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4 Networking etiquette rules you should never break

(Business News) There are networking etiquette rules that are unspoken, and by following them, you can get the most out of any networking event.

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Networking etiquette: increase your networking power

There are many professionals that attend networking functions out there. Some people attend events for leads, some to get familiar with what kind of events are going on around town, and others attend to connect with their peers and other professionals for business or partnership reasons.

There are actually quite a few networking etiquette rules that are unspoken at networking events, so I thought I’d share a few tips on best etiquette practices during networking events so you can increase your networking power over time.

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Minding these tips will allow you to network better, and you’ll quickly become more popular with your peers.

1. Whip out the compliments

Compliment other attendants at events – usually when you are attending a networking event, there is some kind of line for nametags. There are other professionals waiting in line to pay or to get their nametags. When you greet someone and make them feel good publicly, other professionals in line see you. Doing that helps you to project your warmth, inviting nature, and most of the time, it gets you into a professional conversation right away before you even enter the event.

2. Be genuine

Sometimes there are people that arrive at networking functions in a suit (that’s good ); however, sometimes those same people are seen reaching out to every person in the room without creating any meaningful conversation. The more people that attend events and do this sort of behavior, the more a group sours quickly.

The best way to network is be yourself, be genuine, thoughtful, helpful, and strategic in thought. You’ll notice that you will build your network a lot quicker when you talk to people, understand their challenges, and give them enough time to feel like they are connecting to you.

The people that like you because you’re willing to stay and chat for a bit are more likely to contribute resources, offer opportunities they see for you than if you got into quick meaningless conversations.

3. Secrets to approaching a host

So there is a right and a wrong way to say hi to hosts of the event. I know from hosting events myself, that saying hi lets a host know you appreciate their hard work for putting on the event. When people see you with the host, it does appear to elevate your perceived value to other on-lookers.

One issue I see all the time is that people say hello to the hosts when they are in deeper conversation with a high ranking professional such as a City Councilman or Business Partner. Interjecting to say hi during these times can be considered rude and sometimes can even put extra stress on the host because of the unexpected interruption.

When you say hello to the host, the best etiquette would be to either stand close by and wait for a pause in the conversation before you introduce yourself, or pick a spot in the group that is further away from the host and would be less of a distraction if you entered the group from that position. If you notice there is one person talking and everyone is listening intently, you should do the same, then say hi at the next opportunity when you have a better understanding of the situation.

Being mindful of the space you’re speaking into will make your host appreciate that you took the time to introduce yourself at an opportune time. Hosts that are pleased with the way you conduct business are more likely to introduce you to people. Hosts are probably the best people to introduce you to exactly who you should be talking to at that event.

You should also keep in mind that hosts tend to not like getting stopped when they are on their way out of a conversation as well. If you see a host leave a circle of people and make a direct line somewhere, that usually isn’t the best time to stop them. Chances are they are either responding to an emergency or they are headed for the bathroom. As a general rule, don’t corner the hosts, but wait your turn and then speak to them or have a mutual friend introduce you.

4. Build your network and give value

One of the best ways to really build a powerful network is by being friendly and helping people, and by giving them value. Value has many forms such as time, expertise/advice, money, entertainment (even telling a joke is valuable).

In each conversation, you gain practice looking for or finding out the reason the person is there at the event in the first place, then contributing in some way to help them achieve their goal or objective. If you can get them closer to their dreams, or even just tell a heartwarming or entertaining story, doing those things will make it more likely that people will introduce you to their friends and make it more likely they will engage you in conversation when you see them for a second time at another event. Over time, those people who remember you will introduce you to their friends which will make your future networking at events go much faster.

Matthew Winters is the owner of Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio , a Full-Service 2D & 3D animation studio, advertising agency, and video production studio. As one of Austin's movers and shakers, he also founded Speed Friending Events which produces networking mixers and social events in over 14 cities nationally. Matthew is dedicated to providing solutions to social and technology related issues in the industry.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. GhostbloggerMarie

    March 4, 2014 at 8:07 am

    These rules slide seamlessly into our online networking also. Etiquette. Good everywhere! Well done article.

