Is Networking a Nightmare for Architects?

Networking for architects doesn't have to be a chore.

I have a Mastermind member who told me she is not great at meeting new people. Seemed funny to me as she is a lovely person who I enjoy talking with.

After getting a rundown from her we analyzed the fact that when she approaches people, she becomes anxious. In a room where she feels forced to mingle, she’d rather retreat to the corner closest to the cheese plate.

“Networking is a nightmare,” she says.

That anxiety is picked up by the “victim” (our inside joke) and makes them feel anxious, too.

Now they are both anxious, the conversation is awkward. Neither enjoys the experience.

So here’s what we decided. Follow these three steps for a successful exchange:

  1. Put yourself into a good state of mind first. Take a deep breath. Remember your strengths, why this person could benefit from speaking with you.
  2. Approach the “victim” with the intention of making them feel better than they felt before meeting you regardless of the outcome.
  3. End the conversation and do a quick self-assessment. Did you walk in feeling confident? Did you lift the “victim's” emotions? What did you learn?

Lift people’s spirits and you will always be a welcome intruder.

Stop thinking about yourself.

Do you know what others are thinking about you most of the time?

… Nothing.

Or they like you more than your inner critic claims. This is called the “liking gap, or the difference between how much we think people like us and how much people actually like us.”

Turns out, you’re not alone. The other person is probably worried about what the amazingly talented architect on the other side of the table thinks. Calm their anxiety, and the conversation will flow.

Networking can be fun, interesting, engaging. Get out there and share the love.

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