Networking technique: bring a friend along

For those who hate networking, walking into a room as part of a team may increase comfort and confidence.  The real beauty of this approach lies in having someone who knows you ready at hand to trumpet your skills — in other words, to introduce you glowingly (and truthfully) in a way that would come off as bragging if you do it yourself.

Here’s how it works: you and your colleague split up and circulate.  When you see your colleague in conversation with someone, you join them, and your colleague introduces you by referencing your background, your accomplishments, and what a great person you are — “Barb, meet Joe.  Joe’s an associate in my firm, and he’s doing terrific things for us.  Just last week, he argued a tough discovery motion in front of Judge Smith and not only won, but got our fees as well.  He’s a real go-getter, but I guess that’s what they teach at University of Fantastic, you know?”  (Of course, you should make sure that your buddy knows enough about you to tailor her introduction of you to the interests of the person you’re meeting.)  Following the introduction, you pick up the conversation and, after an appropriate time, your colleague drifts off to meet someone new.  You’ll want to return the favor for your buddy, and if applied well, you can make much deeper connections ripe for a follow-up using this method than you might by yourself.

From a coaching perspective, the questions to consider are these: how would you like to be introduced?  And what do you need to do on a regular basis to merit the introduction you desire?


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