Have you ever met someone and asked them a question about what they do, or how they are, or what their opinion is about a subject, then find they get so wrapped up in what they are saying that they never stop to say:
“How about you? What do you think?”
“What about you? What do you do?”
“How are you doing?”
This happens frequently.
Some People Are Wired Differently
People get so wrapped up in their own thoughts and answers they forget to reciprocate. They might lack the confidence to know how to stop for a moment and bring you into their world by asking for your opinion. They might even feel awkward and not know how to ask.
It’s sad to say that a few might not even care what you think because they are accustomed to being the one everyone wants to meet and hear from.
I have even experienced the charming phenomenon of having someone talk to my husband without ever looking at me, except for the 10 seconds when I am asking a follow-up question or two about a comment made that I obviously care about. They answer my question by looking at him.
3 Suggestions That Will Help You Network More Effectively
Even if it doesn’t come naturally to you, you can learn these skills that make networking much more meaningful to you and to the other person.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Take the time to listen and ask natural follow-up questions.
- If you are answering another person’s question, stop now and then to ask that person what they think.
- Look at that person when they are talking. Even if you feel terribly insecure, you might make the other person feel you are disinterested if you are looking away.
By the way, these networking skills and suggestions apply to both online and in-person networking. They are slightly nuanced, but the principles are the same. I talk about that here in LinkedIn Course For Lawyers.
Suggestions From My Networking Colleagues and Friends
I appreciate these networking suggestions that were shared with me last week when I first began to discuss this topic on LinkedIn.
First, Jennifer Forester:
…and another from Sandra Long:
Show Others They Are Valuable
When you show these common networking courtesies, you cause the other person to think they matter, that their opinion is just as valuable as yours, and that you truly want to learn about them.
Look for ways to bring others into your fold, into your world, and into your conversation. These skills help build the relationships that matter and that bind people together.
Have you been the recipient of any of the practices I described above?
While you’re here, I want you to know that registration for “LinkedIn Course For Lawyers” is open through April 15! I am excited about this as it has been in the works for more than 5 years…okay, 10. I haven’t been working on it that long (that would be silly), but I’ve been planning on doing it for that long.
Registration for Founding Members at a special Founding Member price will be open through April 15, then I will not offer the course again for a while because I will be working closely in live and recorded training with my students and other consulting clients to help them turn LinkedIn into the reputation, relationship, and business development tool that it is.
I hope you and your colleagues will join me. Here is where you can find additional details about LinkedIn Course For Lawyers.
Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.
As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.
If you would like to reserve time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here.