Etiquette Tip from Callista: Stop worrying about yourself

Callista Gould is a certified etiquette instructor and author of the book, The Exceptional Professional, available at Beaverdale Books.

When we enter a networking event, even the most seasoned networkers worry.
Will anyone talk to me?
Will I know what to say?
Will I have a good time?

We worry about ourselves. We’re somewhat self-absorbed.

Instead, we should worry about everyone else in the room.
Will they have people to talk to?
Will they know what to say?
Will they have a good time?

When you take the worry off yourself, any networking situation becomes easier.

If you were in charge of an event, you would want to make sure everyone is engaged and having a good time, right? Why not pretend it’s your event? I don’t mean take credit for the fabulous venue and the tasty appetizers. I mean, look for people standing alone and introduce yourself, then introduce those people to others.

This is what it means to be a professional in any field. A professional is aware and attentive to others.

Recently, I went to an office where I had to walk across a large room to get to the receptionist’s desk. The receptionist didn’t wait until I was in front of her desk. She called out to me and greeted me enthusiastically as soon as I entered the door. She was very personable and made me feel welcome.

You might be thinking, “It’s a receptionist’s job to greet people and make them feel welcome.” That’s really everyone’s job in any organization.

Whether you are at a networking event or in your workplace, make an effort to make others feel welcome and included. When you do that, you will always have someone to talk to, you’ll know what to say and you will have a good time.

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More info from Callista Gould here.