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Have you ever been to a networking session where someone passes out their business cards like Mrs. Fields cookies to everyone they see? Perhaps you have been in the company of someone in a networking meeting and instead of looking you in the eye, they keep eyeing the door. How about the person you just “friended” on Facebook® and now you are notified about everything they do, hear, think, play and eat? There are wrong ways to network and there are ways to network that demonstrate your acumen in protocol and etiquette. The networking skills presented in this eBook are designed to help you relate to people and build long-term relationships.

Networking is people talking to each other, sharing ideas, information and resources. Networking is what happens when there is a planned event or gathering with the primary goal of connecting with others. Networking is an action word with a fundamental focus on meeting people, and having people meet you. It‘s what you do and how you do what you do to make people comfortable with and engaged by you. This does not discount the networking that happens in the parking lot, in the supermarket, in the bank and at the car wash—all equally important opportunities to demonstrate your character, your charm, your ability to master a human moment.

For the purposes of this eBook, we are discussing strategies on “working a room”; the art of mingling with civility, and its benefits. Networking with both protocol and etiquette means:

  • Giving and getting—in that order
  • Building rapport with people
  • Sharing contacts and resources
  • Trying out thoughts and ideas with others
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