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.
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.
This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution
(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.
The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.
Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.
There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.
Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.
Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.
Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.
“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”
For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.
Ford adopts flexible working from home schedule for over 30k employees
(BUSINESS NEWS) Ford Motor Co. is allowing employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic winds down. Is this the beginning of a trend for auto companies?
The pandemic has greatly transformed our lives. For the most part, learning is being conducted online. At one point, interacting with others was pretty much non-existent. Working in the office shifted significantly to working remotely, and it seems like working from home might not go away anytime soon.
As things slowly get back to a new “normal”, will things change again? Well, one thing is sure. Working from home will be a permanent thing for some people as more companies opt to continue letting people work remotely.
And, the most recent company on the list to do this is Ford Motor Co. Even after the pandemic winds down, Ford will allow more than 30,000 employees already working from home to continue doing so.
Last week, the automaker giant announced its “flexible hybrid model” schedule to its staff. The new schedule is set to start in the summer, and employees can choose to work remotely and come into the office for tasks that require face-to-face collaborations, such as meetings and group projects.
How much time an employee spends in the office will depend on their responsibilities, and flexible remote hours will need to be approved by an employee’s manager.
“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent — you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” David Dubensky, chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, told the Washington Post. “Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful. … It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”
Ford’s decision to implement a remote-office work model has to do in part with an employee survey conducted in June 2020. Results from the survey showed that 95% of employees wanted a hybrid schedule. Some employees even reported feeling more productive when working from home.
Ford is the first auto company to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, but it might not be the only one. According to the Post, Toyota and General Motors are looking at flexible options of their own.
Unify your remote team with these important conversations
(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.
Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.
According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.
Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.
Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.
With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.
The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.
Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.
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