  2. Pingback: Quick trick anyone can use to improve your networking skills - AGBeat

  3. Bharat

    February 25, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Very good article

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Business News

What COVID-19 measures do workplaces have to take to reopen?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employers can’t usually do medical screenings – but it’s a little different during a pandemic.

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Employers bringing personnel back to work are faced with the challenge of protecting their workforce from COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have issued guidelines on how to do so safely and legally.

Employee health and examinations are usually a matter of personal privacy by design through the American’s with Disabilities Act. However, after the World Health Organization declaration of the coronavirus as a pandemic in March, the U.S. EEOC revised its guidance to allow employers to screen for possible infections in order to protect employees.

Employers are now allowed to conduct temperature screenings and check for symptoms of the coronavirus. They can also exclude from the workplace those they suspect of having symptoms. The recommendations from the CDC also include mandatory masks, distant desks, and closing common areas. As the pandemic and US response evolves, it is important for employers to continue to monitor any changes in guidance from these agencies.

Employers are encouraged to have consistent thresholds for symptoms and temperature requirements and communicate those with transparency. Though guidance suggests that COVID-19 screenings at work are allowed by law, employers should be mindful of the way they are conducted and the impact it may have on employer-employee relations.

Stanford Health Care is taking a bold approach by performing COVID-19 testing on each of its 14,000 employees that have any patient contact. They implemented temperature scanning stations at each entrance, operated by nurses and clinicians. The President and CEO of Sanford Health Care said, “For our patients to trust the clinical procedures and trials, it was important for them to know that we were safe.”

Technology is adapting to meet the needs of employers and identify symptoms of COVID-19. Contactless thermometers that can check the temperature of up to 1,500 people per hour using thermal imaging technology are now on the market; they show an error margin of less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit. COVID-19 screening is being integrated into some company time-clocks used by employees at the start and end of each shift. The clocks are being equipped with a way to record employee temperatures and answers to a health questionnaire. Apple and Google even collaborated to bring contact tracing to smart phones which could help contain potential outbreaks.

Fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing are the three most common symptoms of COVID-19. Transmission is still possible from a person who is asymptomatic, but taking the precautions to identify these symptoms can help minimize workplace spread. This guidance may change in the future as the pandemic evolves, but for now, temperature checks are a part of back to work for many.

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Technology that may help you put the “human” back in Human Resources

(BUSINESS NEWS) Complicated application processes and disorganized on-boarding practices often dissuade the best candidates and cause new hires to leave. Sora promises to help with this.

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Even in a booming economy, finding the right applicant for a role can be a drawn-out, frustrating experience for both the candidate and the hiring manager. Candidates submitting their resume to an automated HR system, designed to “seamlessly” integrate candidates into their HRIS accounts, face the interminable waiting game for feedback on whether they’re going to be contacted at all.

Ironically, this lack of feedback on where a candidate stands (or even if the resume was received at all) and a propensity for organizations to list roles as “Open Until Filled”, overwhelms the hiring manager under a mountain of resumes, most of which will not be reviewed unless there is a keyword match for the role. And if they do somehow manage to see the resume, studies indicate that in less than 10 seconds, they’ll have moved on to the next one.

The problems don’t end there, however. Once the candidate and hiring manager have found one another, and the HR team has completed the hire, the dreaded phase of onboarding begins. During the first few days of a new job, a lack of effective onboarding procedures—ranging from simple tasks like arranging for technology or introductions to a workplace mentor—can be the cause of a significant amount of employee turnover. Forbes notes that 17% of all newly hired employees leave their job during the first 90 days, and 20% of all staff turnover happens within the first 45 days.

