It occurred to me tonight after I attended a local industry, social (I assumed networking) type event that people need to improve their networking skills. I belong to numerous networking associations and try to learn as much as I can about everyone I come into contact with. That's what I'm there for...right? I mean I can huddle with my friends (and I have many) and we could gossip about this and that, but truly my time is valuable...this is my opportunity to expand my horizons. I love networking environments and I thrive well because as an entertainer, I always find it easy to facilitate discussions and get the ball rolling.

Tonight a scene played out again where I stood in a small group of very interesting people and I asked each one of them questions about their business. Strangely, I noticed not one person asked me who I was or what I did.

Mostly, I have positive experiences- but this isn't the first time this has happened. I recently attended a fabulous networking luncheon at a well-known Atlanta hotel, where 4 of the hotel's employees (the GM, an F&B Mgr, a Catering/Sales Mgr and the front desk clerk) sat at my table, monopolizing my opportunities to meet people from other industries. There again, I made a point to really ask some stimulating questions to each one of the guests at my table and after the 2 hour event, I walked away stunned that not one of them asked me my name, what I did or found out anything about me.

I'm actually pretty darn interesting, engaging and I bring a lot to the table.
Perhaps I should have pushed my agenda, spoke up and announced what I did for a living, but I would have really appreciated some genuine interest and reciprocation.

Just wondered what you think about this phenomenon?

Jeni Michelson

Views: 0

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Jeni Michelson on March 17, 2008 at 6:24pm
Yes, it's truly a mystery. And it happens more often than not. On many occasions a vendor has brought their spouse, or parent or a friend...and that's really nice because we do like to meet these folks, but for one hour...everyone should split up and get those cards moving and get those tables shakin :-)

There is also something to be said for the art of the sincere compliment as a fabulous networking tool. Find something to be interested in, take notice, listen carefully
then contribute by finding something nice to say, or encourage your potential networking buddy, or share a good tip. This all goes such a long way to producing long lasting friendships.
Comment by Richard Lowder on March 17, 2008 at 4:23pm
What a poor use of the hotel's staff. They should all have been as separate tables so they could promote their hotel and meet a wide variety of attendees. Instead they blew their opportunity to network, not only by not finding anything out about you, but in not maximizing their own marketing. That would be like you taking your band to a networking lunch and you all sit at the same table and network with each other. Won't get much business that way.
Comment by Stephanie on February 20, 2008 at 8:55pm
HEY JENNI...I agree with your brother. I even thought of the book as I read your post! It's SIMPLE....people are self-centered by nature and therefore LOVE to talk about none other than....themselves. I must say though that in the now 7ish years that I've known you and seen you here and there around the city you always remember me as well as school, travel, my weight losses (haha), etc. I believe that your genuine interest in people is a truly incredible asset!! As your brother said...keep it up! The people at this networking event may not have found anything out about you or what you do but I guarantee you that when you run into them at the next one when THEY are surrounded by other ego-centrics...talking ONLY about themselves, they will be dying for the reprieve of your company...and maybe then YOU will have the opportunity to shine!! ; )

Non-Operator
Comment by Mark Michelson on February 5, 2008 at 11:05am
The way to make friends and influence people, according to Norman Vincent Peale (and our mom), is to show an interest in others. No wonder you have so many friends - because you show a genuine interest in them. People don't always return the favor and ask about you because either they are 1) pushing their own agenda, 2) aren't that good at networking, 3) don't really care about others 4) are too self-centered or shy or self-conscious. we know an ex-friend of mine who could only talk about himself - now he doesn't have any friends and he wonders why. Just keep doing what you do, and share your accomplishments with your true friends and family.

Mark

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service