Hate walking into room where you don’t know too many people ? Most of us do. Here’s how to turn you from feeling stuck into social glue!
Read the Room–Kindly
When you arrive at the event, survey the landscape and create a plan for how to work the room.
- Apply the 1-2-3 rule–people at events tend to congregate in groups of ones, twos, and threes. Approach the “ones” first. They are people just like yourself, shy to engage with others; they will be the most welcoming. Twos and threes are more difficult to approach but read on.
- Look for Twos Standing in a V Formation–when two people are standing in an open V formation, they are usually open to others joining their discussion. Avoid people standing directly across from each other; this indicates they are engaged in a closed conversation.
- Use the ballroom waltz trick for joining a closed group of two–follow this advice for “breaking in” to talk to someone you know. Approach the other person he is speaking to and ask permission from him to join. For an elegant example, check out how Ralph Feinne’s does this in the movie The English Patient in this video. (The action happens at 1:06.)
- Use the O or U Rule for groups of three or more–a group of people standing in a circle is the hardest to join. Look for groups arranged in a U formation.
- Be Genuinely Interested in the people you are talking to, in making the event go with a swing, in making connections.
All this is true for any situation – business or social. Take a look at the full event and networking article by David Lavenda and Susan Fisher published in in Fast Company . http://m.fastcompany.com/3020734/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/15-tips-to-master-the-awkward-networking-waltz