Take the test before you review the answers.
- A. While C is very appropriate after you have started a good conversation, it is considered rude immediately to ask about a person’s career. Begin your conversation with casual talk.
- B. If you are uncomfortable with networking, admitting that to the person you are talking to is almost always a great icebreaker. People will go out of their way to help you. They will carry the conversation and frequently introduce you to others to make you feel welcome.
- A. Surprisingly, some of the best conversationalists do the least amount of talking. While B and C are also characteristics of good conversationalists, being able to draw others into the conversation is an extraordinary skill.
- C. Being inattentive is the most common characteristic exhibited by people at networking functions. Always display good eye contact with verbal and body-language response. Ask good follow-up questions.
- A. If you want to carry on good conversations, then you must stay contemporary on a variety of subjects. Read, read, read. Read on a wide variety of topics, including current events, business trends, social issues, sports and the arts. I heard (and believe) that if you read three books on any subject, you will know more than 95 percent of the rest of the world on that subject. By reading about many topics, you will always be able to engage people in great conversations.
- B. This is the most frequently missed question. Most people view networking as “What can I get from this person?” which is the wrong way to view networking. Rather, you should view networking as “How can I benefit or help this person?” If you try to judge the contact quickly from a personal perspective, you have made a terrible mistake. The goal of networking should be to meet interesting people, help them whenever possible, learn from them, perhaps make a contact that is mutually beneficial or maybe just simply make a new friend. Never set your expectations too high.
- C.Don’t be too aggressive in trying to make that contact. A networking function is more of a social event than pure business. Meet lots of people by spending a few minutes with each other. Collect lots of business cards, and then a few days after the event make contacts with people where it would be mutually beneficial to build a business relationship.
- C. It is easy to get stuck with someone who follows you around everywhere you go. At some point, find a reason to excuse yourself or perhaps introduce him/her to someone and then excuse yourself from their conversation. Don’t let another person dominate your time at a networking function.
How did you do?
Seven or more correct:
You will be the hit of the party! Guaranteed you will make some positive contacts, and people will make an effort to get to know you.
With a little effort, you can move to the next level. Practice makes perfect, so get out and network every chance you get.
Five or fewer correct:
You’ll need some more practice to make the impression you want and to woo strangers. Consider requesting personal coaching or attend some classes on networking; grooming; communication skills (listening); and social graces.
Let us know how you did on the test and what we can do to help you improve your networking skills.