No this is not the set up to a joke, but a snapshot of the many eye opening revelations we were treated to last night by executive coach and networking guru, Jhumar Johnson, at her interactive workshop entitled: ‘The Art of Networking’.
The interim Head of Fundraising for the Open University and the Managing Director of her own coaching business, there was no question that Jhumar was already well worth listening to. Yet, it was the combined confidence, humour, and humility of her delivery that made her presentation as enjoyable as it was insightful.
In an hour and a half of pure networking gold, we learnt:
- where you put your name badge matters (on the right if you’re right handed and the left if you’re left-handed) because the eye of the person you’re talking to will naturally focus on the top of whichever arm you shake hands with;
- networking is about relationships not transactions, so the elevator pitch you use to introduce yourself should be about you and what makes you different, not your company and what they sell;
- the difference between extroverts and introverts has nothing to do with shyness and everything to do with the different ways we process information;
- how to identify the different types of people we are likely to encounter in a networking event and why the pulse-taker (the person constantly on the move who knows everyone) is the best type to make friends with;
- how to identify what type of networker you are and how greater self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses can help you select the right buddy for you when searching for a friend or colleague to team up with;
- the ten worst handshakes to watch out for, including the tickler, which at least one person (in a room of 100) swore they had encountered before at a previous networking event – the rest, including The Dead Fish, The Wrestler, and the Lobster Claw, you can find out about on YouTube at ‘Top Ten Bad Business Handshakes’.
We were put through our paces during the talk by a series of exercises designed to get us talking, and to help us find out what type of networker we each were and what we had in common with the people sitting next to us, while the drinks reception at the end gave us an opportunity to put Jhumar’s advice into practice, aided of course by a trusty glass of fine wine.
If you weren’t able to make it last night, then come along to our monthly drinks reception next week and experience the art of networking for yourself.