Branching out of your comfort zone

Branching out of your comfort zone

Don’t let your colleagues stop you networking!

It is amazing how many people let familiarity stop them from networking effectively. Familiarity? Yes! I’m surprised to see confident business people become nervous when meeting strangers at business and networking events. Often they ‘huddle’ with people they are familiar with. These groups provide security or confidence – but they won’t help you make new connections!

At a recent business breakfast I welcomed 3 lovely women as they arrived. They all worked for the same business. When I asked what had attracted them to attend the event they informed me it was to make business connections.  Therefore I suggested that they separate and sit at different tables to make new connections.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult but do it anyway!

After welcoming guests I took my seat to find I was seated at the same table as the 3 business women who worked together.

I bet they were sorry they had picked that particular table! Anyway, they continued to talk to each other and didn’t include any of the other table attendees in their conversation. No doubt they had a lovely time but they will have come away ‘empty handed’ from the event.

Networking is simple. However, it takes time, effort, commitment and often requires getting out of your comfort zone. Incidentally, it is helpful to remember that others may be out of their comfort zone too!

Return to Bev's networking articlesSo next time you network, step away from your colleagues and make the effort to circulate. You may be surprised who you meet!