The reason, according to Laura Del Beccaro, Founder of startup Sora, is that overworked HR teams simply don’t have the bandwidth to follow up with all of those who are supposed to interact with the new employee to ensure a seamless transition experience. Focusing on building a template-based system that can be integrated within the frameworks of multiple HRIS systems, Sora’s focus is to set up adaptable workflow processes that don’t require the end-user to code, and can be adjusted to meet the needs of one or many employee roles.

In a workplace that is becoming increasingly virtual, out of practicality or necessity, having the ability to put the “human” back in Human Resources is a focus that can’t be ignored. From the perspective of establishing and expanding your team, it’s important to ensure that potential employees have an application experience that respects their time and talent and feedback is provided along the way, even when they might not be a fit for the role.

Take for example the organization who asked for an upload of a resume, then required the candidate to re-type everything into their HRIS, asked for three survey responses, an open-ended writing task, a virtual face-to-face interview, *and* three letters of reference—all for an entry-level role. If you were actually selected for an in-person interview, the candidate was then presented with another task that could take up to two hours of prep time to do—again, all for an entry level role.

Is that wrong? Is it right? The importance of selecting the right staff for your team can’t be overstated. But there should be a line between taking necessary precautions to ensure the best fit for your role and understanding that many of the best candidates you might find simply don’t want to participate in such a grueling process and just decide to move on. There’s a caveat that says that companies will never treat an employee better than in the interview process and in the first few weeks on the job—and that’s where Sora’s work comes in, to make certain that an employee is fully supported from day one.

Bringing on the best to leave them without necessary support and equipment, wondering at the dysfunction that they find, and shuffled from department to department once they get there creates the reality and the perception that they just don’t matter—which causes that churn and disconnect. Having your employees know that they matter and that they’ll be respected from day one is a basic right—or it should be.

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Business News

Trader Joe’s doesn’t want to change its controversial brand names

(BUSINESS NEWS) Branding has gone through a major change recently and many companies are agreeing to shifts, but Trader Joe’s thinks its names are fine.

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In the last few months our country has gone through a complete re-evaluation of their societal impact with their branding names. Companies that have been strong for neigh on a century are changing their names to accommodate more socio-intelligent content. Whether its from real change or from following the societal trends, the gambit of following the socio-economic climate is becoming a common theme. However the world turns next, the changes we are seeing now is creating a new world of products and status quo.

One company, though, is standing strong with their branding. Trader Joe’s, a grocery store chain, is sticking to its guns, despite some rather vocal push back. A petition aimed at the stores “racist” branding name habit has started making its way through the internet. Currently the petition has crossed the 5000-signature threshold and is getting close to its 7500 goal on change.org.

The habit of using phrases like “Trader Jose” or “Trader Ming’s” in their international food products is the main point of contention. The people behind the petition state that using names like this makes those items appear to be exotic or out of the norm like the original/traditional brand Joe – which at its very basic definition is truthful. The branding technique brands something as different than the original.

Initially a company spokesperson stated that the names were in the process of being changed, but less than a week later their tone changed. Trader Joe’s now states that while they “want to be clear; we disagree that any of these labels are racist.” They will not be changing things based on petitions. Also they report that “decades ago, our Buying Team started using product names, like Trader Giotto’s, Trader Jose’s, Trader Ming’s, etc.

We thought then – and still do – that this naming of products could be fun and show appreciation for other cultures”. According to their current reporting they have also reached out to their customer base and supposedly many customers reaffirmed “that these name variations are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended – as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing”.

Personally, I see two major issues here. First, they are literally talking about a branding that is decades old; habits that were comedic then are now seen in a very different light. Just like an organism, society grows and changes too. If they can’t come up with new gimmicks to make themselves more popular and fresher, then they’ll most likely fall by the wayside as it is. The other issue is that their polling was specifically geared towards their current buyers; they asked their own customers whether they found this offensive. Can we all just take a collective deep breath and say biased please? Whether or not they decide to stick to their guns here is going to lay some groundwork in the future.

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