels good. Who doesn’t want all that?