Sunday, June 04, 2006

The New York MINIT: Inviting Connectivity in Social Networking

Jump In!

As my own message on the previous page illustrates, connectivity abounds as you network in the New York MINIT for your IM hours. Jump in! Find the joy in connecting with others. Use those social moments to build communication and connection. For the more timid communicator, this book may be a part of an action plan to create the 24/7 networker. For others, communication comes naturally and you want to improve your skill. No matter who you are, keep your eye on the prize: communication success! This will lead to your reach your own particular goal. With that in mind let’s jump right in!

How do you live IM connectivity?

• Use a network of new friends and established friends and mix the two together. The interesting person you spoke with at the coffee shop in the morning could be an invitee to a gathering of established friends that evening.

• Use the key words you established in your network challenge and study them during your work week. Choose a behavior and work it on the social scene after you’ve practiced it in your work day…these skills transfer. And they do so with fun in the IM hours on the social scene. Even a “playful” skill at work, which may not be used much or appreciated, is perfect for developing for the social scene.

• Keep in mind the “joining” principal discussed earlier…get out there and meet people. Go online and play poker with a group, join a list serve, go on an online dating site, volunteer, join a church or synagogue become a member of the zoo, or a museum, even do your clothes in a Laundromat in a great part of town! Get your own network going so that you can continually blend connections with the people you meet and create new networking links!

Rapport Skills on the Social Scene

You are using your Connectivity skills from PM and AM when you build your IM Towers in New York MINIT. The good news is while networking in the social scene the pace is more comfortable and fun. Try to avoid the “take no prisoners” approach that you use at a networking event! When you build social rapport, it’s done easily and in an open, welcoming way. Take your time! And despite my introduction…I love that pace of inviting connection even if seems a bit frantic every now and then.

Tools of the Social LIGHT Trade

• Eye contact is still very important in the social hours of IM communication. Of course you have to be ready to change gears often as you mingle. Meeting men and woman together often requires that you shift eye contact style. In the IM hours you still have the same need for strong eye contact when hanging out and meeting new friends. More neutral eye contact socially is still welcoming when being introduced for the first time, but it can be friendly and welcoming. When going out on your own and you are meeting people without being in a group, keep in mind that new people make impressions of you quickly. Your eyes can say a lot about how confident you are and this confidence invites connectivity. Look at people!

• Keep body language in mind even on the social scene. A tall confident stance, the ability to move around the room and chat while making eye contact is important. Be direct when introducing yourself and try to use the tricks discussed in Volume One to remember people’s names!

• Use space to your advantage by moving around and connecting with people. Don’t stay in one place, even if you are with a partner, break away from time to time and move together so people see you in different ways, on your own or as part of a pair.

Be the Catalyst!

• Planning for connectivity can be daunting on the social scene. But simply take the plunge. Use your skills from the workplace to organize your social occasions. Getting people together purposefully will help you to be seen as a “go to” person. If you don’t like to put evening or weekend activities together, come up with an idea and do what you do on the job…delegate! You can work with someone to bring a group together so it’s not all on your shoulders.

• The natural gathering patterns of the social IM hours at restaurants, clubs, gyms can seem overwhelming to engineer as a networker. Be an organizer. Take charge and bring people together or collaborate with others to do it.. Use emails, e-vites, electronic boards to help you set the scene for networking in the IM hours. Be decisive and know what you want to offer people for a social activity. Make sure it’s clear about when it starts, and who is welcomed to come. It may seem a bit formal, but once people gather the informality takes over and everyone will thank you for bringing people together, old and new friends who can share their connectivity with you and each other.

• Use your communication skills to show initiative when people get bogged down with deciding about an evening. For instance, If you are out with the group, be the facilitator. You don’t have to be a tour guide waving a little flag. You can speak up with an approachable open voice and try to get people “unstuck “ so the good times can continue to roll…” Use good conversation stems like.. “I’m not sure we are all clear about…” or “Maybe let’s all look at it this way…” Or get others to agree on next steps…” Let’s have X call the restaurant down the street and Y call the one around the corner to see if we can get a table.” Believe me, people want to be led in social situations and are glad to give someone the power. Take it! You can be as smooth as you schmooze as you are in a meeting at the office!

• Keep in mind the need for face to face contact as you build your social network. Electronic means of staying in touch support the network, but do not replace getting face to face with people regularly.

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