‘Tis the season…for schmoozing

In 2 days it will be December and the time of Christmas celebrations begins: client receptions, dinners, lunches.  As someone who is trying to “get the word out there” about my business I know it is important to ‘network’ and I will have plenty of opportunities to do so in the coming days.  I know it is necessary, but I’m not necessarily looking forward to it.  Sure, I’m looking forward to enjoying lots of good food.  But lots of business people I don’t really know…not so much.  It is getting better…slowly.  At my last client reception I ended up talking to a few different people and realized I am getting to know more and more people in the business community.

Yet these sorts of events push me out of my comfort zone every time.  My discomfort stems from a few places.  Being an introvert means ‘schmoozing’ does not come naturally for me.  But I think one of the things that these networking events brings me back to is this: memories of being in high school at community dances and standing off by myself, not knowing anyone, being too shy or afraid to talk to anyone, feeling alone and insignificant.  It was not a pleasant feeling. 

It’s not that I have the same experience now.  I can make conversation with people I don’t know.  But there is a subconscious fear of being ‘left out’ and my feelings from high school come back to me.

Isn’t it amazing, how our experiences from 20+ years ago can still have an impact on us today?

2 Responses

  1. Tamara Wanner

    Just a question for you Carol. Does it make it easier to talk to people if you are focused on them and their needs rather than looking for potential clients? I was just wondering if that was the way to remove the uncomfortable feeling. I’m learning to do that in the teacher world. Or at least I’m trying.

    November 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    • carolannetebay

      Thanks for asking, Tamara. I’m actually not really focused on “getting the sale” when I’m networking with people. My goal is really to try to build relationships. I feel if I have a good relationship with someone they’ll be more likely to recommend me to someone else (even if they might not need my services). No, my uncomfortable feelings predominantly stem from the fear of being left out.

      November 30, 2013 at 10:06 pm